Superintendent’s Memo #075-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

March 23, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Payment Program for 2011-2012

The United States Department of Education (USED) has notified the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) that funding will be available for the 2011-2012 Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Test Fee Program grant.  The Virginia Department of Education will submit a proposal to receive funds to reimburse AP/IB test fees for low-income students once the application is made available by USED.  It is anticipated that VDOE will be notified in the spring regarding the status of the funding award.

The purpose of this grant is to increase the participation of low-income students in Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate classes and testing.  While a majority of Virginia’s high schools participate in the Advanced Placement program, some divisions have indicated that they have students who are capable of taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses but cannot afford to take the tests.

USED has indicated that overall funding for the AP and IB Test Fee Program will likely be reduced for 2011-2012.  It appears that funding may be available to reimburse school divisions at least $38 per AP exam and $100 per IB exam for each exam taken by public and private school students qualifying for the College Board or International Baccalaureate fee reduction.  Additionally, USED has indicated it will cap at three, the number of exams that can be subsidized for each low-income student.

Funds provided under this program may be used only to supplement, and not supplant, other federal, state, local, or private funds available to assist individuals identified as low-income students in paying for AP and IB testing.  School divisions that have a program in place that pays test fees for all AP and IB tests are not eligible for this program, since it would constitute supplanting.

To allocate funds that may be awarded to VDOE in spring 2012, VDOE must collect certain data that are required by USED.  These data will be collected in an electronic survey.  To complete the electronic survey, each division must assign a point of contact for the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Payment Program and grant data entry privileges through the Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS).  A copy of the survey is attached to assist with the collection of required information needed to complete the electronic survey.  The electronic survey is available at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do, and will open on Friday, March 23, 2012.  The completed survey is due no later than Friday, April 20, 2012.

Once the electronic data are submitted, the division superintendent or designee must sign the verification form and fax it to Helen Tucker, administrative assistant, at (804) 371-7347 on or before Friday, April 20, 2012.  A copy of this report with original signature must be kept on file locally for audit purposes.

The signed copy must be on file with the Virginia Department of Education confirming that the school division will adhere to the assurances listed.  School divisions cannot receive reimbursements if a signed copy of the assurances (verification report) is not on file with VDOE.

For further information, please contact Becky Marable, Title I coordinator, Office of Program Administration and Accountability, at Rebecca.Marable@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-0044.

PIW/RLM/ht

Attachment:

  1. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Fee Payment Program Survey (Word)