The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the state to adopt standards designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified special education personnel that are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained. For professionals in the field of deaf education, the standard in the State is licensure as a Special Education Hearing Specialist. For professionals in the field of visual impairment, the standard in the State is licensure as a Special Education Vision Specialist. For professionals in the field of speech-language pathology, the standard in the State is licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist on the basis of a master’s degree.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) will provide financial assistance in the form of tuition reimbursements to eligible individuals pursuing the necessary coursework to qualify for licensure. Individuals holding a valid teaching license are eligible for financial assistance leading to licensure as a Special Education Hearing Specialist or a Special Education Vision Specialist. Individuals holding a teaching license as a speech therapist or individuals employed by school districts and education service cooperatives as speech-language pathology assistants on the basis of a Bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology are eligible for financial assistance leading to licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
For eligible individuals, each term/semester the ADE will reimburse all tuition and instructional fees relating to coursework leading to licensure, mileage for one roundtrip per week at the rate of $.39 per mile from home origination points beyond a 50 mile radius of Little Rock, and $175 to cover incidental costs of books and other curricular materials. Reimbursement for tuition and instructional fees will require proof of payment; reimbursement for mileage will require documentation of classroom attendance. All reimbursements are contingent upon successful completion of term/semester coursework.
As a condition of acceptance into the tuition reimbursement program, each recipient will file with the ADE a signed Commitment Statement obligating the recipient to obtain both licensure and employment in an Arkansas local public education agency in the field for which tuition assistance was provided. Employment must be for a period of time not less than the length of time reimbursements were provided. More information is available from these program contacts:
Hearing Specialist Licensure: Pamela Broadston, UALR (email@example.com)
Vision Specialist Licensure: Margaret Robinson, UALR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Speech-Language Pathology: George Elliott, ADE (email@example.com)