Superintendent's Memo #120-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 1, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2009 Review of the Standards of Quality

This memorandum provides information regarding the Virginia Board of Education’s review of the Standards of Quality (SOQ).

The 2009 General Assembly added language to Item 140 of the Appropriation Act requiring the Board of Education to review the SOQ and submit a report by November 1, 2009. Specifically, Item 140 states:

“The Board of Education shall review the current Standards of Quality to evaluate the appropriateness of the existing staffing standards for instructional positions and the appropriateness of establishing ratio standards for support positions, with the objective of maximizing resources devoted to the instructional program.  The findings of this review, its associated costs, and its final recommendations for rebenchmarking shall be submitted to the Governor, the Chairmen of House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees and the Joint Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education Funding established pursuant to Item 1, paragraph H. of this Act no later than November 1, 2009.”

The Board of Education adopted a plan for the review of the Standards of Quality at its meeting on April 30, 2009.  A copy of the work plan may be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2009/04_apr/agenda_items/item_k.pdf.

There will be a public comment period from May 1 through July 31, 2009.  Comments may be sent to the Executive Assistant for Board Relations, Virginia Board of Education, c/o Virginia Department of Education, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120 or to SOQComments@doe.virginia.gov. In addition, public comment will be accepted at each of the SOQ committee meetings convened by the Board of Education May 27, June 24, and July 22, 2009.  These meetings will be held in the Jefferson Conference Room, 22nd floor, James Monroe building, 101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. It is anticipated that a second public comment period will be held in the fall, during which time additional public hearings may be scheduled.  You will be notified of the dates of the second public comment period and any public hearings that are scheduled during that time.

Department of Education staff will also create a Web page to provide ongoing information to you and to the public about the SOQ review process plus links to the Standards of Quality and to the e-mail mailbox for public comment.  The Web page may be found at www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/quality/.

I hope this information will assist you in keeping abreast of the 2009 SOQ review process. Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Policy and Communications, by telephone at (804)225-2403 or by electronic mail at policy@doe.virginia.gov if you need additional information or have questions about the SOQ review.

PIW / MJP / jcj