Superintendent’s Memo #186-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

July 16, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Release of July 1, 2013 School-age Population Estimates Used to Distribute Fiscal Year 2016 Sales Tax Revenues and Estimate Review Process

Pursuant to Section 58.1-638, Code of Virginia, the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia has prepared the July 1, 2013, school-age population estimates.  These estimates will be used to update the fiscal year 2016 sales tax revenue distribution estimates to school divisions for the Governor’s proposed amendments to the 2014-2016 biennial budget, to be released in December 2014.  Fiscal year 2016 funding distributions based on the July 1, 2013, school-age population estimates will not be released until the Governor’s budget release in December 2014.  Please note that the distribution of actual sales tax receipts to school divisions on a semi-monthly basis in fiscal year 2016 will be based on this same data.

The sales tax revenue distribution for fiscal year 2015 will continue to be based on the previously released July 1, 2012, school-age population estimates; please see Superintendent’s Memo No. 179-13.  For more information, please go to http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2013/179-13.shtml

Weldon Cooper Center School-Age Population Estimates as of July 1, 2013

A data file containing the July 1, 2013, school-age population estimate for each division (including the special education counts) and a document providing an overview of the methodology used by the Weldon Cooper Center in producing the estimates have been posted on the Weldon Cooper Center’s Web site at: http://www.coopercenter.org/demographics/school-age-population-estimates.  The availability of the estimates was announced to local governments via the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and the Virginia Association of Counties (VACO).

Weldon Cooper Center’s estimates of school-age population (5- to 19-year-olds) as of July 1, 2013, utilize U.S. Census Bureau population estimates as of July 1, 2013, with adjustments, as required by the Code, to account for 18- and 19-year-olds living at a college or on a military base outside the locality where their parents/guardians reside.  Pursuant to Section 58.1-638 D., the Department of Education added the number of special education students (ages 2 through 4 and 20 through 21) as reported on the December 1, 2013, special education child count to the Weldon Cooper Center’s estimates.  The Weldon Cooper Center provides a full description of their estimation methodology on their Web site as indicated above.

Weldon Cooper Center Review Process

The July 1, 2013, school-age population estimates are open to review and inquiry until September 30, 2014. School divisions and localities may inquire about a revision to their estimates provided certain criteria as established by the Weldon Cooper Center are met.

To participate in the review process, division and locality representatives should review their school-age population estimates, the methodology documents, and the Review/Inquiry Process description, available on the Weldon Cooper Center Web site at: http://www.coopercenter.org/demographics/school-age-population-estimates.

School division and locality representatives are urged to initiate the review and inquiry process (if any of the conditions for revision are met) by contacting the Weldon Cooper Center as soon as possible so that additional considerations are submitted by the conclusion of the process on September 30, 2014.  After this date, the estimates will be considered final and will be used in fiscal year 2016 to allocate to divisions the one and one-eighth percent state sales and use tax dedicated to public education.

The Weldon Cooper Center contact for questions is:

Shonel Sen, Research and Policy Analyst
Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service
University of Virginia
434-982-5861
e-mail: shonel.sen@virginia.edu

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