KILLEEN, Texas — Several parents got a letter from Killeen ISD last week stating a math teacher worked in the classroom for more than 30 days without an “appropriate state teaching certificate or permit.”
The district is required to notify parents by state law.
It’s a situation that second-year health science teacher Hana Hendrix experienced last year.
“I came in on an intern certificate. It wasn’t a standard certificate. I wasn’t a certified teacher, honestly, I received my standard certificate 3 or 4 days ago,” said Hendrix.
Before teaching, Hendrix earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and worked 7 years as a healthcare professional.
She also did several hours of courses to meet teaching certifications during her first year.
“Everything is done online. Even our classroom observations are done online. We have to do all of that then they stick us in the classroom,” said Hendrix.
KISD spokesperson Taina Maya said they cannot talk about the math teacher’s background or personal information.
She said they have several teachers that are uncertified, some are new.
“The reality is we are still short 170 certified classroom teachers across the district. We’re getting really creative how we recruit and retain teachers,” said Maya.
Maya said the majority were originally certified and need to renew.
“Some of them fall in the wrong time slot. Someone certification was carried over to COVID there’s an odd window of time they had to retest and they weren’t able to get something scheduled in that time. These are where a lot of our notices come and play,” said Maya.
KISD officials say uncertified teachers are still allowed to teach but are changed to full-time substitutes rather than full-time teachers.
The statute defines “inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher” as an individual serving on an emergency permit or one who does not hold any certificate or permit.