COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 58
April 17, 1998

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Governor Gilmore's Proposed School Construction Funding Plan

 
  On Tuesday, April 14, 1998, Governor Gilmore announced his
  proposal for distributing the school construction funds that
  were approved by the General Assembly during the 1998
  Legislative Session.  He did so by issuing Executive Order
  Number Six (copy attached).

  Governor Gilmore also issued Executive Order Number Seven
  (copy attached) which creates the "Governor's Commission on
  Local School Construction."  These Executive Orders outline
  Governor Gilmore's plan for the state's role in paying for
  school construction.  Also attached is a summary of the
  Governor's proposed plan.

  In summary, Executive Order Number Six provides a
  methodology for distributing $110 million over the next two
  fiscal years, $55 million each year.  The methodology first
  distributes $200,000 to each school division in each year of
  the 1998-2000 biennium.  The balance of each year's
  appropriation is then distributed on the basis of the
  Composite Index and Average Daily Membership of each school
  division.  The attached spreadsheets display: 1) a summary
  of the proposed distributions, and 2) a more detailed
  explanation of the calculations used to develop these
  distributions.

  No local match is required to receive these state funds. 
  School divisions may use these funds for "school
  construction, additions, renovations, including the costs of
  retrofitting or enlarging public school buildings,
  infrastructure and site acquisition for such public school
  buildings and facilities or debt service payments, or a
  portion thereof."  The Board of Education has been charged
  with developing procedures to ensure that the funds
  distributed are used for these purposes.

  The Commission has been charged with conducting an in-depth
  study of local school construction needs, alternative
  methods to address local needs, and funding sources.  The
  Commission must report its findings to the Governor no later
  than January 1, 1999.  The methodology proposed in Executive
  Order Number Six will remain in place until the Commission's
  results are reported and formal guidelines are adopted.

  Governor Gilmore will submit legislation to the General
  Assembly next week to codify his proposal in state law. 
  Following the Special Session of the General Assembly, you
  will be informed of the final disposition of the proposed
  school construction funding.

  If you have any questions, please contact Daniel S.
  Timberlake, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, at (804)
  225-2025.

  PDS/dt