P. O. BOX 2120

September 10, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
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 funds to provide 
tuition assistance of up to $400 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 speech and 
language pathologists under contract with a local division 
for the 1999-2000 school year.

Eligible teachers are those enrolled in a graduate-level 
course directly related to the area in which they are 
providing instruction.  Speech and language pathologists 
eligible for tuition assistance are those for whom 
preschoolers with disabilities make up at least 50 percent 
of their caseloads 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 

Courses may be taken for initial licensure, for renewal of a 
teaching license, or for professional development.  
Professional development could include course work to 
enhance a preschool teacher's ability to present material 
that supports the Virginia?s Standards of Learning, 
including literacy, phonics, and computer literacy.  The 
teacher is responsible for ensuring that any courses taken 
for licensure in special education early childhood satisfy 
state requirements (Licensure Regulations for School 
Personnel and Technology Standards for Instructional 
Personnel, July 1, 1998).  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 31,2000.  
Approximately one-third of the total funds will be reserved 
for applicants during each term.  Funds not applied for 
during a particular term will be added to money reserved for
the following term.  If the number of applications exceeds 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; priority will be 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 

If you have questions regarding eligibility for the tuition 
assistance, please contact Mrs. Linda S. Bradford, Office of 
Special Education and Student Services at (804) 225-2675.  
The attached application form should be submitted to Ms. 
Ossie M. Lawrence, Office of Special Education and Student 
Services, Virginia Department of Education, P. O. Box 2120, 
Richmond, VA 23218-2120.  Please contact Ms. Lawrence at 
(804) 225-2932 for information about application status or 


Attachment:     A hard copy of this memo and its attachment 
                will be sent to the superintendent's office.