Educator Placement and Flexibilities
Appropriate Placement of Educators
Ensuring that an appropriately prepared and endorsed educator is assigned to each classroom is critical for student achievement. This guidance outlines the legal requirements for certification, as well as provides best practice guidance to support schools with appropriate staff placement.Appropriate Placement of Teachers
Teachers are typically required to hold the endorsement for the subject(s) and grade levels in which they are assigned to teach.
All Subject EndorsementsAssignments for "All Subjects"
Some Michigan certificates specify an "all subjects" endorsement at specific grade levels. Teachers with these valid certificates may be placed in any subject area for that grade level.
Self-Contained EndorsementsSelf-Contained Classroom Guide
When one teacher is assigned to teach the same group of students for a majority of the instructional day, the assignment is considered self-contained. These assignments are typically found in elementary school settings. In some Michigan schools these assignments may also be found in middle school settings.
Single SubjectQuick Reference: Courses That Can Be Taught
Subject-specific endorsements are intended for assignments in departmentalized settings, where students are receiving instruction by an individual prepared and endorsed in that content. These assignments are often found in high school settings, but can be found at all grade levels.
Revised Grade BandsRevised Certificate Structure Placement
While certified teachers may always teach in the grade range and content area listed on their certificates, teachers with the new grade band endorsements may also teach outside of the grade range without a substitute permit in specific placements.
Career and Technical Education (CTE)CTE Teacher Certification, Authorization, and Licensure Requirements
Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are assigned to teachers holding a Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code on a valid Michigan teaching certificate. For questions about CIP code placement, CTE programs, or Perkins funding, contact the appropriate CTE program consultant. Holders of these CIP codes may also be placed in corresponding non-Perkins funded 6-12 classes.
Early ChildhoodGSRP Program Administration and Staffing
Early childhood staffing requirements are typically defined by the funding source. The most common questions received by our office are related to the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Michigan's state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children.
Special EducationSpecial Education Placement
Federal requirements, in conjunction with Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE), specify requirements for the placement of special education personnel. Special education programs may be provided additional placement flexibilities.
Appropriate Placement of Other Professional Staff and Paraprofessionals
In addition to teachers, other professional staff and paraprofessionals have credential and placement requirements.
Paraprofessionals and Instructional AidesUtilization of Noncertified Personnel
While the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) does not issue certificates or licenses for paraprofessionals, the roles, duties and program funding may determine requirements for placing these noncertified education partners.
School AdministratorSchool Administrator Credentials and Placement
Michigan law requires individuals employed as a superintendent, as a principal, or as an assistant principal, or individuals who administer instructional programs, to hold a valid Michigan school administrator credential.
School CounselorSchool Counselor Assignments
To serve in the role of a school counselor an individual must hold either a valid School Counselor License, a valid Michigan teaching certificate with the School Counselor (NT) endorsement, a Temporary School Counselor Authorization, or a Preliminary School Counselor License. The Full-Year Basic Substitute permit may also be used for a school counselor position when a certified school counselor is not available for assignment and the individual is willing to enroll in a preparation program.
School PsychologistSchool Psychologist Certification
A valid Michigan School Psychologist Certificate or a Preliminary School Psychologist Certificate allows an individual to be employed in a Michigan school district as a school psychologist.
School Social WorkerPolicy, Criteria, and Procedures for School Social Worker Approval
To provide services to students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) require social work services as a school social worker in a Michigan school, the educator must hold a Temporary Approval, Continuing Temporary Approval, or Full Approval from the Michigan Department of Education. School social worker approvals are applied for by employers (e.g., school district users or staffing agencies) through the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). Each approval is transferable from one employer to the next.
Placement Flexibilities: Permits, Approvals, and Authorizations
Michigan law requires schools to hire and employ properly certified and endorsed educators (MCL 380.1246, 380.1231 and 380.1233). In order to systematically address needed exceptions to law, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has established Administrative Rules in accordance with MCL to authorize permits, authorizations and approvals.
The MDE issues permits to meet different school staffing needs when a properly certified and endorsed teacher or administrator is not available.
Special Education Approvals
A Special Education Personnel Approval may be granted to the districts in accordance with the procedures, policies, and criteria established by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (MDE, OSE).
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Authorizations
The issuance of Annual Career Authorizations (formerly known as Annual CTE Authorizations) can be utilized for employing either of the following non-certified individuals:
- Individuals from business and industry to instruct in a state-approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
- Individuals from business and industry to instruct in a 6-12 non-CTE industrial technology program (e.g. career pathway courses).
The passage of PA 184 of 2022 simplified retirement rules for public school retirees. MDE no longer maintains a list of critical shortage for retirement purposes.
Employment of RetireesWorking After You Retire
Michigan Compiled Law 38.1361 is utilized by the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) to determine earnings limitations and financial reporting requirements for retired school employees.
Public Act (PA) 184 of 2022 was signed into law on July 25, 2022. The law simplifies working after retirement rules for public school retirees. For more information, visit the Office of Retirement Services' Working After You Retire webpage.
Questions specific to retiree employment should be directed to ORS at 1-800-381-5000. MDE cannot provide technical assistance for retirement, retirement reporting/data or earnings limitations.