Superintendent's Memo #110-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 7, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) Educational Technology Notes Series VI, Series VII, Series VIII, Series IX, Series X, and Series XI

The Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) is conducting the tenth sale of equipment notes, Series X. The proceeds from these notes provide the next installment of funds in the educational technology grant program, which provides support for school divisions to develop and implement the Standards of Learning (SOL) Web-based Technology Initiative. Funding for this program is targeted to achieve the following four goals:

1. Provide student access to computers at a ratio of one computer for every five students;

2. Create Internet-ready local area network capability in every school;

3. Assure adequate high-speed, high-bandwidth capability for instructional, remedial, and testing needs; and

4. Establish a statewide Standards of Learning test delivery system.

The VPSA is planning to sell the spring 2010 Educational Technology Notes, Series X, on or around May 6, 2010, and to close on the notes deal on May 20, 2010. Proceeds of the Series X notes will be made available for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures to localities following the scheduled closing on May 20, 2010.

There are a limited number of business days between the notes issuance date and the end of fiscal year 2010. Therefore, to ensure sufficient time to process the requests for payment, reimbursements that need to be received by school divisions by June 30, 2010, must be received by the Virginia Department of Education electronically and the original signature page sent to the department by June 15, 2010. Please note that no requests for reimbursement may be processed until the note proceeds have officially been issued.

Attachment A to this memorandum lists the estimated local grant allocations for the Series X VPSA note issue. These estimated allocations are based on the General Assembly’s amendments to the 2008-2010 biennial budget, which were adopted on March 14, 2010. Grants to school divisions for the Series X notes are based on $26,000 per eligible school and $50,000 per school division. Eligible schools include those reporting fall membership as of September 30, 2009, as well as division and regional vocational, special education, and alternative education programs, academic year Governor’s Schools, and the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in the City of Staunton. Localities are required to provide a match of funds equal to 20 percent of the total grant amount provided to the school division. At least 25 percent of the local match must be used for teacher training in the use of this technology. Regional programs and the school for the deaf and blind are not required to provide a 20 percent match to their grant amount.

Consistent with previous VPSA notes, payments to school divisions and regional programs will be on a reimbursement basis only. School divisions and regional programs must first complete payments for the qualifying equipment purchased and then file a Series X reimbursement request with the Department of Education. School divisions and regional programs that adopted a reimbursement resolution and made expenditures prior to the issuance of the Series X notes are required to certify that all reimbursements are qualifying reimbursements. School divisions and regional programs may not be reimbursed for qualifying expenditures incurred more than 60 days prior to the adoption of a reimbursement resolution. Please note that reimbursements for the Series X issue for regional vocational, regional special education, Governor’s Schools, and regional alternative education programs may be made directly to the regional programs through separate reimbursement accounts set up specifically for regional programs. If separate accounts for regional programs are established, school divisions will not be required to deposit the regional programs’ share of the note proceeds in their account and then pass those proceeds on to the regional program.

The Series X reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template. This file is available on the Department of Education’s website at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/edu_technology_notes/index.shtml

The Series X reimbursement form includes certification provisions that incorporate federal and state requirements regarding capital expenditures that qualify for reimbursement. School divisions are primarily responsible for determining whether requests for reimbursement are permissible under federal and state requirements. School division officials should carefully read and initial the certification provisions to ensure that none of their reimbursement requests violate any of the stated provisions.

Divisions are not required to submit copies of supporting reimbursement documentation to the Department of Education because the reimbursement request form incorporates the certification provisions. However, copies of all supporting documents (invoices, work orders, statements, etc.) for which reimbursement is to be made must be retained by the school division for at least five years in the event an audit is required. All reimbursement requests for the VPSA Series X notes issue must be made using the above-referenced Series X form. The Department of Education will review the reimbursement request and, when approved, file the request on behalf of the school division (or regional program) with the Virginia State Non-Arbitrage Program (SNAP), which serves as the investment and account manager for the note proceeds. Please note that no reimbursement requests for the Series X notes will be approved until all of the division’s grant allocations from notes Series VI (Spring 2006), Series VII (Spring 2007), Series VIII (Spring 2008), and Series IX (Spring 2009) are spent. Please see Attachments B, C, D, and E, to this memorandum that provide the Series VI, VII, VIII, and IX allocation balances, respectively, for each school division and regional program.

To improve information security, the department changed the reimbursement process for the VPSA Technology Notes beginning with the spring 2005 issuance. Earlier versions of the VPSA Technology reimbursement form provided a section for localities to enter their bank routing number and account number each time they requested a reimbursement. This section has been removed and all school divisions and regional programs will need to provide their bank routing number and account number directly to the State Non-Arbitrage Program (SNAP) before SNAP executes the actual payment of Notes proceeds to the school division or regional program.

Attachment H to this memo provides the SNAP VPSA Technology Notes Withdrawal Instructions form. If you need to make changes to wire instructions previously submitted to SNAP, please complete and sign Attachment H and return the form to SNAP prior to requesting any further reimbursements. The completed form should be faxed to Nelson Bush or Katia Frock, SNAP representatives, at 1-800-252-9551. If you have not completed this form, the Department of Education will hold all requests for reimbursements until SNAP confirms receipt of your certified bank account information. SNAP will maintain all bank information and, if needed, will assist divisions who need to amend such information. If you have any questions regarding Attachment H, please contact Nelson Bush or Katia Frock of SNAP at 1-800-570-SNAP.

Proceeds from the Series VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X issues may not be used for middle schools until all high schools in your division have achieved Stage 2 High School Readiness Certification. See Administrative Supts. Memo No. 27, dated May 17, 2002, for additional information on certification procedures. Also, the proceeds of the Series VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X notes may not be used for elementary schools until all middle schools in your division have achieved Stage 2 Middle School Readiness Certification. Procedures for achieving all levels of school readiness certification are explained in the following document:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/technology/sol_technology_initiative/readiness/readiness_documentation.pdf

The School Readiness Certification workbook is a downloadable Excel template. This file is available on the Department of Education’s website at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/technology/sol_technology_initiative/index.shtml

If expenditures for middle or elementary schools are submitted prior to achieving the appropriate certifications, those expenditures cannot be reimbursed until after the readiness certifications have been achieved.

Please submit all Series X requests for reimbursement using the Series X reimbursement request form referenced above. E-mail your completed request to Richard Schley at VPSA@doe.virginia.gov. In addition, please mail a signed copy of the reimbursement form to the following address:

Richard Schley
Office of Educational Technology
Virginia Department of Education
James Monroe Building 22nd Floor
101 North 14th Street
Richmond, VA 23219

No requests for reimbursement will be processed until the Department of Education has received both the electronic Series X reimbursement request form and your signed hardcopy Series X form with each certification initialed.

Educational Technology Notes, Series IX (Spring 2009):

As initially announced in Superintendent's Memo #096-09, dated April 10, 2009, the Series IX notes were sold by the VPSA in April 2009. Proceeds of the Series IX notes were available to school divisions for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures on and after the closing date of May 21, 2009. For grant allocations of Series IX VPSA notes, see Attachment A to Superintendent's Memo #096-09, dated April 10, 2009. All reimbursement forms for the Series IX issue must be submitted to the department as soon as possible. No reimbursement requests for the Series X notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VI, VII, VIII and IX note proceeds are spent. Attachment E to this memorandum provides the status of the Series IX grant balances.

For divisions and regional programs that have not completed reimbursement of expenditures from the Series IX VPSA notes, the procedures outlined in Superintendent's Memo #096-09, dated April 10, 2009, should be followed, and the Series IX reimbursement request form should be used. The Series IX reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template available on the Department of Education’s website located at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/edu_technology_notes/index.shtml

Educational Technology Notes, Series VIII (Spring 2008):

As initially announced in Administrative Supts. Memo No. 11, dated April 11, 2008, the Series VIII notes were sold by the VPSA in April 2008. Proceeds of the Series VIII notes were available to school divisions for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures on and after the closing date of May 22, 2008. For grant allocations of Series VIII VPSA notes, see Attachment A to Administrative Supts. Memo No. 11, dated April 11, 2008. All reimbursement forms for the Series VIII issue must be submitted to the department as soon as possible. No reimbursement requests for the Series X notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VI, VII, VIII and IX note proceeds are spent. Attachment D to this memorandum provides the status of the Series VIII grant balances.

For divisions and regional programs that have not completed reimbursement of expenditures from the Series VIII VPSA notes, the procedures outlined in Administrative Supts. Memo No. 11, dated April 11, 2008, should be followed, and the Series VIII reimbursement request form should be used. The Series VIII reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template available on the Department of Education’s Web site located at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/edu_technology_notes/index.shtml

Educational Technology Notes, Series VII (Spring 2007):

As initially announced in Administrative Supts. Memo No. 14, dated April 20, 2007, the Series VII notes were sold by the VPSA in May 2007. Proceeds of the Series VII notes were available to school divisions for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures on and after the closing date of May 24, 2007. For grant allocations of Series VII VPSA notes, see Attachment A to Administrative Supts. Memo No. 14, dated April 20, 2007. All reimbursement forms for the Series VII issue must be submitted to the department as soon as possible. No reimbursement requests for the Series X notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VI, VII, VIII and IX note proceeds are spent. Attachment C to this memorandum provides the status of the Series VII grant balances.

For divisions and regional programs that have not completed reimbursement of expenditures from the Series VII VPSA notes, the procedures outlined in Administrative Supts. Memo No. 14, dated April 20, 2007, should be followed, and the Series VII reimbursement request form should be used. The Series VII reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template available on the Department of Education’s Web site located at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/edu_technology_notes/index.shtml

Educational Technology Notes, Series VI (Spring 2006):

As initially announced in Administrative Supts. Memo No. 18, dated May 12, 2006, the Series VI notes were sold by the VPSA in May 2006. Proceeds of the Series VI notes were available to school divisions for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures on and after the closing date of May 25, 2006. For grant allocations of Series VI VPSA notes, see Attachment A to Administrative Supts. Memo No. 18, dated May 12, 2006. All reimbursement forms for the Series VI issue must be submitted to the department as soon as possible. Richard Schley will be contacting school divisions with Series VI balances remaining in order to facilitate timely draw down of these funds. No reimbursement requests for the Series X notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VI, VII, VIII and IX note proceeds are spent. Attachment B to this memorandum provides the status of the Series VI grant balances.

For divisions and regional programs that have not completed reimbursement of expenditures from the Series VI VPSA notes, the procedures outlined in Administrative Supts. Memo No. 18, dated May 12, 2006, should be followed, and the Series VI reimbursement request form should be used. The Series VI reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template available on the Department of Education’s website located at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/edu_technology_notes/index.shtml

Educational Technology Notes, Series XI (Spring 2011):

The 2010-2012 biennial budget (House Bill 30/Senate Bill 30, adopted by the 2010 General Assembly on April 21, 2010) includes funding to continue the educational technology notes program in fiscal year 2011 with debt service paid through the Literary Fund. The General Assembly-adopted budget includes Virginia Public Schools Authority (VPSA) equipment notes totaling approximately $57.6 million in fiscal year 2011 to be issued in the spring of 2011.

Beginning in fiscal year 2011, the school eligibility criteria for the VPSA technology notes have changed. In order to receive grants under the new formula, qualifying schools are defined as schools that are subject to state accreditation requirements and that report Fall Membership. As a result, district programs are no longer eligible to receive funding under this program; however, governor’s schools, regional programs for vocational education, special education, and alternative education, and the School for the Deaf and the Blind would continue to be eligible for these grants. The entitlement amount for each eligible school remains at $26,000 and each division would still receive $50,000. The proposed new methodology includes an additional distribution of $26,000 for each school that is not fully accredited. Eligible schools could receive this supplemental grant only once for a period of three years following the year the eligible school fails to be fully accredited. The required local match remains at twenty percent and still excludes regional programs and the School for the Deaf and the Blind. Twenty-five percent of the required local match must be used for teacher training. Attachment F to this memorandum lists the estimated local grant allocations for the Series XI note issue.

In addition to the change in school eligibility, the language adopted by the 2010 General Assembly set specific timelines for implementation of online SOL testing and expanded the qualifying use of VPSA Educational Technology Notes proceeds. The following provides additional details on the new VPSA Technology program language adopted by the 2010 General Assembly:

SOL online testing: By fiscal year 2011, high schools within participating divisions shall administer 100 percent of SOL tests online; by fiscal year 2012, middle and high schools shall administer 100 percent of SOL tests online; and by fiscal year 2013, elementary, middle, and high schools shall administer 100 percent of SOL tests online. School divisions shall use these funds first to develop and maintain the capability to support the administration of online SOL testing for all students with the exception of students with a documented need for a paper SOL test.
Handheld computing devices: School divisions may use these funds to purchase handheld multifunctional computing devices that support a broad range of applications and that are controlled by operating systems providing full multimedia support and mobile Internet connectivity. School divisions that elect to use these grant funds to purchase such qualifying handheld devices must continue to meet the (above) online testing requirements as adopted by the 2010 General Assembly.
School divisions that have spent all of their Series VI, Series VII, Series VIII, Series IX, and Series X note proceeds and that have adopted a reimbursement resolution for the Series XI (Spring 2011) notes issue may make purchases in support of the SOL Web-based Technology Initiative to be reimbursed from Series XI proceeds; however, please be aware that the note proceeds will not be available for reimbursement until after the closing of the notes sale, which will likely be in late spring 2011. Please be aware that, prior to incurring any costs, the local school board must state its intention to use the proceeds of the equipment notes to reimburse qualifying expenditures. This must be done through a reimbursement resolution adopted by the local school board. A sample resolution is provided as Attachment G to this memorandum. Please note that divisions may not reimburse themselves for project-related expenditures incurred more than 60 days prior to the adoption of the resolution.

If you have questions relating to the financing or determination of qualifying reimbursements, please call the budget staff at (804) 225-2025. If you have questions relating to qualifying equipment that may be purchased from the VPSA note proceeds (i.e., hardware, software), please call Richard Schley in the Office of Instructional Technology at (804) 371-6882.

PIW/shd

Attachments:

  1. Series X VPSA Notes Issue Local Grant Allocation (PDF)
  2. Series VI VPSA Notes Issue Local Grant Balances (PDF)
  3. Series VII VPSA Notes Issue Local Grant Balances (PDF)
  4. Series VIII VPSA Notes Issue Local Grant Balances (PDF)
  5. Series IX VPSA Notes Issue Local Grant Balances (PDF)
  6. Series XI VPSA Notes Issue Estimated Local Grant Allocation (PDF)
  7. Sample Reimbursement Resolution (PDF)
  8. SNAP VPSA Technology Notes Withdrawal Instructions (PDF)