Superintendent’s Memo #200-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 10, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Transmittal of “Statement of Administrative Impact and Projected Costs of Implementation” for the Proposed Amendments to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8 VAC 20-131

As part of its responsibility for promulgating new regulations or revising or repealing existing regulations, the Board of Education is required to develop a statement of the administrative impact and projected cost to school divisions of its regulatory action.  The Board and the Department of Education are required to send a copy of the statement to each division superintendent.

The Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (Standards of Accreditation) are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in Virginia's public schools.

At its meeting on June 28, 2012, the Board approved amendments to the regulations to comport with legislative changes that have been passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.  These changes address the provisions of House Bill 96 passed by the 2012 General Assembly which continues to delay the implementation of the Academic and Career Plan until July 1, 2013 (see Superintendent’s Memo #208-11, July 29, 2011).  However, it does not further delay the implementation of increased accreditation benchmarks.

Accreditation benchmarks for third grade science and history and social science would increase from a pass rate of 50 percent to a pass rate of 70 percent, and the accreditation benchmark for English, in grades six through twelve, would increase from a pass rate of 70 percent to a pass rate of 75 percent.  This provision will be implemented beginning with the accreditation ratings earned in the 2012-2013 school year and awarded in the 2013-2014 school year.

The changes to the regulations are necessitated by the passage of legislation by the General Assembly.  In order to comport with the legislative changes, these regulations must be amended.  The local administrative impact should be minimal as the calculation of accreditation ratings is conducted at the Department of Education.

Please contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092, or by electronic mail at, if you need additional information or have questions.