Governor's Teacher Fellowship Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Employment Questions
  1. What is the Teaching Obligation for GTF Fellows?

    All GTF Fellows are required to earn a teaching credential and then immediately teach for four consecutive years as a full time teacher in a low-performing California public school. See the FAQs in this website about low-performing schools for details on schools that meet the GTF criteria. Qualifying teaching service consists of full-time teaching of K-12 multiple subject, single subject, and/or special education students in a classroom setting in a low-performing school within an accredited California public school district. Qualifying teaching service also must be assigned in areas under the authorized credential that is held by the Fellow.

  2. How and when do I need to report my employment status to the GTF Program?

    You are required to inform the GTF office of your employment status within three months of receiving your initial teaching credential, whether or not you have secured employment in a qualifying school. E-mail this information to the GTF office. For many Fellows who complete their credential program in June or December, this report will coincide with the twice-yearly (fall and spring) Status Update Report required of all GTF Fellows. Notices of these updates will be sent by e-mail to all Fellows and will also be placed on the GTF website. If you complete your credential at other times during the year, you will need to e-mail the GTF office with information of your teaching status within three months of receiving your credential. Failure to keep the GTF Program informed of your status may result in your being declared in default on your fellowship, with your name forwarded to a collection agency for repayment of your obligation.

  3. Am I required to document that I am teaching in a low performing school? If so, how?

    Yes. Every fall in the Fall Status Update, Fellows who are employed in qualifying schools are required to give a copy of Form H to their district human resources office to complete. The school districts then send this form to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) who verify to the GTF staff the credential held and the employment in a qualifying school. (Note: Form H is not to be sent to the GTF office, but to the CCTC; the address is written on Form H.) In the Spring Status Update, each Fellow must certify to the GTF staff that they are continuing in their qualifying employment. This process continues annually until the Fellow has completed their four years of required teaching service. Fellows are informed by e-mail of these procedures. Instructions and Form H are also put on the GTF website.

  4. How soon after I receive my credential must I begin teaching in a low-performing school in order to be in good standing with the GTF Program?

    According to the promissory note that you signed upon receipt of the GTF Fellowship, you have agreed to begin teaching immediately after completing your credential. However, in practice, schools hire the majority of their teaching staffs during the late spring and summer, and teaching jobs are relatively scarce during the remainder of the year. Consequently, Fellows who complete their credential at times during the year other than late spring or summer may be eligible for a deferment until the next school hiring cycle begins. When you contact the GTF office about your employment status by e-mail within three months of receiving your credential, the staff will discuss possible deferment options with you.

  5. Can I teach part- or full-time in a low-performing school before I complete my credential?

    No. According to the GTF Promissory Note (Section 1c), you have agreed that you will not teach either full- or part-time before receiving your credential. This means you may not accept an internship (a paid teaching position) in place of your student teaching. You also may not accept a full- or part-time teaching position before you have completed your entire program, including all coursework and fieldwork, subject matter tests and program exit exams/interviews. Such employment would be a violation of the terms of your fellowship and would put you into default status (see Question 7 below). You may not earn credit toward completion of your teaching obligation through employment prior to certification. Day-to-day (daily) student teaching during a credential program is not prohibited. See the enrollment requirement FAQs in this website for other information about the GTF enrollment requirements.

  6. What happens to my status as a GTF Fellow if I am unable to find employment in a qualifying school upon earning my credential?

    A Fellow who does not secure qualifying employment upon completion of their credential program goes into default status (see Question 7 below). Under certain circumstances, a deferment may be granted for up to one school year (e.g., the reasons outlined in Section 4.c of the GTF Promissory Note). All deferments are handled on a case-by-case basis by the GTF staff.

  7. What are the consequences of being in default status?

    The Promissory Note signed upon receipt of GTF fellowships requires Fellows who are in default to repay the amount of their fellowship in yearly increments of $5,000. Fellows in default will have one year to repay the first $5,000, and a 10% interest penalty will be charged on any amount still owed on the $5,000 at the end of the year. The remaining years are similar. Please contact the GTF staff for details on repayment procedures and schedules.

  8. If I am unable to secure full-time employment in a qualifying school upon earning my credential, and have the opportunity to become a long-time substitute teacher in a qualifying school, will this count toward completing my GTF teaching obligation?

    Ordinarily, no. You are obligated by the promissory note that you signed to seek full-time employment in a qualifying school, and a long-term substitute position does not qualify. However, in certain circumstances, such employment may be allowed to count toward your GTF teaching obligation. Please contact the GTF staff for further information.