P. O. BOX 2120

September 17, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Refugee Children School Impact Grant

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce 
that it has received a Refugee Children School Impact Grant in 
the amount of $400,000 from the Office of Refugee 
Resettlement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  
Funding from this grant will be re-distributed for use during 
the 1999-2000 academic year by school divisions that serve 
refugee students. 

It is important to note that limited-English-proficient (LEP) 
students do not automatically qualify for refugee status. The 
immigration papers provided by parents at the time of 
registration will indicate that they are refugees.  
Specifically, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service 
has issued to refugees an I-94 card that is stamped "Refugee" 
and which contains an alien number.

The criteria used to identify refugee students for the 
purposes of this grant are the same as those used by the U.S. 
Department of State to identify refugees

. . . an individual who is outside his/her country 
and is unable or unwilling to return to that 
country because of a well-founded fear that she/he 
will be persecuted because of race, religion, 
nationality, political opinion, or membership in a 
particular social group.  This definition excludes 
persons displaced by natural disasters or persons 
who, although displaced, have not crossed an 
international border.  Also excluded are persons 
commonly known as "economic migrants", whose primary 
reason for flight has been a desire for personal 
betterment rather than persecution per se. The 
United States also currently admits as refugees 
persons still residing in the former Soviet Union 
and Cuba.  (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of 
Population, Refugees, and Migration Home Page,,
May 20, 1999)

In an effort to distribute this grant equitably, we ask that you 
provide information regarding your refugee student population on 
the attached questionnaire. Once the number of refugee students 
has been confirmed, school divisions that serve refugee students 
will be invited to submit applications describing how they will 
use the funding for a project to benefit these students. If we 
do not receive a response to this request by the indicated 
deadline, we will assume that your school division does not 
serve refugee students and therefore will not be eligible for 

Please return the enclosed questionnaire by October 15, 1999 to 
Dr. Linda Wallinger, foreign language/ESL specialist, at the 
address listed on the form.  If you have questions, please feel 
free to contact Dr. Wallinger at [804] 225-2593.


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


School Division:        

Person Reporting:                                                       

Telephone:                    FAX:                                  

Total Refugee Student Enrollment as of September 30, 1999:                 

Countries Represented

Number of Students from 
Each Country

Please return by October 15, 1999 to:
Dr. Linda Wallinger
Foreign Language/ESL Specialist
Virginia Department of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA  23218-2120
Fax:  (804) 786-5466