P.O. BOX 2120



March 4, 2005



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Competitive School Division Grants for Leadership Development Programs



The 2004 Virginia General Assembly appropriation for Financial Assistance for General Education included $500,000 the first year and $500,000 the second year for competitive grants of $100,000 each to school divisions that have a partnership agreement with a Virginia institution of higher education or another entity for a defined leadership development preparation program that addresses the leadership standards established by the Board of Education. Standards and guidelines for school divisions to use to apply for these grants will include the Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, July 1, 1998, (8VAC 20-21-580) and the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents, January 6, 2000. Five competitive grants totaling up to $100,000 each will be awarded for the fiscal year 2005-2006.


In an effort to assist school divisions with additional information about the school leadership initiative funded by the General Assembly, the following dates have been established for interested school division personnel:


1. submission of a competitive grant proposal intent form (attached) by March 15, 2005, to develop and implement a school leadership development preparation program;


2. technical assistance meeting for school personnel and partnering institution of higher education representatives on March 29, 2005, in the Richmond area;


3. development and submission of proposals in accordance with attached submission instructions, to the Department of Education on or before April 15, 2005; and


4. notification of grant recipients by May 31, 2005. Funds available from grants awarded on May 31, 2005, will be effective July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006. Criteria for evaluating proposals are attached. Interested applicants will be able to discuss specific issues during the technical assistance meeting scheduled for March 29, 2005.


The 2002 Virginia General Assembly agreed to HJR 20 and SJR 58 to establish a 21-member Commission to Review, Study and Reform Educational Leadership. Acknowledging that effective leadership is inextricably linked to excellence in public education and student achievement in our public schools, the resolutions cite the Standards of Accreditation designation of the principal as the instructional leader of the school[who is] responsible for effective school management that promotes positive student achievement, a safe and secure environment in which to teach and learn, and efficient use of resources.


In January 2002 Virginia was one of only 15 National State Action for Educational Leadership Project (SAELP) grant recipients from the Wallace Readers Digest Funds addressing school leadership. This three-year grant was implemented in cooperation with the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute (CEPI) at Virginia Commonwealth University on behalf of the Department of Education and the commonwealth. The purpose of the SAELP grant was to support research and policy development to aid the preparation of school leaders. Recently, The Wallace Foundation awarded Virginia a grant to support the second phase of Virginias State Action for Education Leadership Project (SAELP II). This SAELP II grant and the Virginia General Assembly appropriations are designed to reform educational leadership and establish the school principal as the instructional leader.


For more information regarding the school leadership development grants to be awarded to school divisions which demonstrate a partnership agreement with a Virginia institution of higher education or other entity, please contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, ( at (804) 371-2522 or Dr. JoAnne Y. Carver, director of teacher education and teacher quality enhancement, ( at (804) 371‑2475.