Superintendent's Memo #168-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

June 12, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Education of Children in Foster Care – Fiscal Year 2010 Reimbursement of Fiscal Year 2009 Local Costs
DUE: July 24, 2009


Chapter 781, 2009 Acts of Assembly, provides an additional state payment for the cost of prior year local operations, as determined by the Department of Education, for certain children placed in foster care.

The state funding is provided for pupils who are not residents of the school divisions that are providing their education and:


a) Who have been placed in foster care or other custodial care within the geographical boundaries of such school division by a Virginia agency, whether state or local, which is authorized under the laws of the Commonwealth to place children;

b) Who have been placed in an orphanage or children's home which exercises legal guardianship rights; or

c) Who are residents of Virginia and have been placed, not solely for school purposes, in a child-caring institution or group home.

This appropriation also provides funding to support children with disabilities attending public schools who have been placed in foster care or other custodial care across jurisdictional lines, as provided by subsections A and B of Section 22.1-101.1, Code of Virginia. Attachment B to this memorandum contains the provisions from the appropriation act, the Code of Virginia, and Board of Education regulations pertaining to the education of children in foster care. This information should be reviewed in completing this data collection.

Foster Care Students in Remedial Summer School

State foster care funds are also available to school divisions that provided a remedial summer school program for foster children in summer 2009 (fiscal year 2010), pursuant to Section 22.1-253.13:1 C.,Code of Virginia. This funding is intended to reimburse divisions for the local share of cost of providing remedial summer school services to foster children.

For fiscal year 2010, state payments for remedial summer school are based on the local share (using the composite index) of $466 per eligible foster care child enrolled as a remedial summer school pupil, subject to the availability of state funds. School divisions providing remedial summer school to foster care children are entitled to this full per pupil amount for remedial summer school based on the number of reported foster care children who attend remedial summer school; however, this funding is provided through two different funding streams (i.e., remedial summer school funding and foster care funding) and must be claimed separately from each stream.

To obtain the state share of remedial summer school funding, eligible foster care students should be reported on the remedial summer school data collection for FY 2010 (summer 2009 program); a Superintendent's Memorandum to collect this data is to follow later this summer. To obtain the local share of remedial summer school funding, the same number of eligible foster care students attending remedial summer school programs during summer 2009 and that are reported pursuant to the pending Superintendent's Memorandum on Remedial Summer School should be reported on the data collection template accompanying this memorandum.

The forthcoming Superintendent's Memorandum on Remedial Summer School will provide a detailed overview of the remedial summer school program and reporting requirements as required by Section 22.1-199.2, Code of Virginia, and Board of Education regulation 8 VAC 20-630-20. These same program requirements also apply for remedial summer school programs attended by foster care children.

School divisions that choose to report eligible foster care students for the local share of remedial summer school funding must indicate the foster child's enrollment in an approved remedial summer school program in the downloadable Excel data collection file provided by the department. When reporting eligible foster care students for remedial summer school funding, each eligible student that is served may only be counted once. Students should be counted in this manner regardless of whether they are served in one or more subject areas or in single or multiple sessions during the 2009 remedial summer school program. The funded per pupil amount is based on the average cost of 30 days of instruction per student. There may be students who received more instruction or some who received less, but each student should be counted only once for state funding.

Filing for State Funds

As with previous data collection templates, a downloadable Excel file has been created to facilitate the collection of data used in the reimbursement of local education costs for children in foster care. Instructions for accessing the Excel file are provided in Attachment A to this memorandum. The Excel file is located on the department's website and can be downloaded from the following address at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/info_management/data_collection/finance/index.shtml.

All of the forms required for reimbursement, including the division superintendent's certification form and specific instructions for entering data, are included in the Excel template.

All school divisions must complete the Excel template and return it to the Department of Education by July 24, 2009, even if no local education costs for qualifying foster care children were incurred by the division in fiscal year 2009 and no reimbursement is being requested from fiscal year 2010 state funds.

For school divisions not requesting reimbursement, only minimal data entry is required in the Excel template in order to generate the division superintendent's certification form indicating that no foster care student days are being claimed for state reimbursement.

Please submit the completed Excel file to the department via e-mail at k12budget@doe.virginia.gov. Please return a hard copy of the certification form, signed by the division superintendent, to:

Virginia Department of Education
Attention: Budget Office
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

Both submissions (Excel file and signed certification form) are due no later than July 24, 2009.

The Department of Education will make all calculations and disburse fiscal year 2010 foster care entitlements to divisions after the data collected from the 2008-2009 Annual School Report Financial Section and this memorandum are received from all school divisions and verified by the department.

Questions concerning this data collection should be directed to the budget office at (804) 225-2025.

PIW / srt

Attachments

a. Instructions for Accessing the Foster Care Excel template (PDF)

b. Appropriation and Regulation Authority for Foster Care Funding (PDF)