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(a) The division of special education, as authorized by the state board of education, may make traineeship or fellowship grants available to professional personnel who desire to work in programs for the education of children with disabilities, for either part-time or full-time study, to qualify them to meet professional requirements as required by the state board of education.
(b)(1) Persons, to qualify for a traineeship, must have earned at least sixty (60) semester hours of college credit and persons to qualify for a fellowship must be graduates of a recognized college or university.
(2) Traineeships and fellowships may be in amounts of no more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) per academic year for traineeships and no more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per academic year for fellowships with seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) per year per local dependent, except an additional sum annually for each grantee may be allowed to any approved institution of higher learning in this state for the actual cost to the institution, as certified by the institution.
(3) Part-time students and summer session students may be awarded grants on a pro rata basis.
(c) The division shall be responsible for the administration of this program and shall maintain related records of each person approved for training pursuant to this section.
(d)(1) Working with the local school districts, the division shall provide training programs that will be directed toward meeting the needs of a particular school district or system.
(2) The training programs shall not be limited to new teacher recruits, but the experienced special education teacher must be included in well-planned, sequential training programs that emphasize the teacher as an educational diagnostician and a planner, utilizing educational assistants to assist in the implementation of the planned program.
(3) In every instance possible, training programs should be in-house, utilizing qualified local school staff as well as university personnel in the implementation of training program activities.
(4) These teacher training programs should demonstrate a philosophy in a school environment and atmosphere that minimizes “labeling” and emphasizes the child as “a part of rather than apart from.”
(e) The division may contract with any approved institution of higher learning, as well as utilize qualified local school staff to offer courses and provide related training sessions for the training of special education personnel at such times and locations as may best serve the needs of children with disabilities in this state.
(f)(1) The grants described in this section may be approved for those personnel who are under contract to work in the exceptional child program in this state, the training schools and at the various residential facilities for exceptional children throughout the state for contractual periods that the state board of education may by regulation specify, or to those individuals who plan to work in the exceptional child program in this state and who sign a commitment satisfactory to the state board of education that they will take an appropriate available job within this state upon graduation or completion of their studies.
(2) Commitments shall be binding upon those who sign them and receive scholarship aid, but the state board of education may waive the enforceability of the commitments in the event of extreme and unforeseen hardship.
(g)(1) The state board of education is authorized to make training grants to personnel who are approved for participation as a paraprofessional in the exceptional child program in this state.
(2) These paraprofessional personnel shall meet professional and employment standards as set forth in the rules and regulations of the state board of education.
(3) The commissioner is responsible for the administration of this program working with the school boards in this state to meet the needs of a particular school district or school system.
(4) Grants are limited to personnel under contract to work with exceptional children in the exceptional child program in this state or those individuals who agree to work with exceptional children upon completion of their training period for contractual periods that the state board of education may by regulation specify.
(A) Those individuals participating in this training program shall sign a commitment satisfactory to the state board of education that they will take an appropriate available job within this state upon completion of their training period.
(B) Commitments shall be binding upon those who sign them and receive scholarship aid, but the state board of education may waive the enforceability of the commitments in the event of extreme and unforeseen hardship.
(5) The state board of education is authorized to develop a plan with the school boards in this state, which plan will provide for funding arrangements to support the training of the paraprofessional personnel, as well as other arrangements necessary for the operation of the training program.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Tennessee Code Title 49. Education § 49-10-110 - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tn/title-49-education/tn-code-sect-49-10-110/
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