May 12, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, 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 2018

Due Date: June 15, 2017

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 Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) must follow if a county, city, or town fails to appropriate sufficient local funding to support the SOQ.  The amended 2016-2018 budget adopted by the 2017 General Assembly (Chapter 836), directs VDOE 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 the amended 2016-2018 budget adopted by the 2017 General Assembly (Chapter 836) requires VDOE to ensure that school divisions have appropriated sufficient local funds to meet required local effort for the mandatory SOQ programs and 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 annually to VDOE their intent to participate in these optional Incentive and Lottery-funded programs.  Division superintendents must also certify that adequate local funds have been appropriated, above the required local effort for the Standards of Quality, to support the projected required local match for the Lottery and Incentive programs in which the school division has elected to participate.  The VDOE is required to make calculations after the close of the fiscal year to verify that the required local match was met based on state funds that were received.  Attachment A (PDF) to this memorandum provides the complete language for the referenced Code of Virginia and appropriation act sections.

The fiscal year 2018 Budgeted Required Local Effort and Required Local Match (RLERLM) data collection application is accessed through the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) portal.  The submission process will be discussed in more detail below.  Attachment C (XLS) contains the projected fiscal year 2018 required local effort and required local match (by account) amounts for each division based on the Chapter 836 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 for the SOQ and the required local match for Incentive and Lottery-funded accounts in which you elect to participate in fiscal year 2018. 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 the release of state funds, and certifications indicating that the requirements will be met will continue to be collected as in previous years.

Included in this attachment are the most up-to-date lists of qualifying schools for Reading Specialists and Math/Reading Instructional Specialists initiatives.  These lists serve as the basis for which divisions are eligible to participate in these initiatives for fiscal year 2018.  These lists were developed after the 2017 General Assembly approved its budget and are not reflected in the projected required local match for fiscal year 2018.  Updated required local match calculations will be included in the Governor’s budget in the fall reflecting division participation in these two programs for fiscal year 2018.

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 application is accessed through the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) portal.  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 into 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 for fiscal year 2018.  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 in fiscal year 2018.   

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, must 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 (PDF) to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the RLERLM application in SSWS and submitting the signed certification forms to VDOE. 

The data submission and the signed certification forms are due to VDOE no later than June 15, 2017.

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 2017-2018 Annual School Report after the end of fiscal year 2018.  Because school divisions will only initially certify to VDOE 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 Calculation Template that is provided by VDOE periodically during the course of the school year.  The Calculation Templates can be downloaded from the following location, and are updated as changes occur throughout the state budget cycle (i.e., 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 2018 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 this data submission or the accompanying instructions, please contact the Budget Office at (804) 225-2025 or email at DOEBUDGETOFFICE@doe.virginia.gov.

SRS/eml

Attachments:

  1. Relevant RLE and RLM Legal Citations (PDF)
  2. Instructions for Completing the 2017-2018 RLERLM Data Collection (PDF)
  3. Projected FY 2018 SOQ RLE and Optional RLM Amounts Based on the Amended 2016-2018 Budget Adopted by the 2017 General Assembly (Chapter 836) and List of Qualifying Schools for Reading Specialists and Math/Reading Instructional Specialists (XLS)