P. O. BOX 2120
September 5, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
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 monies to provide
  tuition assistance of up to $350.00 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 related services personnel
  under contract with a local division for the 1997-1998 school

  Eligible teachers are those enrolled in a graduate level
  course directly related to the area in which they are
  providing instruction.  Related services personnel who are
  eligible for stipends include speech and language therapists
  for whom  preschoolers with disabilities make up at least 50%
  of their caseload 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 endorsement, for renewal of
  a teaching certificate, or for professional development. 
  Professional development could include coursework that would
  enhance a preschool teacher's ability to present material that
  supports the State's Standards of Learning including emerging
  literacy, phonics, and computer literacy.  It is the
  responsibility of the teacher to ensure that any courses taken
  for endorsement satisfy State requirements (Licensure
  Regulations for School Personnel, 1993).  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, 1998 
  Approximately one-third of the total funds will be reserved
  for applicants during each term.  Any funds not applied for 
  during a particular term will be added to those reserved for
  the following term.  If more applications are received than
  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 and with priority
  being given to unendorsed preschool special education

  Applications are to be submitted to the Department of
  Education immediately after the teacher has enrolled in the

  If you have any questions regarding eligibility for the
  stipend, please contact Mrs. Linda S. Bradford, specialist,
  office of special education, at (804) 225-2675.  The attached
  application form should be submitted to:  Ms. Ossie M.
  Lawrence, program support technician, special education
  programs, Virginia Department of Education, P. O. Box 2120,
  Richmond, VA 23218-2120.  Please contact Ms. Lawrence at (804)
  225-2932 for questions about application status or


  Enclosure:   A hard copy of this memo and its enclosure
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.