COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 52
September 12, 2003
Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Certifications for Certain State Funds in Fiscal Year 2004
Due: October 10, 2003
Chapter 1042 (2002-2004 appropriation act) requires school divisions to submit certifications for certain incentive-based accounts before the Department of Education can release the state funding. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with the certification forms for several of these accounts. For fiscal year 2004, an Excel template will be used to facilitate the collection of the required certifications. The Excel template can be downloaded from the departments website at the following address:
Attachment A to this memorandum provides instructions for accessing the Excel file from the departments website.
This memorandum addresses the certification requirements for the following accounts:
1. School Construction Grants Program Funds Fiscal year 2003 funds carried over at the local level and fiscal year 2004 funds may be used for school construction, additions, renovations, infrastructure, site acquisition, technology, other expenditures related to modernizing classroom equipment, school safety equipment or school safety renovations, and payments to escrow accounts pursuant to Chapter 391, 1999 Acts of Assembly (Section 22.1-175.5, Code of Virginia). School Construction Grants Program funds may also be used for debt service on projects completed within the previous 10 years (since fiscal year 1994 inclusive). This 10-year limit, back to fiscal year 1994, applies to all sources of state school construction funds expended in fiscal year 2004, including those funds spent from the School Construction Escrow Fund, regardless of the fiscal year the funds were originally provided by the state.
The School Construction Grants Program certification sheet requests information on actual expenditures for fiscal year 2003 and estimated expenditures for fiscal year 2004. The certification sheet also requests information regarding the treatment of School Construction Grants Program funds by the local governing body. Fifty percent of School Construction Grants Program funds will be distributed in December 2003, pending receipt and approval of the required certification form. The remaining 50 percent of funds will be distributed in May 2004.
2. Lottery Funds - Signing this form certifies that the division will maintain a certain level of total local operating expenditures (details are on the certification form) and that state lottery funds will be appropriated only for uses permitted and specified in the appropriation act. In addition, a local match based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay is required to receive the state funds. After the Department of Education receives and approves this certification, lottery funds will be distributed on a semi-monthly basis.
3. At-Risk Signing this form certifies that the state and local shares of the At-Risk payment for fiscal year 2004 will be used to support approved programs for students who are educationally at-risk. A local match based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay is required to receive the state funds. Payments for this account in fiscal year 2004 will be made semi-monthly beginning on the July 16, 2003, electronic funds transfer (EFT); however, divisions are required to submit the certification form to the Department of Education by October 10, 2003.
4. Standards of Learning (SOL) Remediation Signing this form certifies that a remediation program will be offered in fiscal year 2004 to students who need remediation based on their performance on the SOL assessments or who need remediation in order to pass the SOL assessments. Signing this certification is required to receive state funds under the SOL Remediation program in fiscal year 2004. A local match based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay is required to receive the state funds. These entitlements will be paid in two equal payments in November 2003, after the department receives and approves the required certifications, and in March 2004, after the department updates the payments for actual 2003 fall membership.
5. Standards of Learning Algebra Readiness Signing this form certifies that an intervention program will be offered in fiscal year 2004 to students who are identified through the state-provided Algebra Readiness Diagnostic Test (ARDT) as needing additional instruction and that students who receive intervention services will be assessed again at the end of the 2003-2004 school year as a condition of receiving state funds under this program in fiscal year 2004. You will also certify on this form that state funds you received for this program in fiscal year 2003 that were unspent at the end of the fiscal year were carried over to fiscal year 2004 and that they will be used only for the SOL Algebra Readiness program in fiscal year 2004. A local match based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay is required to receive the state funds. These entitlements will be paid in two equal payments in November 2003, after the department receives and approves the required certifications, and in March 2004, after the department updates the payments for actual 2003 fall membership.
If you plan to use a locally developed or selected test instead of using the state-provided test, you must complete this certification and check the box indicating that you plan to use a locally developed or selected test. You must also submit a second certification form to obtain approval from the department to use a different test. This certification form can be obtained from the departments Forms Web page (under the Instruction section) at the following address:
6. Compensation Supplement You must certify, no later than March 1, 2004, that an average salary increase equivalent to at least the value of a 2.25 percent increase effective January 1, 2004, will be granted to classroom teachers in fiscal year 2004. Upon receipt of the certification, payments will be made in semi-monthly installments, beginning on the December 16, 2003 EFT. In the event the certification form is received after December 16, 2003, payments will begin approximately one month after receipt. A local match based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay is required to receive the state funds.
Please note that forms for all other accounts requiring certification for fiscal year 2004 will be communicated through separate superintendents memoranda. These include:
K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction The fiscal year 2004 certification will be sent to school divisions as part of the 2003 fall membership data collection. All data needed to calculate these payments will come from the 2003 fall membership report. No other data collections will be required.
Early Reading Intervention Informational Superintendents Memorandum No. 77, dated May 2, 2003, included instructions for participating in this program in fiscal year 2004. This certification was due to the department by May 30, 2003.
At-Risk Four-Year-Olds (Virginia Preschool Initiative) Informational Superintendents Memorandum No. 73, dated April 25, 2003, included the application package and required certifications for fiscal year 2004. The application was due to the department by May 16, 2003.
Student Achievement Grants - Administrative Superintendents Memorandum No. 49, dated August 29, 2003, included the certification form for participation in this new program in fiscal year 2004.
All certifications contained in the attached Excel template (except for the Compensation Supplement) must be signed by the division superintendent and returned to the budget office by October 10, 2003, if you wish to participate in these optional programs in fiscal year 2004. While we hope that you will return the Compensation Supplement certification statement by October 10, 2003, the appropriation act does permit school divisions to have until March 1, 2004, to submit this certification and still receive the state funds.
Please mail the signed certifications to:
Virginia Department of Education
Attn: Budget Office
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120
Please also e-mail the completed Excel template to K12Budget@mail.vak12ed.edu. If you have any questions concerning this certification process, please contact budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.