Superintendent’s Memo #114-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 1, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Department of Education Study of Regional Tuition Reimbursement Programs

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is launching a comprehensive study of the Regional Tuition Reimbursement Program for students with disabilities in the Commonwealth as well as how school divisions in Virginia provide services to students with disabilities who require intensive supports.  The purpose of this study is to determine the need, if any, for modifications to current policies and procedure guiding the 11 regional entities presently operating as well as future programs.

The study, which is expected to be completed before November 1, 2015, will include two major elements.  First, in order to define the current status of regional special education tuition reimbursement programs, members of a team conducting this study will analyze existing demographic, programmatic, and financial data; conduct a survey of regional program directors and school division special education directors.

Second, in order to obtain important information about how divisions are currently serving children with disabilities who require intensive supports, team members will survey and conduct on-site visits to school divisions with large and small populations of these students; divisions that claim regional tuition reimbursement; and those that provide services through cooperative arrangements.

It is important to stress that the survey and on-site activities are intended to validate and enrich the extant data which are available at the VDOE.  These activities should not be construed as customary compliance monitoring procedures.

The VDOE staff will provide additional detail through communication with regional and local staff members.  Your cooperation in this important initiative, which is ultimately aimed at improving services to and outcomes of Virginia’s children with disabilities, will be critical to its success and greatly appreciated.

For further information, you may contact Mr. John Eisenberg, assistant superintendent, Office of Special Education and Student Services at (804) 786-8079 or via e-mail at John.Eisenberg@doe.virginia.gov.

SRS/JE