Bizzare! That’s one word used to describe a “rule change” made by the Department of Education that affects substitute teachers. I will attempt to sort this out for you. You don’t have to understand the why, but you will need to understand the what and how.
When you first become a sub, fingerprinting is a requirement. The process is relatively uncomplicated. Information is typically available from the superintendant’s office of the district where you plan to work. You are fingerprinted and so state in an application to the DOE (Department of Education). The fingerprinting includes a background check. In short, you will ultimately be issued a “certificate” indicating you are “approved” to work with children in public schools. The certificate is good for five years.
You will not be reminded of the expiration date by the DOE. When the time comes, if you apply logic, you will likely attempt “renew” your approval, ideally before expiration. Well, under current rules you can’t.
I recently discovered that subs and mentors do not have that option… even though you’ve worked consistently during the past five years. (Other employees who have worked during those five years can simply renew.) You are going to have to start over. In other words, the process is the same for first-time substitutes and those who have been fingerprinted in the past.
The”why” ultimately doesn’t matter, although we could probably have some fun speculating. You’ll need to make an appointment to be fingerprinted, complete and submit an application to the DOE, much the same as you did the first time!
As I often tell students, you don’t have to like it, but you do have to do it.