SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 169
September 10, 1999
|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 education. 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 course. 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 reimbursement. PDS/lsb Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office.