P.O. BOX 2120



June 27, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



2003-2004 Tuition Assistance for Special Educators



The Department of Education has budgeted a portion of Virginia's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B grant funds to provide tuition assistance of up to $400 per course for a maximum of three courses per year for special educators. These funds are available to the following personnel who are under contract with a school division for the 2003-2004 school year and are not participating in a special education personnel preparation program funded by the Virginia Department of Education: special education teachers who hold a conditional or provisional license teaching school-age students ages 5 to 21, speech-language pathologists who hold a provisional license, and special education paraprofessionals assisting special education programs for school-age students ages 5 to 21.


Eligible teachers and speech-language pathologists are those individuals who are enrolled in graduate-level courses meeting competencies in the endorsement area in which they are providing instruction and seeking licensure. The teacher or speech-language pathologist is responsible for ensuring that any courses taken for licensure in special education satisfy state requirements (Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, effective July 1998). The Division of Teacher Education and Licensure will assist with review of the requested coursework.


Eligible paraprofessionals are those who are employed full-time in a special education program and are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate-level coursework related to the special education area in which they are providing instructional assistance.


The funding period for this activity ends June 30, 2004. If the number of applications received exceeds funds available, tuition assistance will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to the postmark stamped on the application envelope.


Additionally, all special educators approved for tuition assistance will be required to sign and return an agreement of obligation. This agreement requires individuals who receive tuition assistance or monetary support for completion of licensure requirements from projects funded by the Virginia Special Education State Improvement Grant, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or the Virginia General Assembly to complete a service obligation or repay all or part of the costs of such assistance beginning July 1, 2003. For every $1000 support over the programs duration, recipients must maintain full-time employment in special education for a period of one semester or repay the Virginia Department of Education for the assistance they received.


Completed tuition assistance applications should be submitted to the Department of Education immediately after enrollment and prior to completion of the course. No applications will be considered after the last day on which a course is offered.


If you have questions regarding eligibility for the tuition assistance, please contact Dr. Patricia Burgess, specialist for special education human resources development, Division of Teacher Education and Licensure, at ( or (804) 225-2096. The attached application form should be submitted to:


Dr. Patricia D. Burgess

Specialist for Special Education Human Resources Development

Division of Teacher Education and Licensure

Virginia Department of Education

P. O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120

Fax (804) 786-6759


Please contact Dr. Burgess for information about the application status or reimbursement.