COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
April 24, 2015
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Virginia Preschool Initiative provides programs for at-risk four-year-old children that include quality preschool education, health services, social services, parental involvement, and transportation. Programs must provide services for the entire school year and must operate on a half-day or full-day schedule. Programs operating half-day will receive state funds prorated at 50 percent. For a new program in the first year of implementation only, a program operating less than a full school year will receive state funds on a fractional basis determined by the pro rata portion of the school year the program is provided.
The program guidelines are available at the following Web site:
Application and Data Submission
School divisions must submit the data and application through the Virginia Department of Education’s Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS) portal. Access to the VPI application in the SSWS portal should be requested through the school division’s SSWS account manager. Instructions are available in Attachment A. School divisions that are eligible and choose to participate will also submit budget and program summary information.
All school divisions, regardless of participation, are required to submit the data in SSWS and the division superintendent must certify electronically in SSWS that the data is correct by May 15, 2015. Please contact your local finance office to determine eligibility status. You can also reference Attachment B of Superintendent’s Memorandum No. 046-15, dated February 27, 2015. Attachment B can be accessed at the following link:
It is anticipated that state funds for the program will be distributed based on an allocation formula providing the state share based on each division’s composite index capped at 0.5000 of $6,000 per child for 100 percent of the estimated unserved at-risk four-year-olds in each locality as projected by the Virginia Department of Education. The projected local distribution of state funds for each locality for school year 2015-2016 is included in the “Budget Calculator” section of the application. This section provides the estimated formula-driven entitlement available to each locality. If the locality chooses to serve fewer children than the total number allocated by formula, insert the local projected number of children to be served in the calculator in the “Local Projection” fields. The projected state and local shares of cost will automatically be recomputed for your information.
In the event the 2015-2016 funding allocations change from those shown in the application due to final state budget actions affecting fiscal year 2016, updated information will be provided to you when it becomes available.
The cost for Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) materials and access to the PALS Online Score Entry and Reporting System is an allowable expense in the local VPI budget. The PALS office Web site can be found at: http://pals.virginia.edu.
The Virginia Department of Education is also providing notice in this program application regarding the potential of availability of funding for supplemental grants that may be used for one-time expenses, other than capital, related to start-up or expansion of the VPI program. All requirements of the VPI program must be met. Further information regarding the exact amount of funds available and the application requirements will be provided after the Fall Verification Report is submitted that verifies actual funds used.
If you have program questions, please contact Cheryl Strobel, associate director, early childhood education, at (804) 371-7578 or Cheryl.Strobel@doe.virginia.gov. Budget questions should be directed to the budget office at (804) 225-2025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.