RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Education is allocating $12 million to a variety of programs for teacher recruitment and retention efforts.

The funds will include $2 million to assist aspiring educators and other school staff in Virginia to earn full state teaching licensure. Twenty school divisions with relatively high percentages of provisionally licensed teachers are being invited to apply for grants to cover the tuition and fees for the required coursework.

The divisions may submit applications for up to $100,000 over three years to assist employees with tuition and fees for coursework completed at regionally accredited colleges and universities.

The Continuing Education Support Grant program is open to all employees in the divisions listed below — including school counselors, social workers and support staff who are seeking full state licensure. 

The divisions have until January 10 to apply:

  • Brunswick County                  
  • Colonial Beach                      
  • Essex County
  • Petersburg
  • Franklin City
  • Portsmouth
  • Greensville County                
  • Hampton        
  • Highland County                    
  • Hopewell        
  • Martinsville                 
  • Newport News           
  • Norfolk
  • Northampton County
  • Prince Edward County
  • Richmond City
  • Roanoke City
  • Southampton County
  • Stafford County
  • Sussex County

VDOE will distribute grant funds to school divisions receiving awards on a reimbursement basis. Funding for the CES grant program is from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The act allocated $2.1 billion in pandemic relief money for Virginia public schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund.

The CES grants are part of approximately $12 million of ESSER III-funded state-level efforts specifically focused on educator recruitment and retention and increasing the supply of qualified educators and school leaders.