Superintendent’s Memo #204-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 14, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Transmittal of “Statement of Administrative Impact and Projected Costs of Implementation” for the Promulgation of Amendments to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia to Comport with Legislation Passed by the General Assembly under the Fast Track Provisions of the Administrative Process Act

As part of its responsibility for promulgating new regulations or revisions to existing regulations, pursuant to § 22.1-17 of the Code of Virginia, the Board of Education (Board) is required to develop a statement of the administrative impact and projected cost to school divisions related to implementing and complying with such regulations.  In addition, the Board and the Department of Education are required to send a copy of the statement to each division superintendent.

The Regulations Establishing the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Standards of Accreditation or SOA) are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in Virginia's public schools.  The sole purpose of this fast track regulatory action is to address legislation that was approved by the General Assembly during the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 sessions, and one bill approved by the General Assembly in 1999.  The following such bills affect the Standards of Accreditation (8VAC20-131-5 et seq.):

The proposed amendments to these regulations can be found on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Web site at the following address:


The amendments proposed to the Standards of Accreditation in this fast track regulatory action do not exceed requirements that are explicitly stated in statute or the Acts of Assembly. The legislative mandate that, beginning with first-time ninth-grade students in the 2016-2017 school year in order to be awarded a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma, students must be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, could result in a significant local fiscal impact. Because any impact will depend on the extent to which local school divisions are currently offering this training, the Department is not able to determine any fiscal impact at this time.  It is anticipated that there will be little or no administrative costs related to the other amendments to the Standards of Accreditation included in this regulatory action.

Please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092 or by e-mail at if you have any questions.