STRS Ohio, SERS Clarification on Membership Determination for Preschool Teachers

STRS Ohio and School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS) have worked collaboratively to clarify membership determination for positions of mutual interest, including coaches, athletic directors, nurses and pupil services areas.

Clarification on Membership Determination for Preschool Teachers

School districts can offer general and/or special education preschool programs. Preschool teachers in general preschool programs are not required to have a professional educator license from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The determining factor for preschool teachers and retirement system membership is the ODE licensing requirement regardless of what license an individual may hold or the school district requirements for preschool positions. Therefore, SERS membership is required for all teachers and aides in general preschool programs.

However, a head teacher in a special education preschool program should contribute to STRS Ohio. “Head Teacher” is defined in Ohio Administrative Code 3301-37-01 as a person hired to guide and instruct a class of preschool children enrolled in the program and who may supervise the program. ODE requires head teachers in special education preschool programs to have a professional teacher license pursuant to Sections 3319.22 to 3319.31, Revised Code. Other teachers and aides in special education preschool programs should contribute to SERS.

Directors of either special education or general preschool programs should contribute to STRS Ohio. If a principal is hired to direct your preschool program, then STRS Ohio membership is already a requirement.

Please review your current membership for preschool teachers and adhere to the guidelines indicated above. Questions should be directed to the STRS Ohio Employer Reporting Department toll-free at 888‑535‑4050 or SERS Employer Outreach at 877‑213‑0861.

Additional details sent to employers in 2014, addressing membership issues and required employer action, are available here.

Preschool directors Regular preschool teachers (including head teachers) and aides
Special education preschool head teachers Special education preschool teachers and aides (not including head teachers)