P.O. BOX 2120



January 16, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Application for 2002-2003 Sliver Grant Funds to Support Local Special Education Improvement Plans




Background and Purpose of "Sliver" Funds


In years when the federal special education appropriation to states increases at a rate greater than inflation, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to reserve the amount above the rate of inflation to make subgrants to local education agencies (LEAs). The subgrants are to assist LEAs in providing direct services and in making systemic changes to improve results for children with disabilities. The state education agency (SEA) may establish priorities in awarding these subgrants to LEAs competitively or on a targeted basis. The purpose of the subgrants, as distinguished from federal special education flow-through funds, is to provide funding that the SEA can direct to address particular needs not readily addressed through the use of flow-through funds. The SEA may direct the use of these funds to promote innovation, capacity-building, and systemic changes that are needed to improve educational results.

Based on the federal appropriation for the 2002-2003 school year, the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) has reserved $3.5 million for LEAs under IDEAs "sliver" provision. These funds are being offered to school divisions and state-operated programs as subgrants to assist them in improving their programs within the context of the performance goals and indicators of Virginia's Special Education State Improvement Plan.



Application Process


School divisions and state-operated programs (SOPs) may apply for these local improvement grants using the attached application. The awarded funds may be carried over until September 30, 2004. Each school division and SOP has been allocated an amount based on their 2001-02 allocations, with adjustments to reflect the decreased amount of federal monies designated for 2002-03. The list of allocations is attached.


Please understand that "sliver" funds are only available in the years that Congress increases the federal appropriation at a rate greater than the rate of inflation. Therefore, you should plan the scope and continuation of this project with the knowledge that grants may not be available in future years.


Completed applications for these funds must be received by 5 p.m. April 1, 2003. Two or more school divisions or SOPs may combine their allocations and submit a joint application, provided that a single school division or SOP is designated as fiscal agent for the grant. Mail completed applications to:


Jerry Mathews

Office of Special Education

Virginia Department of Education

P. O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120


Applications will be reviewed and approved by DOEs Office of Special Education regional teams. Inquiries relating to project proposals and approval should be directed to the DOE special education technical assistance staff members assigned to your region. (


Questions relating to the budget or reimbursement for the sliver grant funds should be directed to Jerry Mathews via e-mail at or by phone at (804) 225-2704.


Both .pdf and Microsoft Word versions of the application and instructions are attached.