COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
September 10, 2010
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The federal Education Jobs Fund legislation was signed into law on August 10, 2010. The final legislation (H.R. 1586; P.L. 111-226) is available at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1586enr.txt.pdf. The law provides $10 billion nationally for an Education Jobs Fund, with provisions similar to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The primary purpose of the Education Jobs Fund legislation is to provide additional funding to states for the support of local teacher (and other school-level personnel) salary and related costs at the early childhood, elementary, and secondary school levels. As these funds are available on a one-time basis only, it is critical that local planning for the use of the funds reflect this one-time availability.
The purpose of this communication is to restate the requirements of the Education Jobs Fund program and to announce the school division allocations pending approval of the application by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). Virginia’s application for funding has been submitted to USED and is pending approval. Based on the anticipated timeline for USED approval of the application, it is expected that Virginia will be awarded its Education Jobs Fund grant by October 1, 2010. School divisions will be notified in another communication of the final application approval and receipt of the grant award, at which time the local allocations will be available for draw down.
The following is a summary of key provisions and requirements of the Education Jobs Fund legislation and application process:
USED issued initial guidance on the Education Jobs Fund on August 13, 2010. This guidance is provided as Attachment A to this memorandum. Please review this guidance carefully. School divisions are permitted to use their Education Jobs Fund allocations to recall or rehire former employees, retain existing employees, and hire new employees that provide school-level services regardless of where they are housed. For example, an employee’s office may be in the division’s central office, but if the employee provides school-level services as his or her primary job function, the position would qualify for funding. However, using the funds for general division-level administration is not allowable. Employees supported by the Education Jobs Fund must be employees of the division or contractual employees of another school division, but not external contractors or consultants not employed by an LEA. For more information on the qualifying uses of funds, see Section D of the attached guidance document.
Based on Virginia’s application, funding must be distributed to school divisions on the basis of the “primary elementary and secondary formula(e)” as identified in Virginia’s approved application for funding under the SFSF program (i.e., Direct Aid formulas). Consequently, school division allocations will be based on a pro rata share of each school divisions’ fiscal year 2011 state share of Direct Aid to Public Education funding as appropriated in the Chapter 874, 2010 Acts of Assembly, budget. State funding for regional Governor’s schools and regional alternative education programs budgeted to each program’s fiscal agent has been prorated back to the participating school divisions prior to the calculation of the Education Jobs Fund allocations. Attachment B to this memorandum provides the LEA distributions of Virginia's allocation of $249.5 million from the Education Jobs Fund based on this allocation methodology, excluding each division’s pro rata share of the $71,008 set aside for VDOE administrative costs.
Divisions are not required to submit an LEA application if they have submitted their SFSF LEA application, which all LEAs in Virginia have done. The emphasis is on using the funds during the 2010-2011 school year, but any balances of funds may be obligated by divisions through September 30, 2012. Funds will be available on a reimbursement basis through the Online Management of Education Grant Awards (OMEGA) application, VDOE's Web-based grant application and reimbursement system, to reimburse qualifying expenses incurred on or after August 10, 2010 (date of enactment).
Once VDOE receives the grant award from USED, LEA allocations will be loaded into OMEGA. In OMEGA, each division’s allocation will be initially distributed 75 percent to salaries (federal object code 1000) and 25 percent to fringe benefits (federal object code 2000). If a division needs to make changes to the initial distribution, a budget transfer will be necessary in OMEGA. Questions related to the OMEGA system should be directed to OMEGA support at (804) 371-0993 or by e-mail at Omega.Support@doe.virginia.gov. Like other federal funds, the funds must be separately tracked and accounted for locally, and the funds will be subject to the reporting requirements under Section 1512 of ARRA (i.e., jobs reporting, description of expenditures, etc.) as well as specific annual reporting to be determined by USED (likely to include details on the number of local positions impacted by the funding). Please note that VDOE will include these funds in the LEA monitoring process to be conducted for ARRA funds.
Questions regarding the Education Jobs Fund may be directed to Kent C. Dickey, deputy superintendent for finance and operations, or budget office staff at (804) 225-2025 or by e-mail (e-mail addresses available in the Finance Directory). In addition, a page has been created on the VDOE Web site containing guidance and information on the Education Jobs Fund program at: www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/ed_jobs_fund/index.shtml.