COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 42
August 13, 2004
Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Certifications for Certain State Funds in Fiscal Year 2005
Due: September 24, 2004
Chapter 4, 2004 Acts of Assembly, Special Session I (2004-2006 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 2005, 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 2004 funds carried over at the local level and fiscal year 2005 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 1995 inclusive). This 10-year limit, back to fiscal year 1995, applies to all sources of state school construction funds expended in fiscal year 2005, 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 2004 and estimated expenditures for fiscal year 2005. 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 2004, pending receipt and approval of the required certification form. The remaining 50 percent of funds will be distributed in May 2005.
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. The permitted uses of state lottery funds are defined in Item 147 of the 2004-2006 appropriation act (Chapter 4) as follows:
no more than 50 percent shall be used for recurring costs and at least 50 percent shall be spent on nonrecurring expenditures by the relevant school divisions. Nonrecurring costs shall include school construction, additions, infrastructure, site acquisition, renovations, technology, and other expenditures related to modernizing classroom equipment, and debt service payments on school projects completed during the last 10 years.
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 all certifications, the distribution of fiscal year 2005 lottery funds will begin 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 2005 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 2005 began on July 16, 2004, and will be continued on each semi-monthly electronic funds transfer (EFT); however, divisions are required to submit the certification form to the Department of Education by September 24, 2004, or these funds will be withdrawn and future payments will be stopped.
4. Standards of Learning Algebra Readiness Signing this form certifies that an intervention program will be offered in fiscal year 2005 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 2004-2005 school year as a condition of receiving state funds under this program in fiscal year 2005. You will also certify on this form that state funds you received for this program in fiscal year 2004 that were unspent at the end of the fiscal year were carried over to fiscal year 2005 and re-appropriated to the school division for use only in the SOL Algebra Readiness program in fiscal year 2005. 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 2004, after the department receives and approves the required certifications, and in March 2005, after the department updates the payments for actual 2004 fall membership.
If you plan to use a locally developed or selected diagnostic test instead of using the state-provided diagnostic test (ARDT), you must check the box on the certification indicating that you plan to use a locally developed or selected diagnostic 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:
Please note that forms for all other accounts requiring certification for fiscal year 2005 will be communicated through separate superintendents memoranda. These include:
K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction The fiscal year 2005 certification will be sent to school divisions as part of the 2004 fall data collection. All data needed to calculate these payments will come from the 2004 fall data collection. No other data collections will be required.
Early Reading Intervention Informational Superintendents Memorandum No. 130, dated June 18, 2004, included instructions and the certification for participating in this program in fiscal year 2005. The certification was due to the department by June 30, 2004.
At-Risk Four-Year-Olds (Virginia Preschool Initiative) Informational Superintendents Memorandum No. 116, dated May 28, 2004, included the application package and required certifications for fiscal year 2005. The application was due to the department by June 18, 2004.
All certifications contained in the attached Excel template must be signed by the division superintendent and returned to the budget office by September 24, 2004, if you wish to participate in these optional programs in fiscal year 2005.
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.