P.O. BOX 2120



October 8, 2004



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Transmittal of the 2004 Standards of Quality


This memorandum provides information regarding the changes to the Code of Virginias Standards of Quality (SOQ),

22.1-253.13:1 through 22.1-253.13:8, passed by the 2004 General Assembly. The revisions became effective July 1, 2004, unless otherwise noted. Attached is a copy of the SOQ, as amended.


The 2004 General Assembly revised the SOQ through the following legislation:


House Bill 1014 and Senate Bill 479 reorganized the Standards of Quality and made substantive amendments in the areas of elementary principals, assistant principals, elementary resource positions for art, music, and physical education, pupil-teacher ratios, speech language pathologist caseloads, reading specialists, technology support positions, and the current funding mechanism for remediation. However, the bills included a second enactment clause providing that any new Standard of Quality incorporated into the bills shall not become effective unless an appropriation for the standard is included in the 2004-2006 Appropriation Act. The provisions regarding principals, assistant principals, reading specialists and speech language pathologists were not funded. The following changes regarding staffing were funded in the Appropriation Act:


           Five elementary resource positions per 1,000 students in kindergarten through grade 5 for art, music, and physical education;

           One planning period per day or the equivalent, unencumbered of any teaching or supervisory duties for all middle and high school teachers;

           Two technology support positions per 1,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12 division wide.

HB 1014 and SB 479 also amended the Standards of Quality to replace the SOQ remediation program. The new language provides that in addition to the positions supported by basic aid, state funding, pursuant to the appropriation act, shall be provided to fund certain full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students in grades K through 12 who are identified as needing prevention, intervention, and remediation services. This state funding may be used to support programs for educationally at-risk students as identified by the local school boards. See

22.1-253.13:2 of the Code.


House Bill 769 requires that local school boards include, within the currently required career and technical education program, curricula that promote knowledge of entrepreneurship and small business ownership. The bill also requires school divisions to include dual enrollment in their plans to notify students and their parents of the availability of advanced placement classes, the International Baccalaureate program, and Academic Year Governors School Programs. See 22.1-253.13:1 of the Code.


House Bill 1254 requires the Board of Education to post disaggregated Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment scores and averages for each year on the website for the School Performance Report Card. The scores must be disaggregated for each school by gender and by race or ethnicity, reported to the public within three months of receipt, and provided in a format that allows year-to-year comparisons. The information on the School Performance Report Card may include the results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). See 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code.


HB 1294 gives the Board of Education the authority to require a school division with chronically low-performing schools, as a result of failure of the school division to implement the Standards of Quality, to undergo a division-level academic review. At the completion of the review, each school board must submit a corrective action plan to raise student achievement and to achieve full accreditation status to the Board of Education for approval and also include it in the school divisions six-year improvement plan. The Board of Education may petition the circuit court having jurisdiction in the school division to mandate compliance with the relevant standard and the development or implementation of the required corrective plan when it determines that a school division has failed or refused, and continues to fail or refuse, to comply with the Standards of Quality and the development or implementation in a timely manner of the corrective plan. See S 22.1-253.13:3, 22.1-253.13:6 and 22.1-253.13:8 of the Code.


Senate Bill 416 requires the Board of Education, in consultation with the chairpersons of the eight regional superintendents study groups, to provide for timely review of test scores by school divisions for coding and other errors and prompt reporting to the divisions by the Department of Education of the Standards of Learning test scores that will be used to determine each schools status pursuant to the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110). See 22.1-253.13:1 of the Code.


Senate Bill 438 requires local school boards to notify parents of rising eleventh and twelfth graders regarding graduation requirements, the remaining credits the students need to graduate, and the number of years students may attend school. See 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code.

I hope that you will find this information helpful. You can find a final legislative report for the 2004 General Assembly session on the departments website at under Legislation on the Policy and Communications Web page.


For additional information, please see Superintendents Memo No. 3, Regulatory, May 17, 2004, regarding the 2004-2006 Biennial Budget Passed by the 2004 Special Session of the General Assembly and Superintendents Memo No. 5, Regulatory, June 18, 2004, regarding Staffing Requirements Prescribed by the Standards of Quality.


Please contact Michelle Vucci, director of policy, at (804) 371-0558 or by electronic mail at if you need additional information.