COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
August 7, 2009
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Section 22.1-94, Code of Virginia, requires local governing bodies to appropriate funds to school divisions that are sufficient to maintain an educational program that meets the Standards of Quality (SOQ). Section 22.1-97, Code of Virginia, sets forth the procedure that the Virginia Department of Education must follow if a county, city, or town fails to appropriate sufficient local funding to support the SOQ. The appropriation act also directs the department to follow certain procedures for calculating required local effort as well as procedures to follow if a school division does not spend the required state and local shares for the SOQ.
In addition to procedures for calculating required local effort for the SOQ, Item 140 of Chapter 781, 2009 Acts of Assembly (2008-2010 Appropriation Act), requires the Department of Education to ensure that school divisions have appropriated sufficient local funds to meet required local matches for optional Lottery funded programs in which they have elected to participate. The appropriation act requires local school divisions to certify to the department their intent to participate in Lottery funded programs for fiscal year 2010 by October 1, 2009, and requires that the department ensure that sufficient local funds have been appropriated before releasing state funds for such programs. Attachment A to this memorandum provides the complete language for the referenced Code and appropriation act sections.
For the fiscal year 2010 Budgeted Required Local Effort and Required Local Match (RLE/RLM) data collection, the file structure and overall process will be similar to the fiscal year 2009 collection. The submission process is divided into two parts, one based in Excel and the other in the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS). Each of these parts will be discussed in more detail below.
Please note that each jointly-operated school division (Bedford County and Bedford City, Fairfax County and Fairfax City, Greensville County and Emporia City, and James City County and Williamsburg City) must submit separate certifications for each participating locality.
RLE/RLM data collection will collect the various budgeted expenditure data necessary to calculate required local effort for SOQ programs and required local matches for the Lottery programs. Each division will complete an Excel template for Part I, which is located on the department's website and can be downloaded from the following address:
The Excel template contains several spreadsheets that will calculate required local effort for mandatory SOQ programs (Basic Aid, Gifted Education, Vocational Education, Special Education, Prevention, Intervention and Remediation, English as a Second Language, and Fringe Benefits) and required local matches for the optional Lottery programs (At-Risk, Virginia Preschool Initiative, Early Reading Intervention, K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction, and SOL Algebra Readiness) for fiscal year 2010. Please note that for fiscal year 2010, the General Assembly has eliminated the local match requirements for the Textbooks and Additional Support for School Construction and Operating Costs accounts.
Instructions for completing the Excel template are included in Attachment B to this memorandum. Attachment C to this memorandum provides the account code structure for the Annual School Report Financial Section (ASRFIN) that is referenced within the data collection template. School divisions should consult the account code structure when completing this data collection.
The Excel template provides a summary of required local effort for the SOQ and the required local match for each program listed in the previous paragraph based on fiscal year 2010 funding levels contained in the Chapter 781 budget.
Divisions are given the option to calculate required local effort and required local matches for programs where the funding is based on March 31 average daily membership (ADM) using either the department's latest ADM projections or locally developed ADM projections. The first step in the data collection will determine whether sufficient local funds have been appropriated to maintain required local effort for the SOQ based on division-provided data regarding planned operating expenditures and specific adjustments for certain state, federal, and local funds for fiscal year 2010.
Superintendents of school divisions whose local appropriations for fiscal year 2010 are only slightly in excess of the amount required to maintain local effort for the SOQ are requested to review their ADM totals monthly. These superintendents must request additional local funding from the local governing body whenever changes in ADM increase the amount of required local effort beyond what has been provided by the local governing body. Documentation of all supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2010 should be furnished to the department.
The template will then calculate the remaining amount of local operating funds available to meet local match requirements for Lottery programs (i.e., remaining operating funds available after required local effort for the SOQ has been met). Each division will also be required to enter any additional expenditures for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program that are excluded from the net FY 2010 local expenditures for operations (see section 1 of the "Budgeted RLE" tab in the file). Such expenditures can be used to meet the required local match for VPI only.
Part II of the RLE/RLM data collection will be completed using the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS). Each division will log on to the site and upload the Excel file from Part I using the following address:
Once the file has been successfully uploaded to SSWS, instructions will be provided to complete Part II of the submission. Part II will provide the ability for each division to opt-in or opt-out of programs that require a local match or to prioritize such programs if local operating funds are insufficient to support participation in all eligible programs.
Once a division has successfully completed Parts I and II, the certification forms for each program will be made available in SSWS. A hard copy of each certification form should be signed by the division superintendent and then mailed to the following address:
Virginia Department of Education
Attention: Budget Office
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120
Attachment B to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the Excel template through the department's website; for completing the template to calculate projected required local effort and required local matches; and for uploading the Excel file to SSWS and submitting the signed certification forms to the department.
The data submission, including Parts I and II, and the signed certification forms are due to the department no later than October 1, 2009, as required by the appropriation act.
If you have questions regarding the Excel template or the accompanying instructions, please contact the budget office at (804) 225-2025.
PIW / shd
a. Relevant RLE and RLM Legal Citations (PDF)
b. Instructions for Completing the 2009-2010 RLE/RLM Data Collection (PDF)
c. Account Structure for the 2008-2009 ASRFIN (PDF)