COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VA 23218-2120

 


SUPTS. MEMO NO. 125
June 23, 2000

INFORMATIONAL
 
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Local School Board Teaching License (SB 113)

This year the Virginia General Assembly, in response to Senate Bill 113, amended the Code of Virginia to establish a mechanism for local school boards to issue a valid three-year nonrenewable local eligibility license to teachers, according to specified criteria. The licenses will be valid only within the issuing school division and will not entitle the license holder to continuing contract status. Attached are excerpts from Sections 22.1-298, 22-1-299, 22.299.3 and 22.1-303 of the Code of Virginia highlighting the criteria required for the local eligibility license.

Department of Education personnel have received numerous inquiries concerning the implementation of the local eligibility license. Recently, a group of human resource directors from school divisions met with personnel in the Department of Education and discussed the issues associated with the local eligibility license. In addition to the criteria established in the Code of Virginia, the following series of questions and answers are provided as guidance to help school divisions implement the local eligibility license:

1. Should a local eligibility license be issued instead of requiring a special education conditional license from the Department of Education for a new employee assigned to teach special education but who has not met all requirements for a renewable license? No. Individuals assigned as special education teachers who have not met the full requirements for a collegiate or postgraduate professional license should continue to receive the special education conditional license to ensure compliance with special education laws and regulations at both the state and federal levels. [Sec. 300.23 Qualified personnel. (The term "qualified personnel" means personnel who have met State Education Agency (SEA)-approved or SEA-recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the area in which the individuals are providing special education or related services. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3; 34 CFR-part 300)].

Individuals currently working in special education with a conditional license may be eligible for an extension to continue in the position as they complete the individualized course of study leading to the full endorsement in special education. Such situations should be directed to the attention of personnel in the Department of Educationís Division of Teacher Education and Licensure by the school division superintendent or designee.

The individual also should receive a statement of requirements to be completed to secure a collegiate or postgraduate professional license.

2. What should be the format of the local eligibility license? A school division opting to issue local eligibility licenses will need to design its license. The design should not be similar to the Board of Educationís teaching license to ensure a clear distinction between the two licenses. 3. What information should appear on the local eligibility license? The following information should appear on the local eligibility license: name of the license (Local Eligibility License), name of the school division, name of individual, effective date and expiration date of licenses, date the license was issued, and the teaching area. The school division seal and signature of the division superintendent and/or school board chairman may be included.

The individual also should receive a statement of requirements to be completed to secure a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license at the conclusion of the three-year period of the license.
 

4. How should the local eligibility license be dated?


The local eligibility license will be dated effective July 1 of the school year the applicant is employed and expire in three years on June 30. A local eligibility license, which is valid for only three years, may not be transferred to another school division.

5. Can a local eligibility license be issued for individuals who have held a provisional license? Yes. However, no individual should be given longer than six-years (3-year provisional and 3-year local license) to complete requirements for a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license. Please refer to question one of this memorandum about issues relative to the special education license. 6. Who will determine an individualís eligibility for the local license? The local school board will determine an individualís eligibility for the license. In addition to receiving the local eligibility license, the teacher should receive a statement outlining the requirements needed to secure a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license at the conclusion of the three-year period of the license. A teacher holding a local eligibility license may apply for a provisional or five-year renewable license at anytime during the three-year period if the Board of Educationís requirements have been achieved. School divisions are encouraged to request a provisional license for eligible candidates instead of issuing a local eligibility license.
  7. What will be required at the conclusion of the three-year eligibility license? Individuals issued a local eligibility license who meet the following criteria will be issued a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license: (1) recommendation by the division superintendent and the school board for such license; (2) the completion of three successful years of teaching experience while holding a valid three-year local eligibility license as certified by the division superintendent and the school board; (3) a satisfactory score on the professional teacherís examinations required by the Board; and (4) such standards as may be prescribed by the Board of Education. School divisions will be required to submit a form verifying that the above criteria have been met. The application packet, including Praxis scores, will be required for individuals seeking an initial license. 8. What standards are prescribed by the Board of Education that must be completed for an individual to become eligible for a collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license? The licensure regulations for school personnel are the prescribed regulations for the preparation of teachers. School boards should use the competencies set forth in the regulations as a guide in the evaluation of the teacherís credentials. 9. What information about teachers receiving local eligibility licenses and other data related to the local school divisionís issuance of eligibility licenses must be submitted to the Board of Education? The report, which is anticipated to be submitted electronically, should contain the following information: total number of local eligibility licenses issued; total number of classroom teachers employed by the school division during the preceding year; percentage of teachers within the school system who have been issued local licenses; names, social security numbers, degrees (including majors) of teachers issued the local license; teaching area identified on the license; the total number of years of successful teaching experience under the local license; and information on the deficiencies needed by the teacher issued the local license (such as needing to pass Praxis) and whether the individual previously has held a provisional license.

The first data report to the Board of Education on the local license will be due on December 1, 2000. In subsequent years, the data will be due to the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure on May 1.

10. Upon successfully completing the requirements for the collegiate professional license or the postgraduate professional license, will the holder of the local eligibility license be required to pay a fee for the license issued by the Board of Education? Fees for Board of Education licenses will be required. The fee for an initial license will be assessed at the time the application for the collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license is received. 11. Will the local license be accepted through the interstate contract (reciprocity) to secure a license in another state? The local license is a nonrenewable credential, and individuals should be advised that it is not reciprocal with other states.

If you have further questions or require additional clarification relative to the implementation of the local eligibility license, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott, assistant superintendent, Division of Teacher Education and Licensure (mailto:telliott@pen.k12.va.us), or Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, director, Division of Teacher Education and Licensure (mailto:ppitts@pen.k12.va.us), at (804)371-2522.

JLD:rt

http://www.pen.k12.va.us./administrators/superintendents_memos/2000/inf125a.pdf