COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
April 19, 2013
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The United States Department of Education (USED) has notified the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) that funding may be available for the 2012-2013 Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Test Fee Program grant. The Virginia Department of Education will submit a proposal to receive funds to reimburse AP/IB test fees for low-income students once the application is made available by USED. It is anticipated that VDOE will be notified in the fall regarding the status of the funding award.
The purpose of this grant is to increase the participation of low-income students in Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate classes and testing. While a majority of Virginia’s high schools participate in the Advanced Placement program, some divisions have indicated that they have students who are capable of taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses but cannot afford to take the tests.
USED has indicated that overall funding for the AP and IB Test Fee Program will likely be reduced for 2012-2013. It appears that funding may be available to reimburse school divisions at $45 per AP exam and $94 per IB exam for each exam taken by public and private school students qualifying for the College Board or International Baccalaureate fee reduction.
Please note the following changes in procedure. School divisions are now responsible for direct payment to the College Board for purchasing the tests. The VDOE will make reimbursements directly to school divisions based on information provided in the attached survey. School divisions will be notified of the final reimbursement amounts in fall 2013. Depending on the amount of grant funds awarded to Virginia and the number of low-income students who actually take the tests, the amount reimbursed to each school division by the VDOE for the cost of the tests may be less than the total amount spent by the school division for the purchase cost. Funds will be electronically transferred to each school division based on the final federal grant award received by the Virginia Department of Education.
Funds provided under this program may be used only to supplement, and not supplant, other federal, state, local, or private funds available to assist individuals identified as low-income students in paying for AP and IB testing. School divisions that have a program in place that pays test fees for all AP and IB tests are not eligible for this program, since it would constitute supplanting.
To allocate funds that may be awarded to VDOE in spring 2013, VDOE must collect certain data that are required by USED. These data will be collected in an electronic survey. To complete the electronic survey, each division must assign a point of contact for the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Test Fee Payment Program and grant data entry privileges through the Single Sign-On for Web Systems (SSWS). A copy of the survey is attached to assist with the collection of required information needed to complete the electronic survey. The electronic survey is available at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/ssws/login.page.do, and will open on Friday, April 19, 2013. The completed survey is due no later than Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
Once the electronic data are submitted, the system (SSWS) will automatically launch the Verification of Projected Data Report and the Final Certification for Reimbursement of Fees Form. The division superintendent or designee must sign the Verification of Projected Data Report and fax it to Cheryl Strobel at (804) 786-1597 on or before Tuesday, May 7, 2013. A copy of this report with original signature must be kept on file locally for audit purposes. The signed faxed copy of the Verification of Projected Data Report must also be on file with the Virginia Department of Education confirming that the school division will adhere to the assurances listed.
To receive reimbursement the school division must complete and fax the signed copy of the Final Certification for Reimbursement of Fees Form to Cheryl Strobel at (804) 786-1597 on or before Friday, June 28, 2013. The Final Certification for Reimbursement of Fees Form is the last page of the Verification Report. The school divisions cannot receive reimbursements if a signed copy of the Final Certification for Reimbursement of Fees Form is not on file with VDOE.
For questions, please contact Cheryl Strobel, associate director, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, at Cheryl.Strobel@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-7578.