SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 113
June 14, 1996
|FROM:||William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Use of VPSA School Equipment Financing Notes Educational Technology|
Chapter 912, 1996 Virginia Acts of Assembly (the 1996-98 Appropriation Act) authorizes the Virginia Public School Authority to conduct an education technology grant program in the spring of 1997. The full text of this language was provided to you in Supts. Memo. No. 1 (Regulatory), dated March 12, 1996. Since that time, we have had numerous calls requesting information about the program. In the very near future, you will be receiving information from the Department relating to updating local technology plans, as well as a question and answer document which will address the questions we have heard to date. Many calls, as well as some discussion with local superintendents, have related to the ability to pay for software, training, lease-purchases, and independent consultants with the proceeds of the equipment notes, and the ability to reimburse local divisions for purchases made prior to the sale of the equipment notes. PURCHASE OF SOFTWARE It is important to remember that the primary purpose of this educational technology program is to provide for (1) networking, retrofitting, and upgrade of existing school buildings, (2) network-ready multimedia microcomputers for classrooms, and (3) network-ready microcomputers for student use. It is important that we make substantial progress toward meeting these priorities in order to continue to receive this level of support from the Administration and General Assembly. Since the funding mechanism for this program is five-year equipment notes, the proceeds of the notes must be used for capital purchases. Further, it is necessary that on a divisionwide basis, a balance be maintained between the equipment and related software purchased in order to ensure that the useful life of all purchases exceeds the life of the equipment notes. For example, software may have a useful life of one year, while a multimedia computer may have a useful life of 7 years. Given those factors, it will be necessary for a division to spend $13 for hardware for every $1 of software purchased. SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 113 June 14, 1996 Page 2 In addition, software can be purchased only if it meets all of the following criteria: a) It must be an integral part of the equipment which is being purchased with the proceeds. (That is, it must be necessary in order for the equipment to be utilized for the intended purpose. For instance, if equipment is being purchased for networking purposes, some software is necessary in order for the network to be utilized as planned. That software may be purchased with these proceeds. In addition, if the equipment is to be used in the classroom for instructional purposes, some instructional software will be required in order for the equipment to be used effectively. Again, software of that type may be purchased); and, b) The software being purchased must have a useful life of more than 1 year; and, c) The software must be included in the approved local technology plan. Invoices submitted for training, lease-purchase payments, or independent consultants will not be reimbursed. REIMBURSEMENT OF PRIOR PURCHASES Local school divisions may make purchases prior to the sale of the equipment notes and use the proceeds to reimburse themselves. However, it is important that prior to paying for those purchases, the local school board state its intention to use the proceeds of the equipment notes to reimburse that payment. This must be done through a resolution adopted by the local school board. A sample resolution is provided as an attachment to this memorandum. I trust you will find this information helpful. If you have questions relating to the financing, please call Mrs. Kathryn S. Kitchen, Division Chief, Finance, at (804) 225-2025. Questions relating to the educational technology program should be directed to Dr. Ida J. Hill, Division Chief, Technology, at (804) 225-2757. WCB,Jr./kk Attachment: This memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office.