P. O. BOX 2120
July 21, 2000
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Fiscal Year 2001 Certification of Adequate Budgeted
Funds to Meet the Required Local Effort for the
Standards of Quality

Section 22.1-94, Code of Virginia, requires local governing bodies to appropriate funds for 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 Department of Education must follow if a county, city, or town fails to appropriate sufficient local funding to support the Standards of Quality. Attachment A to this memorandum provides a copy of the referenced Code sections.

In order to ensure that sufficient funds have been appropriated to maintain the SOQ, each school division must complete and return a Required Local Effort Certification form to the Department of Education. For fiscal year 2001, this form is provided as part of an Excel template. Please complete and return the form to the Department no later than August 25, 2000. The template is located on the Departmentís website and can be downloaded from the following address:

If you do not have access to the Internet, the Department provides free access through VA.PEN (Virginia Public Education Network). To obtain a VA.PEN account, please contact Jean Gray at (804) 371-7524. If you do not have access to the Departmentís website or have not had your Internet account activated in time to complete the template, please contact budget office staff at (804) 225-2025 and a diskette with the Excel template used to complete the certification will be sent to you.

The Excel template combines the Required Local Effort Certification form with a spreadsheet that allows you to calculate your divisionís required local effort for SOQ programs (defined as Basic Aid, Gifted Education, Vocational Education-SOQ, Special Education-SOQ, Remedial Education, Fringe Benefits, and Textbooks) for fiscal year 2001. The spreadsheet also allows you to calculate required matching funds for optional incentive-based programs for fiscal year 2001.

The template consists of two spreadsheets. The "Required Expenditure Worksheet" assists you in calculating your divisionís required local effort for the SOQ programs along with required matching funds for the optional incentive-based programs. The "Certification Form" requires you to enter data regarding your divisionís planned expenditures for education programs for fiscal year 2001 and determines whether sufficient local funds have been appropriated to maintain required local effort for the SOQ.

Please note that, although the Excel template allows you to calculate both the required local effort for SOQ programs and local matching funds for incentive-based accounts, the required local effort certification form in the Excel template only applies to mandatory SOQ programs.

Local matching funds must also be certified for several categorical and incentive-based programs. The Department will send certifications for these programs under separate cover.

Superintendents of school divisions whose local appropriations 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 unplanned increases in ADM reduce local funding below the required level. Documentation of all supplemental appropriations resulting from these requests should be furnished to the Department.

Attachment B to this memorandum provides detailed instructions for accessing the template through the Departmentís website, using the template to calculate your required local expenditures for both the mandatory SOQ programs and the optional incentive-based programs, and submitting the signed certification form and final Excel file to the Department.Please complete the Excel template and e-mail it to the Department at ( A hardcopy of the certification form, signed by the division superintendent, must be sent to: Virginia Department of Education, Attention: Budget Office, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120. Both submissions are due no later than August 25, 2000.

If you have questions regarding the Excel template or the instructions, please contact budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.