Superintendent’s Memo #135-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 22, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Certification of Adequate Funds Budgeted to Meet Required Local Effort for the Standards of Quality and Local Match Requirements for Certain State Funds in Fiscal Year 2014

Due Date: June 15, 2013

Section 22.1-94, Code of Virginia, requires local governing bodies to appropriate funds to school divisions that are sufficient to maintain an educational program that meets the Standards of Quality (SOQ).  Section 22.1-97, Code of Virginia, sets forth the procedure that the Department of Education (DOE) must follow if a county, city, or town fails to appropriate sufficient local funding to support the SOQ.  Chapter 806, 2013 Acts of Assembly, directs DOE to follow certain procedures for calculating required local effort as well as procedures to follow if a school division does not spend the required state and local shares for the SOQ.

In addition to procedures for calculating required local effort for the SOQ, Item 139 of Chapter 806, 2013 Acts of Assembly, requires DOE to ensure that school divisions have appropriated sufficient local funds to meet required local matches for optional Incentive and Lottery-funded programs in which they have elected to participate.  The appropriation act requires school divisions to certify to DOE their intent to participate in these optional Incentive and Lottery-funded programs for fiscal year 2014 by July 1, 2013, and requires that DOE ensure that sufficient local funds have been appropriated before releasing state funds for these programs.  Attachment A to this memorandum provides the complete language for the referenced Code and appropriation act sections.  Please note that for fiscal year 2014, Chapter 806, 2013 Acts of Assembly, requires school divisions to report their intention to participate in the Compensation Supplement program by June 15, 2013.  Because of this additional reporting requirement for fiscal year 2014, school divisions are asked to complete the certification of adequate funds budgeted to meet required local effort for the Standards of Quality and local match requirements for optional Incentive and Lottery-funded programs by June 15, 2013.

Due to changes approved by the 2013 General Assembly, the fiscal year 2014 Budgeted Required Local Effort and Required Local Match (RLERLM) data collection has been streamlined compared to the data collection process of previous years.  The Excel portion of the submission process has been eliminated and the new submission process consists only of data entry in the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) application.  This single submission process will be discussed in more detail below.  Division superintendents will now only be required to certify that adequate funds have been budgeted to meet the financial requirements of required local effort for mandatory Standards of Quality programs and the local match requirements for optional Incentive and Lottery-funded programs.  Attachment C contains the projected fiscal year 2014 required local effort and required local match (by account) amounts for each division based on the Chapter 806 budget, as well as the projected state share of funding for each optional Incentive and Lottery-funded program.  This data is provided for your information as you certify required local effort and the required local match accounts in which you elect to participate in fiscal year 2014. Most programs with a required local match have additional eligibility requirements to ensure that school divisions qualify for state funding.  These additional eligibility requirements must be met prior to authorization of state funds, and will continue to be collected as in previous years.

Please note the 2013 General Assembly also approved changes to the required local effort for mandatory Standards of Quality programs.  Beginning with fiscal year 2014, the SOL Algebra Readiness program and the Early Reading Intervention program are now included as part of the required local effort for mandatory Standards of Quality programs, and are no longer included as  optional Incentive and Lottery-funded programs.  The local match requirements for these two programs are now included as part of the required local effort total referenced in Section I of the RLERLM data collection and shown in Attachment C.

Please note that each jointly-operated school division (Fairfax County and Fairfax City, Greensville County and Emporia City, and James City County and Williamsburg City) must submit separate certifications for each locality.

RLERLM Data Collection

The RLERLM data collection will be completed using the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) application.  Each division will log in to the SSWS site using the following address:

https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do.

After successfully logging in to the RLERLM application in SSWS, instructions will be provided to complete Sections I and II of the data submission.  Section I will provide the ability for each division to certify whether or not it has adequate local funds budgeted to meet the required local effort for mandatory Standards of Quality programs.  Section II will provide the ability for each division to opt-in or opt-out of Incentive and Lottery-funded programs that require a local match for participation in the applicable programs.

Once a division has successfully completed Sections I and II in the RLERLM application in SSWS, the certification forms for each program will be made available in SSWS.  A hard copy of each certification form, including the required local effort form, should be signed by the division superintendent and then mailed to the following address:

Virginia Department of Education
Attention:  Budget Office
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

Attachment B to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the RLERLM application in SSWS and submitting the signed certification forms to DOE.

The data submission and the signed certification forms are due to DOE no later than June 15, 2013.

Please note that the final determination of each school division’s status regarding required local effort for mandatory Standards of Quality programs and required local match for Incentive and Lottery-funded programs will be made on the basis of actual expenditures with the submission of the 2013-2014 Annual School Report after the end of fiscal year 2014.  Because school divisions, beginning with fiscal year 2014, will only initially certify to DOE their status regarding required local effort and required local match, division superintendents and finance officials should consistently monitor their financial obligations regarding these programs with each available Calculation Template that is provided by DOE periodically during the course of the school year.  The Calculation Templates can be retrieved from the following location, and are updated as changes occur throughout the state budget cycle (e.g., the Governor’s introduced budget, General Assembly updates, and final enacted budget):

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

Superintendents of school divisions whose local appropriations for fiscal year 2014 are only slightly in excess of the amount required to maintain local effort for the SOQ are requested to review their average daily membership (ADM) totals monthly.  These superintendents must request additional local funding from the local governing body whenever changes in ADM increase the amount of required local effort beyond what has been appropriated by the local governing body.

If you have questions about the data submission or the accompanying instructions, please contact the budget office at (804) 225-2025.

PIW/dem

Attachments:

  1. Relevant RLE and RLM Legal Citations (PDF)
  2. Instructions for Completing the 2013-2014 RLERLM Data Collection (PDF)
  3. Projected FY 2014 SOQ RLE and Optional RLM Amounts Based on Chapter 806 (PDF)