Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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11/6/15  2:37 am
Commenter: Asia R. Jones, Ed.D. - Loudoun County Public Schools

Proposed Change for Special Education Provisional License Requirements

It is our goal to hire highly qualified special education teachers for our students.  As a former special education teacher, I certainly understand the benefit of having completed required coursework before assuming teaching responsibilities. However, our reality is that special education continues to be a critical needs/shortage area due to the limited number of applicants in the field.  Loudoun County Public Schools, Region IV schools, and others across the state begin the year with vacancies in special education because of the teacher shortage.   

A number of our special education teachers are provisionally licensed under the current regulations which require a Bachelor’s Degree and completion of the special education survey course. These teachers are assigned mentors and are provided professional development as additional support within the classroom.  Similarly, our licensure specialists monitor and encourage the prompt completion of the prescribed program of study. 

Adding an additional six credit hours of requirements to the provisional special education license will eliminate many of the applicants in an already shallow pool of eligible candidates.  I respectfully request that this proposal be reconsidered to maintain the existing requirement of three semester hours coupled with verification of enrollment in an approved program of study.