COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
June 19, 2015
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The 2015 Appropriation Act included funding for planning grants and start-up grants to assist interested school divisions in planning to establish extended year or year-round school programs or in implementing year-round or extended year programs in support of the findings from the 2012 Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report, Review of Year-Round Schools.
Planning grant funds total $613,312 for divisions or individual schools pursuing the creation of new year-round or extended year school programs. School divisions may apply for planning grants of no more than $50,000 each for the division or individual schools. The Appropriation Act requires priority to be given to schools based on need, relative to the state accreditation ratings or similar federal designations. Applications must include evidence of commitment to pursue implementation in the subsequent (2016-2017) school year. If balances exist in planning grant funds, existing extended school year programs may be eligible to apply for remaining funds or funds may be dispersed as grants to school divisions to support innovative approaches to instructional delivery or school governance models.
Start-Up grant funds total $7,150,000 to implement new extended school year or year-round school programs opening in either the 2015-2016 or 2016-2017 school year. Annual start-up grants of up to $300,000 per extended school year or year-round school may be awarded for a period of up to two years after the initial implementation year. In addition, funds awarded may be spent over two years. The annual per school amount may be up to $400,000 in the case of schools Denied Accreditation. If funds remain after grants have been awarded, funds may be dispersed as grants to school divisions to support innovative approaches to instructional delivery or school governance models.
Recipients of either a planning or start-up grant, except for school divisions with schools in Denied Accreditation status, must provide a twenty percent local match to the state grant amount awarded. In the case of any school division with schools in Denied Accreditation status that apply for funds, the school division must consult with the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee on all recommendations regarding instructional programs or instructional personnel prior to submission to the local board for approval. For the specific budget language regarding planning or start-up grants, see Item 135.R of the 2015 Appropriation Act.
To be considered for selection for either a planning grant or a start-up grant, applicants must submit a complete response addressing all application requirements. You will find links for the instructions and application below. Start-up grant applicants should refer to Attachments A and B, planning grant applicants should refer to Attachments C and D. Attachment E is background information on data that will be collected from all grant recipients for the duration of the grant.
All school divisions applying for either a planning grant or a start-up grant must submit a completed PDF of the relevant application by 5 p.m. July 24, 2015, to the Virginia Department of Education, Division of Instruction, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications that are not received by the deadline may not be considered.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun at Billy.Haun@doe.virginia.gov or 804-225-2034.