2008 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Conference Report)

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Virginia Preschool Initiative (language only)

Item 140 #17c

Item 140 #17c

Education: Elementary and Secondary
Direct Aid To Public Education

Page 141, strike lines 5 through 56 and insert:
"a.1) It is the intent of the General Assembly that a payment estimated at $59,911,534 the first year and $68,117,517 the second year from the Lottery Proceeds Fund shall be disbursed by the Department of Education to schools and community-based organizations to provide quality preschool programs for at-risk four-year-olds unserved by Head Start program funding.  In no event shall distributions from the Lottery Proceeds Fund be made directly to community-based or private providers.
2) These grants shall be used to provide programs for at-risk four-year-old children which include quality preschool education, health services, social services, parental involvement and transportation. Programs must provide full-day or half-day and, at least, school-year services.
3) The Department of Education, in cooperation with the Council on Child Day Care and Early Childhood Programs, shall establish academic standards that are in accordance with appropriate preparation for students to be ready to successfully enter  kindergarten. These standards shall be established in such a manner as to be measurable for student achievement and success. Students shall be required to be evaluated in the fall and in the spring by each participating school division and the school divisions must certify that the Virginia Preschool Initiative program follows the established standards in order to receive the funding for quality preschool education and criteria for the service components. Such guidelines shall be consistent with the findings of the November 1993 study by the Board of Education, the Department of Education, and the Council on Child Day Care and Early Childhood Programs.
4)a) Grants shall be distributed based on an allocation formula providing the state share of a $6,000 grant for 100 percent of the unserved at-risk four-year-olds in each locality for a full-day program. Programs operating half-day shall receive state funds based on a fractional basis determined by the pro-rata portion of a full-day, school year program provided. In determining the state and local shares of funding, the composite index of local ability-to-pay is capped at 0.5000 the second year.
b) For new programs in the first year of implementation only, programs operating less than a full school year shall receive state funds on a fractional basis determined by the pro-rata portion of a school year program provided.  In determining the prorated state funds to be received, a school year shall be 180 days.
b.1) Any locality which desires to participate in this grant program must submit a proposal through its chief administrator (county administrator or city manager) by May 15 of each year. The chief administrator, in conjunction with the school superintendent, shall identify a lead agency for this program within the locality. The lead agency shall be responsible for developing a local plan for the delivery of quality preschool services to at-risk children which demonstrates the coordination of resources and the combination of funding streams in an effort to serve the greatest number of at-risk four-year-old children.
2) The proposal must demonstrate coordination with all parties necessary for the successful delivery of comprehensive services, including the schools, child care providers, local social services agency, Head Start, local health department and other groups identified by the lead agency.
3) A local match, based on the composite index of local ability-to-pay, shall be required. For purposes of meeting the local match, localities may use local expenditures for existing qualifying programs. Localities shall also continue to pursue and coordinate other funding sources, including child care subsidies. Funds received through this program must be used to supplement, not supplant, any funds currently provided for programs within the locality. However, in the event a locality is prohibited from continuing the previous level of support to programs for at-risk four-year-olds from Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the state and local funds provided in this grants program may be used to continue services to these Title I students. Such prohibition may occur due to amendments to the allocation formula in the reauthorization of ESEA as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 or due to a percentage reduction in a locality's Title I allocation in 2007-2008 or 2008-2009. Any locality so affected shall provide written evidence to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and request his approval to continue the services to Title I students.
c. Local plans must provide clear methods of service coordination for the purpose of reducing the per child cost for the service, increasing the number of at-risk children served and/or extending services for the entire year. Examples of these include:
1) "Wraparound Services" -- methods for combining funds such as child care subsidy dollars administered by local social service agencies with dollars for quality preschool education programs.
2) "Wrapout Services" -- methods for using grant funds to purchase quality preschool services to at-risk four-year-old children through an existing child care setting by purchasing comprehensive services within a setting which currently provides quality preschool education.
3) "Expansion of Service" -- methods for using grant funds to purchase slots within existing programs, such as Head Start, which provide comprehensive services to at-risk four-year-old children.
Local plans must indicate the number of at-risk four-year-old children to be served, and the criteria by which they will be determined to be at risk.
d.1) The Department of Education and the Council on Child Day Care and Early Childhood Programs shall provide technical assistance for the administration of this grant program to provide assistance to localities in developing a comprehensive, coordinated, quality preschool program for serving at-risk four-year-old children.
2) A pre-application session shall be provided by the Department and the Council on Child Day Care and Early Childhood Programs prior to the proposal deadline. The Department shall provide interested localities with information on models for service delivery, methods of coordinating funding streams, such as funds to match federal IV-A child care dollars, to maximize funding without supplanting existing sources of funding for the provision of services to at-risk four-year-old children. A priority for technical assistance in the design of programs shall be given to localities where the majority of the at-risk four-year-old population is currently unserved.
e. The Department of Education is authorized to expend unobligated balances out of the Lottery Proceeds Fund if participation in the Virginia Preschool Initiative is greater than projected.  The Department is also authorized to expend unobligated balances in this program's adopted budget allocations for grants to qualifying school divisions for one-time expenses, other than capital, related to start-up or expansion of programs."
Strike pages 142 through 145.
Page 146, strike lines 1 through 30.

(This amendment makes several changes to proposals in the introduced budget regarding for the Virginia Preschool Initiative for disadvantaged four-year-olds unserved by Head Start. A companion amendment reflects program funding totaling $59.9 million the first year and $68.2 million the second year, up from $53.1 million in Chapter 847 of 2007. This reflects 1) the state's share of an updated per pupil amount from $5,700 to a maximum of $6,000, as a step towards on prevailing costs, 2) capping the composite index at 0.5000 in the second year and 3) consistent with historical budget practice for this program, estimated non-participation savings. Utilization of funding is estimated at 82 percent the first year and 84.5 percent the second year, up from 78 percent actual experience in fiscal year 2008. Companion amendments also remove new funding and 3.0 positions proposed in the introduced budget in the Department of Education to assess, evaluate and administer the proposed changes in the VPI program, and new funding related to VPI in the Department of Social Services.)