P. O. BOX 2120
April 30, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Use of VPSA School Equipment Financing Notes Educational Technology Issue VI
Chapter  935, 1999 Virginia Acts of Assembly (the 1998-
2000 Appropriation Act) authorizes the Virginia Public 
School Authority to conduct an education technology 
grant program in the spring of the year 2000.  The total 
value of bond proceeds available through this program 
will be $64 million.  The program will focus on four of 
the major components of the Board of Education's Six-
Year Educational Technology Plan.  These components 

$50 million for:
a) retrofitting and upgrading existing school 
buildings to use educational technology 
b) providing network-ready multimedia microcomputers 
for every classroom;
c) providing a 5 to 1 ratio of pupils to network-ready 
microcomputers; and

$14 million for:
d) replacement of administrative and student 
management and information systems supporting data 
requirements associated with the Standards of 
Accreditation in school divisions lacking adequate 

Grants for the three components (a through c),technology 
hardware, will be based on an average grant of $26,000 
per school.  Award amounts for the fourth component (d), 
administrative systems, will be calculated when the 
eligibility status of each school in the state has been 

For all four components of the spring 2000 Technology 
Grant Program, localities are required to provide a 
match equal to 20 percent of all grant amounts (the 
total of grant amounts for components a through d).  At 
least 25 percent of the local match shall be used for 
teacher training in the use of technology.

The following sections provide additional information 
relating to the eligibility and program requirements for 
educational technology and replacement of administrative 
and student management and information systems, and the 
ability to reimburse local divisions for purchases made 
prior to the sale of the spring 2000 equipment notes. 
Request for reimbursement forms for the 2000 program 
will be provided later. Please note that expenses 
relating to training, lease-purchase payments, or 
independent consultants do not qualify for 


Components a, b, and c - Technology Hardware ($50 

It is important to remember that the primary purpose of 
this portion of the educational technology program is to 
provide for  (1) networking, retrofitting, and upgrade 
of school buildings, (2) network-ready multimedia 
microcomputers for classrooms, and (3) network-ready 
microcomputers for student use.  Substantial progress 
toward meeting these priorities must be demonstrated.

The proceeds of the notes for this portion of the 
program must be used primarily for capital purchases.   
This requirement is necessary to ensure that on a 
division-wide basis a balance is maintained between the 
equipment and related software purchased so that the 
useful life of all purchases exceeds the life of the 
equipment notes.  For example, software may have a 
useful life of one year, while a multimedia computer may 
have a useful life of seven years.  Given those factors, 
it will be necessary for a division to spend $13 on 
hardware for every $1 of software purchased.  In 
addition, software can be purchased only if it meets all 
of the following criteria:

a) It must be an integral part of the equipment 
which is being purchased with the proceeds.  
That is, it must be necessary for the equipment 
to be used for the intended purpose.  For 
instance, if equipment is being purchased for 
networking purposes, some software is necessary 
for the network to be used as planned.  That 
software may be purchased with these proceeds.  
In addition, if the equipment is to be used in 
the classroom for instructional purposes, some 
instructional software will be required for the 
equipment to be used effectively.  Again, 
software of that type may be purchased; and,

b) The software being purchased must have a useful 
life of more than one year; and,

c) The software must be included in the approved 
local technology plan.


Component d - Administrative Systems ($14 million)

The purpose of this portion of the spring 2000 
technology program is to update school division 
administrative and student information management 
systems for eligible school divisions. This program is 
primarily for Student Information System software at the 
school and/or central office; however, hardware to 
support the software is permissible. Purchased software 
and hardware must meet the following criteria:

a) The software must replace an outdated existing 
Student Information System such as the Columbia 

b) The software must enable the school division to 
meet the data requirements of the Standards of 

c) Purchased hardware must be used to run the 
student information system software.

Grants for the administrative systems program will be 
awarded based on the eligibility status of individual 
schools and school divisions. Information requested in 
Attachment B will be used to determine the extent of a 
school's or division's eligibility for and interest in 
this program. Eligibility will be determined by whether 
or not a particular school uses the Columbia system 
purchased by the DOE, the age of the system in use in a 
given school, and the ability of the school's student 
information system to meet the data requirements of the 
Standards of Accreditation. Individual award amounts 
will be calculated when the eligibility status of each 
school in the state has been determined. Since 
eligibility will be determined from statewide 
information, school divisions must complete and return 
all pages of Attachment B, whether or not they wish to 
participate in this program.


Educational Technology and Administrative Systems

Local school divisions may replace or make purchases 
related to components a through d (above) prior to the 
sale of the spring 2000 equipment notes, and use the 
proceeds to reimburse themselves.  However, prior to 
paying for those purchases, the local school board must 
state its intention to use the proceeds of the equipment 
notes to reimburse that payment.  This must be done 
through a resolution adopted by the local school board.  
A sample resolution is provided as Attachment A to this 
memorandum.  Please note that localities may not 
reimburse themselves for project- related expenditures 
incurred more than 60 days prior to the adoption of the 

If you have questions relating to the financing or 
determination of qualifying reimbursements under federal 
or state law, please call Mrs. June Eanes, Budget 
Director, or Brian Logwood, Education Finance 
Specialist, at (804) 225-2025.  Questions relating to 
the technology program or the items that may be 
purchased from these proceeds should be directed to Lan 
Neugent, Assistant Superintendent, Technology, at (804) 


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