COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 131

July 1, 2005

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Transmittal of Statement of Administrative Impact and Project Costs of Implementation for the Promulgation of the Proposed Regulations Governing Reduction of State Aid When Length of School Term Below 180 Teaching Days or 990 Teaching Hours

 

As part of its responsibility for promulgating new regulations or revisions to existing regulations, the Board of Education is required to develop a statement of the administrative impact and projected cost to school divisions of implementing and complying with such regulations. The board and the Department of Education are required to send a copy of the statement to each division superintendent.

 

The 2004 General Assembly passed three bills that amended Section 22.1-98 of the Code of Virginia regarding the reduction of school aid when the length of the school term is below 180 days or 990 hours. The changes made by these bills became effective upon passage. The Board of Education promulgated emergency regulations that revised the regulations that were already in place and incorporated these changes. They became effective on February 25, 2005, and will expire on February 25, 2006. In order to continue to effectuate the requirements of 22.1-98, as amended, final regulations must be promulgated before February 25, 2006.

 

The proposed permanent regulations are identical to the emergency regulations that are now in effect. They include definitions of severe weather conditions or other emergency situations and declared state of emergency. The regulations also include authorization for school divisions to make up missed teaching days by providing equivalent teaching hours, specific requirements for the number of teaching days or teaching hours that must be made up based on the number of days a school has been closed, and a provision for the Board of Education to waive the requirement that school divisions provide additional teaching days or hours to compensate for school closings resulting from a declared state of emergency. Further, the regulations authorize the Superintendent of Public Instruction to approve reductions in the school term without a proportionate reduction in the amount paid by the commonwealth from the Basic School Aid Fund.

 

The regulations require school divisions to include in requests for waivers evidence of efforts that have been made to reschedule as many days as possible and to certify that every reasonable effort has been made to make up lost teaching days or hours before requesting a waiver of this requirement. The full text of the proposed regulations is attached.

 

Administrative Impact and Projected Costs of Implementation

 

The regulations impose a new certification requirement on school divisions. (See paragraph B of 8VAC20-520-60.) Currently, school divisions provide data to the department related to financial information, compliance reporting, and state report card information. These data are transmitted in a variety of forms, ranging from Web-enabled data base collections to hard copy submissions.

 

School divisions will be required to track missed school time and plans for make-up time in a format consistent with the departments certification requirements. Even though school divisions already track missed instructional time and make-up days, the regulations will impose additional requirements because of issues related to conformity with state certification parameters.

 

It is expected that the administrative and fiscal burden of the new reporting requirement could be absorbed within existing state and local resources; however, it should be noted that additional reporting requirements put an administrative burden on school divisions, especially those that are small.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Vucci, director of policy, at (804) 371-0558, or mailto: Michelle.Vucci@doe.virginia.gov.

JLD/MJP/jcj

 

Attachment

 

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2005/inf131a.pdf