|Action||Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel|
|Comment Period||Ends 11/6/2015|
Proposed Changes to Licensure Regulations
.Region IV members support the required training in First Aid, CPR and AED however it would be beneficial and more cost effective if the VDOE provided a training method similar to the Virginia civics course to support teachers and Virginia school divisions. Many newly hired staff and all renewable license holders must pay for the cost of the training. This is not a great impression to make on a first year teacher. We would like to see more support for attracting new teachers and retaining currently licensed staff.
Changing the provisional license to a two year license will result in additional work for licensure specialists in all Virginia school divisions and the Virginia Department of Education. Additional tracking, gathering of documents and changes in many reporting design tools will be required. Region IV schools prefer to have the ability to set in-house guidelines for showing progress and non-renewing licensed staff. We have found that many good teachers need up to the third year to successfully complete the required assessments. These teachers have already completed ESOL, Diversity, Technology Standards, Suicide Prevention and employment mandate training and have become an asset to the school divisions and the students they teach. We feel this will only add to the teacher shortage in Virginia. The current response time for licensure requests sent to the VDOE range from four to eight weeks, depending on the time of year the request is sent. Region IV school divisions worry the response time will be longer due to the increase in licensure requests if the provisional license is changed from three years to two years.
Region IV fully supports the five year International License.
Region IV supports the Virginia history/government course requirement and appreciates the online training provided at no charge to school divisions and license holders.
Region IV supports the change to include Assessment however we do not support adding credit hours to the total professional studies requirement. We must be careful that we are not making license requirements more difficult when we are already experiencing a teacher shortage.
Region IV members request consideration be made to provide a standard method for school divisions to obtain exceptions to provisional licensure in critical shortage areas such as ESOL and Library Media on an as-needed basis. The current method of requesting a modification to the regulations limits school divisions the ability to hire and fill positions in a timely manner. Establishing specific guidelines such as “being within 6 hours of completing content requirements for critical shortage areas” would allow school divisions to hire teachers who have the majority of the course work completed rather than placing a less qualified substitute in the hard to fill positions. As the shortage of teachers continue to increase, school divisions are worried about how vacancies will be filled in the future without a change in licensure regulations to support the need.