Superintendent’s Memo #085-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 4, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Licensing of Speech-language Pathologists to be Discontinued by the Virginia Board of Education and Required by the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

The 2014 General Assembly approved House Bill 373 (Delegate Richard L. Anderson, chief patron) that will amend and re-enact Section 54.1-26.3 of the Code of Virginia regarding the licensing of speech-language pathologists.  Upon the signature of the Governor, the legislation will become effective July 1, 2014.

House Bill 373 requires that in order to practice speech pathology, individuals will need to hold a valid license issued by the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. 

Effective July 1, 2014, the Virginia Board of Education shall no longer issue or renew licenses with an endorsement in speech-language pathology.  Effective July 1, 2015, in order to practice speech-language pathology in Virginia public elementary and secondary schools, an individual shall hold a valid school speech-language pathologist license issued by the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, in order to practice speech-language pathology in Virginia public schools, an individual must hold an active five-year, renewable license with a valid endorsement in speech-language pathology or a current, valid license in speech-language pathology issued by the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.  Effective July 1, 2015, in order to practice speech-language pathology in Virginia public schools, an individual shall hold a current, valid school speech-language pathologist license issued by the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

The legislation provides the following information regarding the implementation of the statute, including setting forth the conditions required for individuals who hold active renewable licenses issued by the Virginia Board of Education with an endorsement in speech-language pathology on June 30, 2014, to be deemed qualified to obtain a license from the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

…2. That, effective July 1, 2014, the Virginia Board of Education shall no longer issue or renew licenses with an endorsement in speech-language pathology.

3. That, effective July 1, 2015, in order to practice audiology or speech-language pathology in Virginia public elementary and secondary schools, an individual shall hold a valid school speech-language pathologist license issued by the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

4. That any individual who holds an active, renewable license issued by the Virginia Board of Education with a valid endorsement in speech-language pathology on June 30, 2014, shall be deemed qualified to obtain a school speech-language pathologist license from the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology until July 1, 2016, or the date of expiration of such person’s license issued by the Virginia Board of Education, whichever is later. Any person deemed qualified to obtain a school speech-language pathologist license under this enactment clause shall submit an application form to the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology to obtain such license. The Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology shall issue such licenses beginning July 1, 2014, upon receipt of a completed application and provided that no grounds exist for denial.

On July 1, 2014, the Department of Education, that processes licenses on behalf of the Board of Education, will not issue or renew a license with an endorsement in speech-language pathology.  No exceptions will be made.  This means that individuals holding a five-year Board of Education license with the valid speech-language endorsement expiring on June 30, 2014, who wish to renew the license must submit the renewal request with the fee and documentation of meeting all renewal requirements as soon as possible to ensure that the license is renewed prior to June 30, 2014.  Please note that the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure must have at least a week to process complete applications for renewal.  The Virginia Licensure Renewal Manual sets forth all renewal requirements.  The following Web site provides additional information regarding the renewal requirement instituted by the 2013 General Assembly of training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs):  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/licensure/index.shtml.

A few individuals have been issued provisional licenses by the Board of Education with an endorsement in speech-language pathology.  These individuals must obtain their five-year, renewable license prior to July 1, 2014, to seek a license from the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology based on the conditions outlined in this legislation.  Pursuant to this legislation, only an individual who holds an active, renewable license issued by the Virginia Board of Education with a valid endorsement in speech-language pathology on June 30, 2014, shall be deemed qualified to obtain a school speech-language pathologist license from the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology until July 1, 2016, or the date of expiration of such person’s license issued by the Virginia Board of Education, whichever is later.

Individuals who hold active, renewable licenses with an endorsement in speech-language pathology issued by the Board of Education may hold additional endorsements.  On or after July 1, 2014, the individual may continue to renew the license with these other endorsements on the license; however, the Board of Education will not be authorized to issue or renew a license with an endorsement in speech-language pathology.

A Superintendent’s Memorandum will be disseminated providing additional details about the process for individuals holding active Board of Education renewable licenses with an endorsement in speech pathology on June 30, 2014, to apply for a Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology license.  The memorandum also will provide information on support by the Department of Education for the application fee for the initial license.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure; telephone (804) 371-2522; or Dr. Mark Allan, director of licensure and school leadership; telephone (804) 371-2471.

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