Superintendent's Memo #090-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 3, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Use of IDEA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds to Purchase Equipment

Guidance received from the U.S. Department of Education on April 1, 2009, regarding Funds for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] Made Available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [ARRA] includes the following.

Section 605 of the IDEA authorizes the Secretary to allow the use of IDEA funds for the acquisition of equipment if the Secretary determines that the program would be improved by allowing funds to be used for these purposes. In general, to be able to use IDEA funds for these costs, states will need to obtain the prior approval of the Department for the state’s use of IDEA funds for these costs; and LEAs will need to obtain the prior approval of the state for the LEA’s use of IDEA funds for these costs. (See, 2 CFR Part 225, Appendix B, 15.b.) For purposes of these prior approval requirements, “equipment” is defined to mean an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the governmental unit for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. (See 2 CFR Part 225, Appendix B, 15.a)

The above definition of “equipment” includes school buses designed specifically for children with disabilities. Through this memorandum, I am granting the required prior approval for the purchase of equipment that will be used to provide special education or related services for children with disabilities. This approval is restricted to the IDEA Part B funds under the ARRA. Requests for the use of the regular Part B allocation for such purposes should continue to be made on a case-by-case basis.

Questions about this matter may be directed to Mr. H. Douglas Cox, assistant superintendent, Division of Special Education and Student Services at (804) 225-3252 ( or Mr. Paul Raskopf, director, Office of Special Education Data and Finance at (804) 225-3252 (

PIW / hdc