SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 140
September 5, 1997
|FROM:||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Tuition Assistance for Early Childhood Special Educators|
The Department of Education has budgeted a portion of Virginia's Section 619 Preschool Grant monies to provide tuition assistance of up to $350.00 per teacher for one course per semester or quarter (three semester hours or four quarter hours). These funds are available to Early Childhood Special Education teachers and certain related services personnel under contract with a local division for the 1997-1998 school year. Eligible teachers are those enrolled in a graduate level course directly related to the area in which they are providing instruction. Related services personnel who are eligible for stipends include speech and language therapists for whom preschoolers with disabilities make up at least 50% of their caseload and who are enrolled in a graduate level course directly related to the area in which they are providing instruction or in early childhood special education. Courses may be taken for initial endorsement, for renewal of a teaching certificate, or for professional development. Professional development could include coursework that would enhance a preschool teacher's ability to present material that supports the State's Standards of Learning including emerging literacy, phonics, and computer literacy. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that any courses taken for endorsement satisfy State requirements (Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, 1993). Coursework also should be reviewed by the local supervisor of special education or the division superintendent. Teachers may combine tuition assistance from Section 619 Preschool Grant funds with other state and/or local reimbursement sources as long as the amount received by the teacher does not exceed the cost of the course. The funding period for this activity ends August 31, 1998 Approximately one-third of the total funds will be reserved for applicants during each term. Any funds not applied for during a particular term will be added to those reserved for the following term. If more applications are received than funds available for a particular term, tuition assistance will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis, according to the postmark stamped on the application and with priority being given to unendorsed preschool special education teachers. Applications are to be submitted to the Department of Education immediately after the teacher has enrolled in the course. If you have any questions regarding eligibility for the stipend, please contact Mrs. Linda S. Bradford, specialist, office of special education, at (804) 225-2675. The attached application form should be submitted to: Ms. Ossie M. Lawrence, program support technician, special education programs, Virginia Department of Education, P. O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120. Please contact Ms. Lawrence at (804) 225-2932 for questions about application status or reimbursement. RTL/oml Enclosure: A hard copy of this memo and its enclosure will be sent to the superintendent's office.