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Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a new proclamation as of July 17, 2020, which allows for increased flexibility in the use of substitute teachers during the disaster emergency period as follows:

  1. The day limitation (5 days in a row, 10 days in a month, in any one assignment) for holders of a substitute authorization is removed, and the long-term substitute day limit (90 days) is removed. 

  2. The degree requirement to obtain a substitute authorization is changed from a bachelor’s degree to an associate’s degree or 60 semester hours through a regionally-accredited institution. The substitute authorization course is still required. 

  3. The age requirement of 21 years of age for a substitute authorization is changed to age 20. 

  4. Paraeducators who hold the limited substitute authorization to serve as a substitute only in their own special education classroom may serve as a substitute in any classroom (except driver’s ed). 

    1. Paraeducators need to hold a substitute authorization to serve as a substitute teacher. 

    2. If the paraeducator holds a regular substitute authorization, they may serve as a substitute teacher in any classroom except driver’s ed (this is not a change). 

    3. If the paraeducator holds the limited substitute authorization to serve as a substitute teacher only in their own special education classroom, they may substitute in any classroom during this proclamation. 

  5. Holders of a career and technical authorization with at least one year of experience may serve as a substitute in any classroom (except driver’s ed). 

Previous requirements: Substitute authorizations are issued to candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program.  They must complete a substitute authorization course and apply for the authorization. They may serve up to 5 consecutive days and no more than 10 days in a 30-day period in one job assignment in any classroom PK-12. An individual who holds a Paraeducator certificate, completes the substitute authorization course, and obtains the authorization may serve as a substitute only in the special education classroom in which they are employed.  

Substitute Authorization Requirements

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners may issue a substitute authorization to an individual who:

Click here for the complete rules 282-22.2(272) Substitute Authorization

  • Has successfully completed all the requirements of the approved Substitute Authorization course.
  • Holds a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institute, or has completed an approved Paraeducator Certification program and holds a Paraeducator Certificate.
  • Is at least 21 years of age.
  • Has successfully completed an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation background check
  • Has successfully completed a national criminal history background check

A background check and fingerprinting are required for all new applicants for Iowa licensure. This is performed by the Board of Educational Examiners when the application is submitted. The BOEE has a fee of $85 for the Substitute Authorization and a fee of $75 for the background check.

To find upcoming classes and to register, please visit our course catalog.

Classes are generally offered in the fall(September/October) and Spring(March/April) in Burlington and/or Ottumwa.  

Substitute Authorization Renewal

The Substitute Authorization is good for five years and may be renewed by taking two semester hours of AEA relicensure or college credit.  Click here to find the renewal form on the BOEE website.

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