Do Provisionally Certified Teachers Have to Pass State Teaching Examinations to Obtain Permanent Certificate ?

In Lodgson v. Department of Education, 671 A.2d 302 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996), the Court considered a challenge to a decision of the Secretary who held that a provisionally certified teacher had to pass state teaching examinations required by new regulations before he could obtain his permanent Vocational Instructor II certificate. In addition to recognizing the deference Courts give to an agency's broad discretionary power to establish rules and regulations, this Court also noted that 1 Pa. Code 1.4 provides agencies with the power to issue guidelines interpreting regulations and announcing policies the agency intends to implement. The Court pointed out that the Department of Education had issued a Certification and Staffing Policies and Guidelines (CSPG) six months before the effective date of new regulations requiring additional testing. The CSPG included a statement indicating that applicants would have to pass certain basic tests in order to obtain certification. The Court concluded that the Secretary had not issued an unreasonable interpretation of the CSPG, by concluding that it required Lodgson to take and pass the additional tests, based upon the fact that he had not completed his application for the certificate until after the date of the new regulations.