Educators that hold a valid document issued based on completion of a bachelor's degree and the basic skills requirement are authorized to serve as day-to-day substitutes.  Valid credentials that were issued prior to February 1, 1983 and required the holder to complete a bachelor's degree and professional preparation program are also authorized to serve as day-to-day substitutes, even though the holder may not have met the basic skills requirement.

Substitute teachers have limitations regarding how long they are able to serve in a substitute capacity in a school year for any one teacher of record:

  • No more than 30 cumulative days in any one general education classroom; and
  • No more than 20 cumulative days in any one special education classroom.

This rule includes fully credentialed teachers serving as substitutes, unless that teacher is serving as a substitute in the subject or disability area(s) authorized by their credential; such fully credentialed teachers can serve as substitutes in classes that match their area of certification indefinitely.

*Note, passage of Senate Bill (SB) 141 temporarily extends substitute teaching limitations for the 2023-24 school year. The 2023 Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill continued the extension of the number of cumulative days a substitute teacher can serve in the classroom for one Teacher of Record until July 1, 2024. The following substitute timeframes apply until that date:

  • Holders of any Commission-issued document that authorizes substitute teaching in a general or special education classroom, including: 1) substitute permits, 2) full teaching credentials, and 3) emergency permits may serve for 60 cumulative days in either general education or special education settings;
  • Holders of any Commission-issued document that authorizes substitute teaching in a career technical education classroom, including: 1) Career Technical Education credentials, and 2) Career Technical Education substitute permits can substitute for 60 cumulative days in CTE setting.
Substitute TeachingEd Code/Reg
Substitute teaching in a special education classroomEducation Code 56061(a)
Other documents authorizing substitute serviceTitle 5 80025.3
Teacher Permit for Statutory LeaveTitle 5 80022
Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching PermitTitle 5 80025
Emergency Career Substitute Teaching PermitTitle 5 80025.1
Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective TeachersTitle 5 80025.2
Emergency Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Substitute PermitTitle 5 80025.5
Holders of Full-Time Voc. Ed., Full-Time CTE, or CTE may serve as a substitute in technical, trade or vocational coursesTitle 5 80034.5(a)
Full-Time Adult Education Credential holder may substitute in classes organized primarily for adultsTitle 5 80034.5(b)
Updated December 12, 2023