P. O. BOX 2120
August 20, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Change in Compulsory School Attendance Learnfare) 
Procedures in the Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families (TANF) Program

The Department of Social Services has notified my staff of 
an impending change in the TANF Learnfare procedures.  
Learnfare is a requirement of the TANF Program (formerly 
the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program) that 
ties school attendance to eligibility for cash assistance.  
The school divisions' role is to identify and report truant 
TANF children to the local department of social services. 

Currently, school divisions can identify these children by 
accessing a TANF database via an electronic bulletin board 
system (BBS).  Under the new procedure, the same data will 
be available but will be transmitted at the beginning of 
each month by e-mail.  The new process is expected to be up 
and running sometime in October.  

In order to complete the new process, the Department of 
Social Services has requested that each school division 
superintendent designate a Learnfare coordinator to whom 
the data will be sent.  The coordinator will complete and 
return the attached form, providing contact information.  
The person assigned this responsibility must have access to 
a computer which meets the following specifications to 
ensure that the data can be successfully received.  They 
are as follows:

        IBM compatible Pentium processor or
        Apple Macintosh version 7 or later

        Windows95 or later version operating system for IBM 

The Internet access should be browser-based:  Netscape 
and Internet Explorer 4.0 or later are preferred.

Possible e-mail clients are Outlook98, Outlook Express 
4.0 or later, and Eudora.

The information to be received in the Learnfare e-mail is 
protected under the Virginia Privacy Protection Act of 1976 
(Code of Virginia, 2.1-377 et seq.).  As a result, the 
Department of Social Services asks that this e-mail be 
received on a computer which is in a secure location and 
can be locked when unattended.  

Additionally, this e-mail will come to you encrypted.  You 
will receive a "key" that will allow the authorized 
recipient to decrypt the e-mail after receipt.

If you have any questions about the Learnfare policy, 
please contact Carolyn Ellis, TANF program consultant, by 
phone at (804) 692-1738, or by e-mail at  If you have technical 
questions, please contact Jack Reid, Learnfare technical 
coordinator, by phone at (804) 692-1032, or by e-mail at

The Learnfare program is a valuable tool for reducing 
truancy and the associated problems faced by children who 
do not complete high school.  With this improved 
technology, we can provide a vital link in promoting the 
partnership between schools, social services, and TANF 
families in helping children overcome barriers to a good 

Thank you for your cooperation with this worthwhile 


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