Superintendent's Memo #115-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 22, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: State Direct Aid to Public Education Funds Permitted to be Carried Forward from Fiscal Year 2011 to Fiscal Year 2012

Section 22.1-100, Code of Virginia, requires school divisions to return unexpended state funds to the Commonwealth at the close of each fiscal year.  However, HB1500/SB800, as approved by the 2011 General Assembly and pending approval by the Governor, permits school divisions that have met required local effort and required local match for fiscal year 2011 to carry forward to fiscal year 2012 any remaining state fund balances that are unexpended as of June 30, 2011.  Specifically, the appropriation act language for fiscal year 2011 reads as follows:

“Any locality that has met its required local effort for the Standards of Quality accounts for fiscal year 2011 and that has met its required local match for incentive or Lottery-funded programs in which the locality elected to participate in fiscal year 2011 may carry over into fiscal year 2012 any remaining state Direct Aid to Public Education fund balances available to help minimize any fiscal year 2012 revenue adjustments that may occur in state funding to that locality.  Localities electing to carry forward such unspent state funds must appropriate the funds to the school division for expenditure in fiscal year 2012.”

This language permits school divisions to use carry forward funds to address any revenue shortfall related adjustments in state funding to the locality, regardless of the original purpose of such funds.  The adopted language requires the state carry forward funds to be reappropriated by the local governing body to the school division’s budget for fiscal year 2012.

This provision does not alter the existing requirement that school divisions must spend the fiscal year 2011 required local effort and required local match amounts before the end of fiscal year 2011, which ends on June 30, 2011.

The General Assembly’s adopted budget also permits certain local funds to be carried over into fiscal year 2012 by including the following language:

“Localities are encouraged to allow school boards to carry over any unspent local allocations into the next fiscal year.”

To be eligible to carry forward any local fund balances from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2012, school divisions must meet their required local effort and required local match expenditure obligations in fiscal year 2011.

Please note that the General Assembly also added similar language permitting the carry forward of any remaining state fund balances for fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013.  Additional information regarding this carry forward authority will be provided to school divisions following the conclusion of the 2012 General Assembly session.

The General Assembly’s adopted budget provides separate carry forward authority for the Textbooks account, which reads as follows:

“Any funds provided to school divisions for textbook costs that are unexpended as of June 30, 2011, or June 30, 2012, shall be carried on the books of the locality to be appropriated to the school division the following year to be used for same purpose.”

For a school division to carry forward any portion of their state or local funds for textbooks to the next fiscal year, the division must first meet all required local effort and required local match obligations in the current fiscal year.  If a division meets these requirements without spending all or a portion of its local matching funds for Textbooks (i.e., they meet their required local effort and required local match in other categories of expenditures), then the division is permitted to carry forward both the state and local shares of Textbooks funding.

Please note that the School Construction Grants account was not funded in fiscal year 2011; therefore, school divisions are not eligible to make deposits to escrow accounts that were previously permitted for such grants pursuant to Section 22.1-175.5, Code of Virginia.  No other sources of state funds may be deposited to such an escrow account in fiscal year 2011 pursuant to Section 22.1-175.5.

Furthermore, school divisions are not eligible to make deposits to the Lottery Proceeds Nonrecurring Costs escrow account in fiscal year 2011 previously permitted by Section 22.1-100.1, Code of Virginia, since the Additional Support for School Construction and Operating Cost account was not funded in fiscal year 2011.  No other sources of state funds may be deposited to the Lottery Proceeds Nonrecurring Costs escrow account in fiscal year 2011 pursuant to Section 22.1-100.1.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Kent Dickey, deputy superintendent for finance and operations, or budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.

PIW/shd