Superintendent's Memo #129-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 29, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

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

The Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) is conducting the eleventh sale of equipment notes, Series XI.  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.  The goal of the education technology grant program is to improve the instructional, remedial, and testing capabilities of the SOL in local school divisions and to increase the number of schools achieving full accreditation.  Proceeds of the Series XI notes are provided to:

  1. Establish a computer-based instructional and testing system for the SOL;

  2. Develop the capability for high speed Internet connectivity at high schools followed by middle schools and then in elementary schools; and

  3. Administer 100 percent of high school SOL tests online by fiscal year 2011, 100 percent of middle school SOL tests online by fiscal year 2012, and 100 percent of elementary school SOL tests online by fiscal year 2013. 

School divisions are required to use the Series XI 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.

In addition, for purposes of establishing or enhancing a computer-based instructional program supporting the SOL testing system, school divisions may use these grant 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 on-line testing requirements outlined above.
 
Attachment A to this memorandum lists the estimated local grant allocations for the Series XI VPSA note issue.  These estimated allocations are based on the 2011 General Assembly’s amendments to the 2010-2012 biennial budget, which were adopted on February 27, 2011.  Grants to school divisions for the Series XI 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, 2010, as well as 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.  Schools that serve only pre-kindergarten students are not eligible for this grant.

Eligibility for Supplemental Grants

Beginning in fiscal year 2011, Chapter 874, 2010 Appropriation Act, provides supplemental grants of $26,000 from the VPSA technology notes to eligible divisions to support schools that are not fully accredited.  School divisions may apply for a three year supplemental grant of $26,000 for each qualifying school that administers SOL tests in Spring 2010 and that are not fully accredited based on school accreditation ratings in effect for fiscal year 2011.  School divisions may also apply for a three year supplemental grant of $26,000 for each qualifying school that administers SOL tests in Spring 2011 and that are not fully accredited based on school accreditation ratings in effect for fiscal year 2012.  However, eligible schools may only receive a three-year supplemental grant one time.  Additional information on the schools that qualify for these additional funds are included in Attachments A and F.

School divisions are required to use these supplemental grants first for the purpose of developing and maintaining capacity to support 100 percent online SOL testing of all students in qualifying schools and helping the schools achieve full accreditation with the assistance of targeted technology-based interventions.  Any purchase of technology-based interventions with supplemental grant funds must be qualifying expenses under the technology notes program.  Eligibility for these funds requires divisions to submit an application and plan that includes goals, objectives, strategies, and a timeline for implementation.  Division plans must be reviewed and approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction prior to disbursement of the supplemental grant funds.  Additional information regarding the application and components of the required plan will be provided to qualifying school divisions in May 2011.

Local Match Requirements

Localities are required to provide a match of funds equal to 20 percent of the total grant amount, provided to the school division, including the supplemental grants.  At least 25 percent of the local match must be used for teacher training in the use of this technology.  The Superintendent of Public Instruction is authorized to reduce the required local match for school divisions with a composite index below 0.2000.  The School for the Deaf and Blind is not required to provide a 20 percent match to their grant amount.

School divisions that administer 100 percent of SOL tests online in all elementary, middle, and high schools may use up to 75 percent of their required local match to purchase targeted technology-based interventions.  Such interventions may include the necessary technology and software to support online learning, technology-based content systems, content management systems, technology equipment systems, information/data management systems, and other appropriate technologies that support the individual needs of learners.  School divisions that receive supplemental grants and who already give 100 percent of their SOL tests online, should give first priority to purchasing these technology-based interventions as well as teacher training in the use of the interventions from their required local match.

Reimbursement Process

The VPSA is planning to sell the spring 2011 Educational Technology Notes, Series XI, on or around May 3, 2011, and to close on the notes transaction on May 19, 2011.  Proceeds of the Series XI notes will be made available for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures to localities following the scheduled closing on May 19, 2011.
 
There are a limited number of business days between the notes issuance date and the end of fiscal year 2011.  Therefore, to ensure sufficient time to process the requests for payment, reimbursements that need to be received by school divisions by June 30, 2011, must be received by the Department of Education electronically and the original signature page sent to the Department by June 15, 2011.  Please note that no requests for reimbursement may be processed until the note proceeds have officially been issued.

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 XI 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 XI 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 XI 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 XI reimbursement request form is a downloadable Excel template.  This file is available on the Department of Education’s Web site at:
 
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/edu_technology_notes/index.shtml

The Series XI 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 XI notes issue must be made using the above-referenced Series XI 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 XI notes will be approved until all of the division’s grant allocations from notes Series VII (Spring 2007), Series VIII (Spring 2008), Series IX (Spring 2009), and Series X (Spring 2010) are fully drawn down.  Please see Attachments B, C, D, and E to this memorandum that provide the Series VII, VIII, IX, and X allocation balances, respectively, for each school division and regional program. 

Attachment H to this memo provides the SNAP VPSA Technology Notes Withdrawal Instructions form.  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.  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 Brad Lamb, 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 Brad Lamb of SNAP at 1-800-570-SNAP.

Proceeds from the Series VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI 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 VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI 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 Web site 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 XI requests for reimbursement using the Series XI 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 XI reimbursement request form and your signed hardcopy Series XI form with each certification initialed.

Educational Technology Notes, Series X (Spring 2010):
 
As initially announced in Superintendent's Memo #110-10, dated May 7, 2010, the Series X notes were sold by the VPSA in May 2010.  Proceeds of the Series X notes were available to school divisions for reimbursement of qualifying expenditures on and after the closing date of May 20, 2010.  For grant allocations of Series X VPSA notes, see Attachment A to Superintendent's Memo #110-10, dated May 7, 2010.  No reimbursement requests for the Series XI notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VII, VIII, IX, and X proceeds are spent.  Attachment E to this memorandum provides the status of the Series X grant balances.
 
For divisions and regional programs that have not completed reimbursement of expenditures from the Series X VPSA notes, the procedures outlined in Superintendent's Memo #110-10, dated May 7, 2010, should be followed and the Series X reimbursement request form should be used.  The Series X 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 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.  No reimbursement requests for the Series X or Series XI notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VII, VIII and IX proceeds are spent.  Attachment D 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 Web site 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.  No reimbursement requests for the Series IX, Series X or Series XI notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VII and VIII proceeds are spent.  Attachment C 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.  No reimbursement requests for the Series VIII, Series IX, Series X or Series XI notes will be approved until the division’s Educational Technology Notes Series VII proceeds are spent.  Attachment B 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
 
Please note that the Department of Education has set a deadline of April 1, 2012, to complete all reimbursements from the Series VII notes.  Series VII note proceeds allocated to school divisions and regional programs that have not been reimbursed from SNAP by April 1, 2012, will be used by the Department of Treasury to pay debt service on the notes and will no longer be available to reimburse the school divisions and regional programs.  In order to accomplish all reimbursements by the April 1, 2012, deadline, requests for reimbursement from the Series VII proceeds must be received by the department electronically and the original signature page sent to the department, as indicated below, by March 15, 2012, to ensure sufficient time to process the requests. 

Educational Technology Notes, Series XII (Spring 2012):
 
The 2010-2012 biennial budget (House Bill 1500/Senate Bill 800, adopted by the 2011 General Assembly on February 27, 2011) includes funding to continue the educational technology notes program in fiscal year 2012 with debt service paid through the Literary Fund.  The General Assembly-adopted budget includes Virginia Public Schools Authority (VPSA) equipment notes totaling approximately $57.2 million in fiscal year 2012 to be issued in the spring of 2012. 
 
The fiscal year 2012 budget maintains grant amounts at $26,000 per eligible school (for K-12 schools reporting fall membership as of September 30, 2011, as well as 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) and $50,000 per school division.  The fiscal year 2012 budget also maintains the supplemental grants of $26,000 from the VPSA technology notes to eligible divisions to support schools that are not fully accredited.

All program requirements for the Series XII notes, including the qualifying schools, eligibility for supplemental grants, qualifying use of proceeds, local matching requirements and the reimbursement process are all the same as the Series XI notes described above.  The Series XII notes are also provided in support of the SOL on-line testing requirements to administer 100 percent of high school SOL tests online by fiscal year 2011, 100 percent of middle school SOL tests online by fiscal year 2012, and 100 percent of elementary school SOL tests online by fiscal year 2013.
 
The fiscal year 2012 budget updates the number of schools eligible for funding under the VPSA technology grants.  Funding to school divisions for the VPSA technology grant program was increased by $182,000 in fiscal year 2012 based on an anticipated increase in the number of reported schools in fiscal year 2012.  Attachment F to this memorandum lists the estimated local grant allocations for the Series XII note issue.

School divisions that have spent all of their Series VII, Series VIII, Series IX, Series X, and Series XI note proceeds and that have adopted a reimbursement resolution for the Series XII (Spring 2012) notes issue may make purchases in support of the SOL Web-based Technology Initiative to be reimbursed from Series XII 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 2012.  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 office 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/lmf

Attachments:

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