2008 Session

Budget Amendments - SB30 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Cuccinelli
VA Pre-K Initiative

Item 140 #18s

Item 140 #18s

First Year - FY2009 Second Year - FY2010
Education: Elementary and Secondary
Direct Aid To Public Education FY2009 ($17,630,899) FY2010 ($17,630,899) GF
FY2009 $0 FY2010 ($14,855,632) NGF

Page 115, line 57, strike "$6,399,847,793" and insert "$6,382,216,894".
Page 115, line 57, strike "$6,599,719,818" and insert "$6,567,233,287".
Page 117, line 2, strike "$68,164,169" and insert "$50,533,270" and strike "$83,019,801" and insert "$50,533,270.".
Page 141, strike lines 5 though 56.
Strike pages 142 through 145.
Page 146, strike lines 1 through 30, and insert:
"15. Virginia Preschool Initiative
a.1) It is the intent of the General Assembly that an additional state payment 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.
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 into 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 at specified times as determined appropriate by the Department of Education. Superintendents, or their designee, of each participating school division must certify that the At-Risk Four-Year-Old 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 $5,700 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.
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 grants 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 1 of the 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 2006-2007 or 2007-2008. 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 in this item if participation in the At-Risk Four-Year-Olds Preschool program is greater than projected.  The Department is also authorized to expend unobligated balances in this program for grants to qualifying schools and community-based groups for one-time expenses, other than capital, related to start-up or expansion of programs."

(This amendment removes new funding in Direct Aid to Public Education for proposed changes in the introduced budget to the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), including increasing the maximim per pupil amount from $5,700 to $6,790; using a composite index capped at 0.5000; and changing the at-risk criteria from free lunch to free-and-reduced lunch. This amendment returns the program to the total level of funding in Chapter 847 for FY 2008, less one-time funding of $2.6 million allocated for pilot programs; language is restore to the language included in Chapter 847, with the exception of the pilot programs. Companion amendments also removes new funding and 3.0 positions proposed in the introduced budget in the Department of Education to evaluate and administer the proposed expanded VPI; and new funding related to Pre-K in the Department of Social Services.)