P. 0. BOX 2120

July 28, 2000

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Determining the Costs of the Standards of Accreditation


Item 133 S. of Chapter 1073 (2000-2002 appropriation act) states: "The Board of Education shall calculate the costs of implementing and complying with the Standards of Accreditation and shall report its findings to the Governor and to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees by September 1, 2000."

In order to calculate the costs associated with the SOA, the Department of Education has identified specific expenditure categories that relate to changes in the SOA resulting from the September 1997 revisions adopted by the Board of Education. A copy of the survey developed to gather this data is enclosed as Attachment A.

To facilitate the collection of this data, the survey is provided as part of an Excel template that must be completed and returned to the department no later than August 21, 2000. The template is located on the department's website and can be downloaded from the following address:

To download the Excel template, you may either enter the complete Web address as printed above or log onto the department's website at From this home page, select the drop-down box titled "DOE Offices," click on "Finance," click on "Budget," click on "Current Data Collections," and click on "SOA Cost Survey." You must use Microsoft Excel version 97 or later to use all of the features contained in the spreadsheets. If you do not have Excel 97 or later, please contact budget office staff at (804) 225-2025 for assistance. Please follow the steps below to access the file from the website:

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 survey will be sent to you.

The template consists of two spreadsheets, one containing instructions and one containing the template to be used in responding to the survey. Please read the "Instructions" worksheet carefully, as it provides guidance for completing the survey. The "Survey Instrument" worksheet contains the actual survey. Operational definitions for the expenditure categories are included as part of the survey template.

Please complete the Excel template and e-mail it to the department at (mailto: no later than August 21, 2000. If you have questions regarding the Excel template or the accompanying instructions, please contact budget office staff at (804) 225-2025.