P.O. BOX 2120
September 7, 2001

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: 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 special education teachers teaching school-age students ages 5 to 21 under contract with a school division for the 2001-2002 school year.

Eligible teachers are those enrolled in graduate-level courses directly related to the area in which they are providing instruction. Courses may be taken for initial licensure, for renewal of a teaching license, or for professional development. Professional development may include coursework to enhance a teacher's ability to present material supporting Virginia's Standards of Learning. The teacher is responsible for ensuring that any courses taken for licensure in special education satisfy state requirements (Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, effective July 1998). Approval of coursework is the responsibility of the school division.

The funding period for this activity ends August 31, 2002. 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. Priority will be given to individuals working towards endorsement in a special education critical shortage area and those teachers who are not participating in special education personnel preparation programs funded by the Virginia Department of Education.

Completed applications should be submitted to the Department of Education within 45 days after the teacher has enrolled in 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.