Teaching Certificate Renewal in Georgia

Jul 30, 2018

Georgia teacher licenses are valid for five years before needing to be renewed. There are several requirements needed for certification renewal. To learn more about renewing your certificate, check out the information below.

Requirements for Teachers in Georgia

Average Salary for Teachers in Georgia (2017)* $29,600 (Preschool)
$53,410 (Kindergarten)
$54,870 (Elementary School
$56,590 (Middle School)
$56,850 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Teaching Area
Testing Requirements None

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Renewing your Teaching Certification in Georgia


You must be employed by a school district at the time you are in need of renewal. The exception to this rule is if you meet the one year of experience requirement within a Georgia school district. A year of experience is equal to 120 full days of teaching. Those who do not have one year of applicable teaching experience will then be given a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE will allow you to teach in a Georgia Local Unit of Administration (LUA).

Background Check

To become certified as a teacher in Georgia, you must be fingerprinted and have an FBI background check. Whether this must be completed or not during your certification renewal is based on whether or not you were originally checked while teaching in your present school district. If you have not previously had the FBI check while working in the district you are currently teaching, then you will need to undergo the FBI background check to renew your certification. But if you previously had an FBI background check in your current school district, then a Georgia criminal history check will be sufficient for this step. However, it is up to your employer to obtain the correct background check for your certification renewal.

Performance Evaluations

The school district that you work for should be completing performance evaluations using the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES), the statewide evaluation system. If you receive two unsatisfactory or poor grades during the five years in which your certification is valid, you will not be eligible for renewal. If you do, your district will set up a remediation plan to correct any unsatisfactory performance. You'll have the opportunity to learn and correct any incorrect teaching methods and have another remediated review completed to correct the original unsatisfactory score.

Continuing Education

A PLU, or Professional Learning Unit, is a type of continuing education credit that Georgia used for many years. These have been phased out since 2016. Now, you must still complete continuing education activities, but these are more about the education and less about the 'seat time,' meaning that rather than sitting in a workshop to meet the time requirement (but sometimes has nothing to do with what you need as a teacher), you'll create Professional Learning Plans/Goals with your employing district. These PLPs/PLGs will include certain goals and continuing education opportunities that must be met. You're encouraged to meet with colleagues throughout the PLP to see how your progress is coming along. You will also need to complete any learning opportunities set up by your district. Should you take any college credits to meet your professional learning requirement, you must receive over a B-grade and it must be in either your field or a new endorsement area.

Certification Resources for Teachers in Georgia

Though there is no need for any specific renewal exams, you can consider the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification exam. This will take the place of any continuing education requirements. Below are some links to help you study for this exam.

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