COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
August 24, 2012
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Virginia Department of Education has budgeted a portion of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B grant funds, to provide tuition assistance of up to $500 per course for a maximum of two courses per year (i.e., teachers may apply for only one course in a semester) for special education teachers. Teachers, with school division certification, must reapply for each semester. The following personnel who have a full-time contract with a Virginia public school division for the 2012-2013 school year may apply for tuition assistance:
Special education teachers who hold a valid Virginia provisional license with an endorsement in special education teaching students ages five to 21 and who are enrolled in graduate-level courses at a regionally accredited institution of higher education for the special education endorsement area in which they are providing instruction and seeking full licensure.
The teacher is responsible for ensuring that any courses taken for an endorsement in special education must satisfy state requirements as outlined in the evaluation for provisionally licensed special education teachers provided by personnel in the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure.
Tuition assistance is contingent upon available funding. If the number of applications received exceeds funds available, tuition assistance will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The attached application for tuition assistance must be submitted for each of two semesters selected and must be received by the Office of Teacher Education, Virginia Department of Education, prior to the last day on which a course meets. No applications for course tuition will be considered after the last day on which a fall, spring, or summer course meets. These funds are for “out of pocket” tuition expenses only and are not available to those individuals who have been reimbursed for the same course by a school division or who are participating in a special education program funded by the Virginia Department of Education.
The attached application form should be submitted by U.S. postal mail or overnight mail carrier to: Ms. Johnelle M. Torbert, specialist, special education human resources development, Department of Education, P. O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120 (U.S. mail address); or to 101 N. 14th Street, 24th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, Virginia 23219 (for overnight carriers). Incomplete applications or applications received by fax or e-mail will not be considered for funding.
After successful completion of the coursework, the school division superintendent, human resources director, or special education administrator should submit, via U.S. postal mail or overnight mail carrier, a cover memorandum on letterhead requesting reimbursement with the following documentation attached: a copy of the course approval letter from the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure, a copy of an official grade report highlighting a grade of “B” or better on coursework, and documentation of “out of pocket” tuition payment (college or university receipt, cancelled check, etc.) for each approved course to Ms. Johnelle M. Torbert, specialist, special education human resources development, Virginia Department of Education’s Division of Teacher Education and Licensure. The name of the teacher must appear on each page of the documents. Please note that all requests for reimbursement of approved courses must be submitted by U.S. postal mail or overnight mail carrier and received by the Department of Education no later than 45 days after the completion of a fall or spring course. If funds are available for summer courses, requests for reimbursement for summer courses must be received by the Department by August 31, 2013. No requests for reimbursement will be accepted after the August 31, 2013, deadline. Incomplete reimbursement requests or reimbursement requests received by fax or e-mail will not be considered for funding. Pending available funding, approved tuition reimbursements will be made directly to the teachers.
If you have questions regarding tuition assistance, please contact Ms. Johnelle M. Torbert at (804) 371-0471 or by e-mail at: Johnelle.Torbert@doe.virginia.gov.