IMPORTANT LICENSURE NOTICE: Legislative Updates that Affect Licensed Personnel (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) Updated April 29. 2021

Description:

Previously, the Virginia Department of Education communicated that components of the bill related to licensure requirements would go into effect on July 1, 2021. Upon subsequent review, the Department has determined additional flexibility in implementing these new statutory requirements.

During the 2021 General Assembly session, new licensure requirements were set out in Senate Bill 1196 and House Bill 1904 to support a culturally competent educator workforce in the Commonwealth. The bills require the following four policy changes in the Commonwealth: 

  • Teacher Evaluations shall include cultural proficiency efficacy;
  • Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete instruction or training in cultural competency; 
  • Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement in history and social science shall complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education; and
  • Each school board shall adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and any other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board to complete cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board, at least every two years.

Additionally, the bills’ enactment clauses provide the following timelines:

That no later than December 31, 2021, the Board of Education shall issue guidance that establishes minimum standards for the cultural competency training required pursuant to § 22.1-298.7 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act.

That each school board employee who is required to complete a cultural competency training pursuant to § 22.1-298.7 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act, shall complete at least one such training no later than the beginning of the 2022–2023 school year.

Previously, the Virginia Department of Education communicated that components of the bill related to licensure requirements would go into effect on July 1, 2021. Upon subsequent review, the Department has determined additional flexibility in implementing these new statutory requirements. As a result, applicants for an initial license and license renewal will not need to meet these training requirements until further action is taken by the Department and the Board of Education. More information about the timing of the training and requirements will be forthcoming. However, these are not licensure requirements that will need to be met before the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. 

At its April 22, 2021, business meeting, the Board delayed its review of guidance related to the new license requirements in accordance with the Department’s updated understanding of the implementation timetable and expectations. In the coming months, the Board will provide guidance related to training expectations, and the Department will facilitate enrollment in the state approved and subsidized training. 

In addition, please note that House Bill 1776, which was also passed during the 2021 Session of the General Assembly, allows for a two-year extension of any license set to expire June 30, 2021. This bill provides some immediate relief for individuals needing to meet renewal requirements for licenses expiring June 30, 2021. Information regarding the procedure for the submission of requests for extensions will be sent to school divisions soon, as well as posted on the Department’s website.

For more information on licensure requirements, please contact Maggie M. Clemmons, Director of Licensure and School Leadership, at Maggie.Clemmons@doe.virginia.gov.  

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