COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 6
August 30, 2002
Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Fiscal Year 2003 Certification of Adequate Funds Budgeted to Meet the Required Local Effort for the Standards of Quality
Due: October 11, 2002
Section 22.1-94, Code of Virginia, requires local governing bodies to appropriate funds for school divisions that are sufficient to maintain an educational program that meets the Standards of Quality (SOQ). Section 22.1-97, Code of Virginia, sets forth the procedure that the Department of Education must follow if a county, city, or town fails to appropriate sufficient local funding to support the Standards of Quality. Attachment A to this memorandum provides the complete language for the referenced Code sections. In addition to the referenced code sections, the appropriation act also directs the department to follow certain procedures for calculating required local effort as well as procedures to be followed if a school division does not spend the required state and local shares for the SOQ. Attachment B contains this language.
In order to ensure that sufficient local funds have been appropriated for fiscal year 2003 to maintain the SOQ, each school division must complete and return a Required Local Effort Certification form to the Department of Education. As with previous fiscal years, this form is provided as an Excel template. Please complete and return the Excel template and the signed certification to the department no later than October 11, 2002. The template is located on the departments website and can be downloaded from the following address:
The Excel template combines the Required Local Effort Certification form with a spreadsheet that allows you to calculate your divisions projected required local effort for certain SOQ programs (Basic Aid, Gifted Education, Vocational Education-SOQ, Special Education-SOQ, Remedial Education-SOQ, Fringe Benefits, and Textbooks) for fiscal year 2003. Please note that the department will send local matching fund certifications for certain categorical and incentive-based programs through separate memoranda.
The Required Local Effort template consists of two spreadsheets (three spreadsheets for the four jointly-operated school divisions). The State & Local Funds Worksheet" assists you in calculating your divisions projected required local effort for the SOQ programs for both fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2004. School divisions may calculate required local effort based on the departments latest average daily membership (ADM) projections or locally derived ADM projections. The FY 2003 Local Funds worksheet requires you to enter data regarding your divisions planned expenditures for education programs for fiscal year 2003 only and determines whether sufficient local funds have been appropriated to maintain required local effort for the SOQ.
As noted in Regulatory Superintendents Memorandum No. 2, dated March 29, 2002, the department has revised the expenditure items to be excluded on the FY 2003 Local Funds worksheet. Beginning with the fiscal year 2002 required local effort certification, operational expenditures in the Facilities function (66000) were no longer excluded from total expenditures. Therefore, only Capital Outlay Additions (object 8200) across all functions, Capital Outlay Replacements in Facilities (object 8100 in function 66000 only), Technology Additions (object codes 8210 and 8220 in function 68000), and Debt Service (activity 67100 only) expenditures should be excluded from total fiscal year 2003 expenditures to calculate the total amount of planned operating expenditures in support of required local effort.
Superintendents of school divisions whose local appropriations for fiscal year 2003 are only slightly in excess of the amount required to maintain local effort for the SOQ are requested to review their ADM totals monthly. These superintendents must request additional local funding from the local governing body whenever unplanned increases in ADM reduce local funding below the required level. Documentation of all supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2003 resulting from these requests should be furnished to the department.
In addition, beginning with FY 2003, the Department of Education is required, per Item 147 B.7. of Chapter 899, 2002 Acts of Assembly, to collect required local effort information at the start of and after the close of each fiscal year. The appropriation act language is provided below for your reference. Please note the additional requirement related to monitoring required local effort contained in Item 147 B.7., Chapter 899, 2002 Acts of Assembly states:
"The Department of Education shall make calculations at the start of the school year to ensure that an operational school division has appropriated adequate funds to support its estimated required local expenditure. The Department of Education shall also make calculations after the close of the school year to verify that the required local effort level, based on actual March 31st Average Daily Membership, was met."
In addition to monitoring required local effort on an appropriated basis at the beginning of the year, this provision requires the department to determine whether divisions met required local effort based on actual expenditures beginning with fiscal year 2003.
Attachment C to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the Excel template through the departments Web site, using the template to calculate your required local expenditures for the mandatory SOQ programs, and submitting the signed certification form and final Excel file to the department. Please complete the Excel template and e-mail it to the department at (mailto: email@example.com). A hardcopy of the certification form, signed by the division superintendent, must be sent to: Virginia Department of Education, Attention: Budget Office, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120. Both submissions are due no later than October 11, 2002.
If you have questions regarding the Excel template or the instructions, please contact the budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.