Superintendent’s Memo No. 291-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 24, 2014

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 Permanent Amendments to the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia to Replace Emergency Amendments

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 Board is in the process of revising the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, (SOA) 8VAC20-131-5 et seq.  The SOA is designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in Virginia's public schools.

The 2012 General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed into law, HB 1061 and SB 489, which amended § 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia to strengthen postsecondary education and workplace readiness opportunities for all students, and to consolidate the number of Board approved diplomas.  Further, the legislation required the Board to adopt emergency regulations to effect these changes.  The emergency regulations were approved by the Board on June 28, 2012, and became effective on June 5, 2013.  The Governor's office subsequently approved extending the emergency regulations until December 4, 2014.  Permanent amendments to replace the emergency amendments were approved by the Board on July 24, 2014, and will become effective on December 3, 2014.  They are exactly the same as the emergency regulations and include the following provisions to comport with the 2012 legislation:

The following changes will be made to the SOA so that it will comport with HB 1061 and SB 489:

The emergency regulations can be found on the Department’s Web site at the following address:  The (identical) permanent regulations will be posted once they become effective.


It is anticipated that there will be little or no administrative costs related to consolidation of the diplomas.  However, to the extent that school divisions must provide additional services to meet the other new requirements, there could be a local fiscal impact.  Because any impact will depend on the current services offered in each division, the Department is not able to determine any fiscal impact at this time.

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