P. O. BOX 2120
October 2, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Application for Special Education Capacity Building Grantsu (Sliver Funds)

 Background and Purpose of  Sliver' Funds

  In years when the federal appropriation to states
  increases at a rate greater than inflation, the
  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  requires states to reserve the amount above the rate of
  inflation to make subgrants to local education agencies
  (LEAs).  The subgrants are to assist LEAs in providing
  direct services and in making systemic change to improve
  results for children with disabilities.  The State
  Education Agency (SEA) may establish priorities in
  awarding these subgrants to LEAs competitively or on a
  targeted basis.  The purpose of the subgrants, as
  distinguished from flow-through funds, is to provide
  funding that the SEA can direct to address particular
  needs not readily addressed through the use of
  flow-through funds.  The SEA may direct the use of these
  funds to promote innovation, capacity-building, and
  systemic changes that are needed to improve educational

  As a result of the increase in the federal appropriation
  for the 1998-99 school year, the Virginia Department of
  Education (DOE) is expected to reserve $3.8 million under
  this IDEA  sliver' provision.  Of that amount, $400,000
  will be used to continue several important initiatives
  such as subgrants for education interpreter training and
  assistive technology.  The remaining $3.4 million is
  being offered to school divisions and state- operated
  programs as subgrants to assist them in improving their
  programs within the context of the performance goals and
  indicators of Virginia's State Improvement Plan for
  Special Education (SIP), a copy of which is attached.

  Application Process

  LEAs and state-operated programs (SOPs) may apply for
  these  sliver' grants for the 1998-99 school year, and
  the awarded funds may be carried over until September 30,
  2000.  Each LEA and SOP has been allocated an amount
  equal to $11.95 per special education pupil, with $5,000
  minimum if less than 50 pupils are served, and $20,000
  minimum if 50 or more pupils are served. The list of
  allocations is attached.  Several other reference
  documents are also enclosed, and include:

     ~    Partial list of other programs in many school
          divisions which could potentially serve as
          collaborative partners for integrating
          strategies and funding
     ~    Resource bibliography (materials not reviewed
          for endorsement by DOE)
     ~    A Handbook for Creating Smart Schools (not
          reviewed for endorsement)

  Completed applications for these funds must be received
  by 5 p.m. December 1, 1998.  Any allocations not applied
  for will be added proportionately to the allocations of
  LEAs/SOPs that do apply.  Two or more LEAs/SOPs may
  combine their allocations and submit a joint application,
  provided a single LEA/SOP is designated as fiscal agent
  for the grant.  Mail completed applications to:

     John Mitchell, Associate Director
     Office of Special Education and Student Services
     Virginia Department of Education
     P. O. Box 2120
     Richmond, VA   23218-2120

  For questions or assistance, contact John Mitchell via e-mail
  at or by phone at (804) 225-2704.


  Attachment:  A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will
               be sent to the superintendent's office.