Date of Adoption: March 30, 2000.
Purpose: Implement the masters in education reimbursement program as authorized by the 1999-2000 biennial budget.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: New chapter 250-81 WAC.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28B.80 RCW and section 611(3), chapter 309, Laws of 1999.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 00-05-084 on February 15, 2000.
Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: In adopting the Masters in Education reimbursement program rules, the board accepted two amendments as a result of public testimony:
1. WAC 250-81-020(5) was modified to specify that the definition of a Washington institution includes "the branch campuses of out-of-state institutions which have a physical classroom presence within the state of Washington."
2. WAC 250-81-020 (4)(c) was clarified to indicate that an acceptable teaching contract means an appointment at a half-time rate or greater. By extension, teaching contracts that are less than half-time are not acceptable.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 6, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
March 31, 2000
MASTERS IN EDUCATION REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM
This program is intended to partially reimburse teachers or teacher candidates for educational expenses they incur when they receive a master's degree in education or a master's degree in teaching and return to teaching in a public school classroom.
(1) "Board" means the higher education coordinating board.
(2) "OSPI" means the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
(3) "Public school" means an elementary school, a middle school, junior high school, or high school within the public school system referred to in Article IX of the state Constitution.
(4) "Eligible applicant" means a person who:
(a) Did not possess a master's degree in any subject prior to July 1, 1999;
(b) Receives either a master's in education or a master's in teaching degree from an institution of higher education in Washington after June 30, 1999; and
(c) Is teaching in one of the state's public elementary, middle, or secondary schools or has a contract to teach in one of those schools for the next academic year at a rate of half-time or greater.
(5) "Master's degree" means a master's in education or a master's in teaching degree.
(6) "Institution of higher education" means an accredited public or private college or university offering graduate degree coursework in the state of Washington including the branch campuses of out-of-state institutions which have a physical classroom presence within the state of Washington.
(7) "Accredited" means an institution certified by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or by a similar regional accrediting body.
(8) "Teaching credential" means a teaching endorsement conferred by the office of the superintendent of public instruction or documentation that shows completion of a major or minor in one or more specific priority areas.
(9) "Mathematics or science" means an endorsement or major or minor in mathematics or science, biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics, as determined by the OSPI.
(10) "Priority areas" means those curriculum or teaching specialties defined as priorities in the selection of recipients for reimbursement.
(11) "Documentation" means evidence supporting the applicant's:
(a) Current teaching service;
(b) Possession of a teaching credential in priority area; and
(c) Receipt of an appropriate master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
(12) "Educational expenses" means the current representative average annual tuition and fees for resident graduate students attending the state's research institutions, as determined by the board.
(1) The completed application will include all necessary documentation.
(2) The board will treat all applications in a confidential manner.
(3) Applications will be made available through several means including:
(a) Mailings to institutions of higher education;
(b) Mailings to related teacher and school organizations;
(c) Posting on the HECB website at http://www.hecb.wa.gov;
(d) Direct mailing to individuals.
(4) The board will annually set a deadline for the receipt of applications and documentation for reimbursement from that year's funds.
(1) First priority will be given to applicants who possess a mathematics or science teaching credential.
(2) The board may set other priorities if needed to properly expend program funding.
(3) Applicants who do not receive the reimbursement may reapply in the second year.
(1) Within available funds and until these funds are exhausted, the board may repay all or a portion of the educational expenses incurred by a teacher, or teacher candidate, for one year of master's level studies at an accredited Washington institution of higher education.
(2) The annual maximum reimbursement shall be set by the board. Depending upon the number of eligible applicants, the reimbursement may be prorated among eligible applicants at a rate less than the maximum.
(3) Funds are to be prorated among all eligible first priority applicants, not to exceed the annual maximum as set by the board.
(4) If funds remain after awards have been made to first priority applicants, the board may establish a second priority group to fully expend program funding. The award to this population of applicants shall not exceed the amount received by the first priority applicants.
(5) If funds continue to remain after reimbursing the second priority applicants, then the remaining funds shall be prorated among all remaining eligible applicants, not to exceed the award given to the first priority group.
(6) The reimbursement for any individual eligible applicant shall be reduced by the sum of all other tuition reimbursements received by the applicant from other public sources. Other public sources include the applicant's school and school district, but do not include student loans or student aid awarded through a college or university.
(1) The board shall administer the program. The board shall be responsible for:
(a) Collection of applications and documentation;
(b) Determination of eligibility;
(c) Determination of the eligibility of institutions of higher education within Washington;
(d) Adjudication of all appeals;
(e) Disbursement of awards; and
(f) Maintenance of records.
(2) The board shall request from the OSPI:
(a) A list of all public elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools within Washington; and
(b) The list of teaching credentials which qualify as mathematics or science.