In a May 10, 2012 opinion in the case of Renee v. Duncan,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held:  (1) that prior to enactment of an appropriations amendment (Section 163 of the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act of of 2011, Pub. L. No. 111-322), the highly qualified teacher regulation (34 C.F.R. 200.56(a)(2)(ii))–that permitted teachers still in training to be considered “highly qualified”–violated the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA); and (2) after enactment of section 163 and until such time as the section expires at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, the challenged regulation is consistent with ESEA.

The Court of Appeals noted the appeal was not moot, and those challenging the regulation were not entitled to judicial enforcement of the highly qualified teacher reporting requirement to Congress. 

School districts as well as teacher training organizations will want to review the opinion for its implications for the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.