Superintendent's Memo #043-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

February 20, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Amendments to the Governor’s 2008-2010 Biennial Budget as Introduced (HB 1600/SB 850) Proposed by the House of Delegates and by the Senate

On Sunday, February 8, 2009, the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees proposed separate changes to the 2008-2010 biennial budget as amended and introduced by Governor Kaine (House Bill [HB] 1600/Senate Bill [SB] 850) (reference Informational Superintendent’s Memorandum No. 302, dated December 17, 2008). The budget recommendations of the Senate Finance Committee were revised on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, and adopted on the same day by the full membership of the Senate. The budget recommendations of the House Appropriations Committee were adopted last week by the full membership of the House of Delegates as first communicated in Superintendent’s Memorandum No. 037-09. The adopted changes affect fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Fiscal year 2009 began on July 1, 2008, and ends June 30, 2009. Fiscal year 2010 begins July 1, 2009, and ends June 30, 2010.

The budget amendments adopted by the House of Delegates and by the Senate change the Governor’s amended budget for the 2008-2010 biennium (HB 1600/SB 850 as introduced). The attachments to this memorandum provide information on the changes adopted separately by the House and by the Senate. Unless changes are specifically noted in the attachments, Governor Kaine’s proposed budget amendments contained in the introduced version of HB 1600/SB 850 were adopted by both chambers.

Attachments to this memorandum include:

The revised Direct Aid entitlements proposed by the House of Delegates in Attachment B and by the Senate in Attachment C use the Department of Education’s latest projections (from fall 2008) of March 31 average daily membership (ADM) for each school division for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The entitlements shown in Attachments B and C do not include the supplemental grants (Financial Assistance for Supplemental Education service area) authorized by the General Assembly that are unique to certain school divisions. Several of the categorical account entitlements shown in Attachments B and C (Financial Assistance for Categorical Programs service area) are funded on a reimbursement basis and represent the department’s latest projected entitlements; however, final payments on these accounts in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 will be based on actual, qualifying reimbursement requests submitted by school divisions.

Because Attachments B and C show projected entitlements for each school division (based on the department’s projected March 31 ADM) in .pdf format, they cannot be changed to test the impact of different ADM assumptions. If you wish to see the effects of a different ADM on funding for your school division, please use the Excel calculation files described in the next paragraph.

In addition to the entitlement information contained in Attachments B and C, two downloadable Excel files have been created to assist school divisions in calculating projected state entitlements and required local matches in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 for most Direct Aid programs based on the budgets proposed by the House of Delegates and by the Senate. These two Excel files give divisions the opportunity to change March 31 ADM to test the effect on projected state funding and local match requirements using the department’s projected ADM or a local projection of ADM. Although we have confidence in the accuracy of our March 31 ADM projections on a statewide basis, experience has shown that the accuracy of our projections for individual divisions may vary. When divisions believe that they have more accurate projections of their March 31 ADM, they are encouraged to substitute their estimates for those provided in this memorandum when using the Excel calculation files.

Please note that changing the March 31 ADM values in the Excel files only changes the estimated funding for accounts that are funded on the basis of ADM, excluding the school construction grants program payments (funded from state funds in fiscal year 2009 only in the House and Senate budgets) that are funded based on ADM from the prior year; the estimated funding for all other accounts is unaffected by changing ADM in the Excel files and, therefore, remains the same.

Also note that sales tax estimates in the Excel calculation files are revenue projections only. Actual sales tax payments made to school divisions in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 on a semi-monthly basis will be based on actual sales tax receipts. Pursuant to the Appropriation Act, the Basic Aid entitlement calculation is based on the estimated sales tax appropriation only and is not adjusted for actual sales tax revenues received.

Attachment D to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the Excel calculation files from the Department of Education website. The Excel files may be downloaded from the following Web address:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/budget/calc_tools/index.shtml

Please note that the budget recommendations proposed by the House of Delegates and by the Senate are not final. A Conference Committee will make final recommendations after resolving the differences between the House and Senate budget proposals. The current legislative calendar indicates that the Conference Committee’s recommendations will be presented to each chamber during the week of February 23, 2009, for consideration and final adoption.

Final budget action by each chamber will occur before adjournment of the 2009 Session, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2009. After the conclusion of the session, the department will provide you and your governing body with additional information and projected entitlements based on final General Assembly budget actions in a superintendent’s memorandum. After adjournment, the budget will be presented to Governor Kaine. The Governor will have several options that include signing the budget with no changes; returning the budget to the General Assembly with vetoes; returning the budget to the General Assembly with amendments; or returning the budget to the General Assembly with some combination of vetoes and amendments. The General Assembly will consider any vetoes or amendments at the reconvened “veto session” scheduled for April 8, 2009.

Please note that the fiscal year 2009 entitlements are estimates only, and will not be finalized until they are recomputed using actual March 31, 2009, ADM and other final program participation information. The final entitlements based on actual data will be communicated to you by a separate superintendent’s memorandum later this year. Actual fiscal year 2010 entitlements will not be finalized until after a similar process is followed next year.

Questions regarding the House of Delegates’ and the Senate’s proposed amendments to the 2008-2010 biennial budget and the revised estimates of Direct Aid entitlements for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 may be directed to Kent Dickey, assistant superintendent for finance, or budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.

PIW / bkl

Attachments

a. Summary of Budget Amendments Proposed by the Senate and House to the 2008-2010 Budget (PDF)
b. Projected State Payouts Entitlement Sheets FY 2008-2010 — House Amendments (PDF)
c. Projected State Payouts Entitlement Sheets FY 2008-2010 — Senate Amendments (PDF)
d. Entitlement Calculation Template Instructions (PDF)