Superintendent's Memo #315-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

December 17, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Amendments to the 2010-2012 Biennial Budget as Proposed by Governor McDonnell (HB 1500/SB 800)

Governor McDonnell's proposed amendments to the current 2010-2012 biennial budget (i.e., Chapter 874, 2010 Acts of Assembly) were presented on Friday, December 17, 2010, before a joint session of the Senate Finance, the House Appropriations, and the House Finance committees. The Governor's amendments to the 2010-2012 budget will be considered by the 2011 Session of the General Assembly, which is scheduled to convene on January 12, 2011. The Governor's amendments adjust funding for fiscal year 2011 (current year) and fiscal year 2012. Fiscal year 2011 began on July 1, 2010, and ends June 30, 2011. Fiscal year 2012 begins July 1, 2011, and ends June 30, 2012. The introduced budget bill containing the Governor's amendments is House Bill 1500/Senate Bill 800.

The recommendations made by Governor McDonnell regarding the Direct Aid to Public Education budget include technical updates to the Standards of Quality (SOQ), incentive, categorical, and Lottery funded accounts, along with proposed policy changes. Key recommendations in Governor McDonnell's amended 2010-2012 budget impacting public education funding include:

Attachment A to this memorandum provides detailed information on the funding changes proposed by the Governor for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 that affect the Direct Aid to Public Education budget.

Attachment B to this memorandum lists the estimated state payments (and local matches) for each school division for the SOQ, incentive, categorical, and Lottery funded accounts for fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 based on the Governor's amendments to the 2010-2012 budget. The estimated payments shown in Attachment B are based on the Department of Education's latest projections of March 31 average daily membership (ADM) for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 only. The projected payments shown in Attachment B do not include the direct grants (Financial Assistance for Supplemental Education service area) authorized by the General Assembly that are unique to certain school divisions. Several of the categorical, incentive, and Lottery funded account payments shown in Attachment B are funded on a reimbursement basis and represent the department's latest projected payments; however, final payments on these accounts in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 will be based on actual, eligible reimbursement requests submitted by school divisions.

In addition to the projected payment information contained in Attachment B, a downloadable Excel file has been created to assist school divisions in calculating projected state payments and required local matches in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 for most Direct Aid programs. This file gives divisions the opportunity to change ADM to test the effect on projected state funding and local match requirements using the department's projected ADM or a local projection of ADM. Although we have confidence in the accuracy of our ADM projections on a statewide basis, experience has shown that the accuracy of our projections for individual divisions may vary. When divisions believe that they have more accurate projections of their March 31 ADM, they are encouraged to substitute their estimates for those provided in this memorandum when using the Excel calculation file.

Please note that changing the ADM value in the Excel file only changes the estimated funding for accounts that are funded on the basis of ADM; the estimated funding for all other accounts is unaffected by changing ADM in the Excel file and, therefore, remains the same.

Also note that sales tax estimates in the Excel calculation file are revenue projections only. Actual sales tax payments made to school divisions in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 on a semi-monthly basis will be based on actual sales tax receipts. Pursuant to the appropriation act, the Basic Aid entitlement calculation is based on the estimated sales tax appropriation only and is not adjusted for actual sales tax revenues received.

Attachment C to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the Excel calculation file from the Department of Education Web site. The Excel file may be downloaded from the following Web address:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/budget/calc_tools/index.shtml

It is important to remember that the information provided in Attachment B and in the Excel calculation file relates to the Governor's proposed amendments to the 2010-2012 budget as introduced. The House of Delegates and the Senate will have the opportunity to amend the Governor's budget proposals during the 2011 General Assembly session. The General Assembly will adopt a final amended 2010-2012 biennial budget before the end of the 2011 session, projected to be late February 2011; therefore, the estimated payments contained in Attachment B and in the Excel calculation file are projections only and are subject to change as a result of legislative action by the 2011 General Assembly.

The department will provide additional information during the General Assembly session as changes to the estimated Direct Aid payments occur. After the conclusion of the session, projected payments based on final General Assembly actions will be sent to you in another Superintendent's Memorandum. Please note, the actual fiscal year 2011 payments will not be finalized until they are recomputed using actual March 31, 2011, ADM and other final program participation information. Actual fiscal year 2012 payments will not be finalized until after a similar process is followed next year.

Questions regarding the Governor's proposed amendments to the 2010-2012 budget and the revised estimates of Direct Aid payments for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 may be directed to Kent Dickey, deputy superintendent for finance and operations, or budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.

PIW/bkl

Attachments:

  1. Governor's Amendments to the 2010-2012 Budget (PDF)
  2. Projected State Payments for 2010-2012 Based on the Governor's Proposed Amendments (PDF)
  3. State Payment Calculation Template Instructions (PDF)