Management & Budget  |  Glossary
Adult Basic Education

Accrual Basis
A basis of accounting that recognizes transactions at the time they are incurred, rather than when cash is received or spent. In Albemarle, the basis of budgeting and accounting for all governmental funds is the modified accrual basis of accounting and budgeting, under which revenues and related assets are recorded when measurable and available, and expenditures, other than compensated absences and interest on long-term debt, are recorded as the related fund liabilities are incurred.

Ad Valorem Taxes
Commonly referred to as property taxes, these taxes are levied on both real and personal property according to the property’s assessed valuation and the tax rate.

Adopted Budget
A plan of financial operations for the following year, approved by the County Board of Supervisors, highlighting major changes made to the County Executive’s Recommended Budget. The adopted budget reflects approved tax rates and estimates of revenues, expenditures, and transfers.

Academic Learning Program Schools (ALPS) is an initiative funded through the local school division to improve the performance of students who are academically or economically disadvantaged. All schools receive some level of ALPS allocation.

Appropriated Budget
In this document, the appropriated budget refers to the budget that was officially appropriated on July 1 of the fiscal year.

A legal authorization to make expenditures and to incur obligations for specific purposes granted by the County Board of Supervisors to a specified unit of County Government. An appropriation is limited in dollar amount and when it may be spent, usually expiring at the end of the fiscal year.

To place a value on property for tax purposes.

Assessed Valuation
The valuation set upon real estate taxes and certain personal property by the Assessor as a basis for levying property taxes, or the value of all taxable property within the boundaries of Albemarle County. In Albemarle, property is assessed at 100% of market value.

Assessment Literacy
Assessment literacy refers to the work of Division and building level staff to effectively and appropriately use information yielded by classroom and state mandated assessments. Assessments are used to both inform instructional changes that are needed to advance learning and to measure that learning has occurred appropriate to learning standards set by the State.

Resources owned or held by Albemarle County, which have a monetary value.

Authorized Positions
Employee positions which are authorized in the adopted budget, to be filled during the year.

Available (Undesignated) Fund Balance
The funds remaining from the prior fiscal year that are available to appropriate and spend in the current

Average Class Size
This number is determined based on baseline teacher staffing assigned to the schools other than for media specialists, guidance counselors, administrators, teaching assistants, or staffing for gifted education, technology support, and other resource support. Half of differentiated staffing assigned to a given school is also included in this number. In elementary schools, art, music, and physical education positions are not included in determining class size. For the purpose of determining class size high school enrollment is adjusted for students who spend part of the day at CATEC or outside the school for other reasons.

Average Daily Membership (ADM)
The average daily number of students who are enrolled in the school division. The March 31 ADM is used to determine the exact level of state funding.

BPOL (Business, Professional, and Occupational License)
Business, Professional, and Occupational License is a license tax that is levied upon the privilege of doing business or engaging in a profession, trade, or occupation in the County, and includes all phases of the business, profession, trade, or occupation, whether conducted in the County or not.

Balanced Budget
A balanced budget is one in which the available revenues and appropriated fund balances equal estimated expenditures for a fiscal year.

Baseline Operating Budget
The baseline operating budget of a department is the sum of all non-salary driven compensation (such as part-time, overtime, shift differential, etc.), operational expenditures, and replacement capital outlay.

A long-term IOU, or promise to pay a specified amount of money (the face amount of the bond) on a particular date (the maturity date). Bonds are used to finance capital projects. Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) bonds, which finance school capital projects, are General Obligation Bonds, backed by the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the government.

A specific plan of operations for the fiscal year that states the expenditures required to meet that plan of operations, and identifies the revenue necessary to finance the plan. The annual County budget is established (adopted) by the County Board of Supervisors.

Budgetary Basis
The basis of accounting used to estimate financing sources and uses in the budget. This generally takes one of three forms: GAAP, cash, or modified accrual.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
This is the County’s annual financial report of its audited financial statements, which is prepared by the Department of Finance in accordance with generally accepted accounting and reporting principles as determined by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB),using the financial reporting model as prescribed by GASB 34.

Capital Improvement Program
The Capital Improvement Program includes the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) (the upcoming five-year time period) and the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) (longer range including years six through ten). The Capital Improvement Program serves as a planning and implementation tool for the acquisition, development, construction, maintenance, and renovation of public facilities, infrastructure, and capital equipment of the County’s long-range physical development needs for the next five-year and ten-year periods.

Capital Budget
The capital budget is the first year of the approved five-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP).

Capital Improvements
Expenditures related to the acquisition, expansion, or rehabilitation of the government’s physical plant or infrastructure.

Capital Improvements Plan (CIP)
A five-year plan for public facilities resulting in the construction or acquisition of fixed assets, primarily schools, but also parks, land, landfills, etc.

Capital Needs Assessment (CNA)
The second five-year period of the Capital Improvement Program, the Capital Needs Assessment, identifies capital needs beyond the traditional five-year period. This plan, which includes potential projects in a planning stage, is updated every other year and helps form the basis of the five-year CIP as projects are brought forward.

Capital Projects Funds
Capital Projects Funds account for financial resources to be used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities. These funds consist of the School Division Capital Improvements Fund, the General Government Capital Improvements Fund, and the Stormwater Control Fund.

Capital Outlay
Expenditures for items of a substantial value (more than $100), such as microcomputers and vehicles.

Carl Perkins
This is a federally funded program that supports vocational and career education at the high school level.

Carry-over Funds
Unexpended funds from the previous fiscal year that may be used to make payment in the current fiscal year.

The Charlottesville Area School Business Alliance (CASBA) is a partnership involving the Chamber of Commerce, the Albemarle County Schools, and the Charlottesville City Schools designed to foster connections between schools and the business community.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is a program operated jointly by the Albemarle County Public Schools and the Charlottesville City Public Schools. The CATEC program offers technical and career education opportunities for high school students and adults.

Composite Index
An Ability-to-Pay index (Composite Index) is used by the state to help determine the level of funding for the school division.

Comprehensive Service Act (CSA)
This legislation mandates funding for children with significant emotional or behavioral concerns or a matching basis with the state (55% from the state).

A term used to describe pay differences between positions that are so small they are considered inequitable. The term in this context refers to the pay of experienced employees and new hires in the same position.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
This federal mandate provides for a continuation of health insurance coverage for a period of up to three years for employees who leave employment through no fault of their own. Such employees are required to pay premiums at the employee’s group rate.

Constant or Real Dollars
The presentation of dollar amounts adjusted for inflation to reflect the real purchasing power of money as compared to a certain point in time in the past.

Constitutional Officers
Elected officials whose positions are established by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia or its statutes. Albemarle County’s Constitutional officers include the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the Sheriff. Although these officers and their staff are on the County payroll, the State Compensation Board reimburses the County for a portion of the salaries, benefits, and office expenses as approved by the Compensation Board.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)
A statistical description of price levels provided by the U.S. Department of Labor that is used as a measure of inflation or changes in prices of various goods. The most commonly used index is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPIU), which is an index of prices of various consumer goods. The County uses the average annual (national) CPIU to measure inflationary increases from one year to the next.

A budgetary reserve set aside for emergencies or unforeseen expenditures not otherwise budgeted.

Contingent Funding
Funds/revenues that are undetermined at a given date and dependent upon decisions and/or certain conditions being met outside of agency or department control.

Contingent Liabilities
Items which may become liabilities as a result of conditions undetermined at a given date, such as guarantees, pending lawsuits, judgments under appeal, unsettled disputed claims, unfilled purchase orders, and uncompleted contracts.

County Executive’s Recommended Budget
A plan of financial operations submitted by the County Executive to the Board of County Supervisors. This plan reflects estimated revenues, expenditures, transfers, and departmental goals and objectives. In addition, sections are included to show major budgetary/financial policies and guidelines used in the County’s fiscal management.

Curriculum and Technology Integration Partners (CTIP) are building-based master teachers who provide professional development in the integration of instructional technology through modeling, co-planning, and co-teaching.

Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Institute (CAI)
See Framework for Quality Learning (FQL). This summer teacher institute provides professional development for teacher teams from each school to develop and use the skills and knowledge necessary to implement the FQL learning model.

An obligation resulting from borrowing of money or purchasing goods and services.

Debt Service
The cost of paying principal and interest on borrowed money, according to a predetermined payment schedule.

Debt Service Fund
A fund established to account for the payment of general long-term debt, which includes principal and interest. The County has two debt service funds: the School Division Debt Service Fund and the General Government Debt Service Fund.

An organizational unit of government that is functionally unique in its delivery of services (e.g., Police Department, Department of Social Services, etc.) A department may consist of one or more cost centers that are subdivisions that group related expenditures for accounting and budgetary purposes.

Design 2004/05
Design 2004 is an instructional initiative that encourages teachers to use inquiry, analysis, and reflection to deepen student understanding of concepts through authentic application of knowledge and skills.

Differentiated Funding/Staffing
This funding provides monies or personnel based on the particular additional needs of a given school population.

Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program
A voluntary awards program administered by the Government Finance Officers Association to encourage governments to prepare effective budget documents. To receive the award, governments must have prepared a budget that meets program criteria as a document, an operations guide, a financial plan, and a communications device.

Department of Social Services

Employee (Fringe) Benefits
Contributions made by a government to meet commitments or obligations for employee fringe benefits. Included are the government’s share of costs for Social Security and Medicare (FICA), employee pensions (administered by the Virginia Retirement System), workers compensation, and health, dental, and life insurance.

A reservation of funds for an anticipated expenditure prior to actual payment of an item. Funds usually are reserved or encumbered once a contract obligation has been signed, but prior to the cash payment actually being dispersed.

English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) is a program that provides English instruction to students coming from other countries who lack the necessary English skills to benefit fully from school programs.

The payment of cash on the transfer of property or services for the purpose of acquiring an asset or service, or for settling a loss.

These are Social Security payments based on earnings.

Fiscal Year
This is the period of time measurement used by the County for budget purposes. It runs from July 1st to June 30th.

These entitlement funds come to the school division from the federal government through the state.

This stands for Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) staff. A part-time position converted to the decimal equivalent of a full-time position based upon 2,080 hours worked per year (40 hours per week). For example, a part-time employee working 20 hours per week (1,040 hours per year) is the equivalent of 0.5 of a full-time employee, or 0.5 FTE. A full-time employee working 2,080 hours per year is 1.0 FTE.

Fiduciary Funds (Trust and Agency Funds)
These funds account for assets held by the County in a trustee capacity or as an agent or custodian for individuals, private organizations, other governmental units, or other funds. These funds include Non expendable Trust and Agency Funds, such as the McIntire Trust Fund.

Financial Management Policies
Financial policies adopted by the Board of County Supervisors in October 1994 and amended in October 2000, for the purpose of providing financial guidelines and goals that create a framework within which sound financial decisions may be made. These policies address the operating and capital budgets; asset maintenance, replacement, and enhancement; revenue; investment; accounting, auditing, and financial reporting; debt; and the use of fund balance or reserve.

Note: The Board has approved updates to the County’s Financial Policies during FY 13. These updated policies are incorporated into the Financial Management Policies included in this document in addition to a draft Policy associated with the Board’s direction regarding the School Fund fund balance, and other minimal wording amendments. Staff will review these updates and amendments with the Board during the Budget Work Sessions in March and request the Board’s approval.

Fiscal Year
A 12-month period designated as the operating year for accounting and budgetary purposes. The County’s fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th.

Framework for Quality Learning
This system is a model for high-quality teaching and learning through which best practices in curriculum, assessment, and instruction are applied to promote deep understanding.

Functional Area
A group of related activities aimed at accomplishing a major service or regulatory program for which a government is responsible (e.g., administration, public safety, community development, etc.).

A fiscal or accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources, together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with specific regulations, restrictions, or limitations. The individual government funds are the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, School Fund, Other School Funds (Self-Sustaining), Debt Service Fund, and the Capital Projects Funds.

Fund Balance
Fund Balance refers to the amount of money or other resources in a fund at a specific point in time. It is the excess of the assets of a fund over its liabilities, revenues, and carryovers. It usually refers to the year-end balance.

GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)
The uniform minimum standards for financial accounting and recording encompassing the conventions, rules, and procedures that define Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Budgets for all funds are adopted on a basis consistent with these principles.

Government Finance Officers Association

General Fund
This fund is used to account for all revenues and expenditures applicable to the operations of the County, except those transactions accounted for in other funds. This accounts for most traditional local government programs such as police, fire/rescue, libraries, parks, human services, etc. Revenues are derived primarily from property and other local taxes, state and federal distributions, licenses, permits, charges for services, and interest income.

A broad articulation of a better condition than the one that exists now; an end toward which effort is directed; a desired future state. Goals usually address long-term issues.

Governmental Funds
Governmental funds are those through which most governmental functions of the County are financed. Governmental funds utilize the modified accrual basis of accounting where the measurement focus is on financial position and changes in financial position, rather than on net income determination.

A contribution by another entity or by one governmental unit to another. The contribution is usually made in support of a specified function, such as health care, housing, crime prevention, etc.

An increase in student enrollment is termed growth.

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a plan required for all students receiving Special Education services. It outlines the specific services to be received by an individual student.

A new program or service or an increase in the level of an existing program or service is termed an initiative/improvement.

Instructional Council
Instructional Council is an instructional leadership group comprised of representatives from all elementary schools in the Division.

Inter-fund Transfers
The movement of monies between funds of the same governmental entity. 

Inter-governmental Revenue
Revenue from other governments, such as the state or federal government, in the form of grants, entitlements, shared revenue, or payments, in lieu of taxes.

IP-delivered content
IP-delivered content is electronic content delivered via a web-based application through a browser (e.g. Netscape, Internet Explorer) on a computer.

Key Performance Indicators
Specific quantitative and qualitative measures of work performed as an objective of specific departments or programs.

Lapse Factor
This is anticipated savings from staff retirement and replacement, the lag between staff leaving and new staff being hired, and savings from deferred compensation benefits.

Limited-English Proficient Students are referred to as LEP students.

Obligations incurred in past or current transactions requiring present or future settlement.

Licenses and permits are legal permission to engage in certain actions (a type of user’s fee). Examples are building permits, and Business, Professional, and Occupational Licenses.

Line Item
An expenditure classification established to account and budget for approved appropriations.

Living Wage
The term living wage is used by advocates to refer to the minimum hourly wage necessary for a person to achieve some specific standard of living. This standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation. This concept differs from the minimum wage in that the latter is set by law and may fail to meet the requirements of a living wage.

Long-Term Debt
Debt with a maturity of more than one year after the date of issuance.

Merit Pool
Albemarle County distributes annual salary increases through a merit program. This is a pay for performance program in which individual increases are a function of three factors: an employee’s merit score, the salary of the employee in relation to the midpoint, and the budgeted merit pool amount.

Modified Accrual Basis of Accounting
All government funds use the modified accrual basis of accounting under which revenues and related assets are recognized when measurable and available as current assets. Expenditures generally are recognized when the related goods and services are received and the liability is incurred.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 governs a comprehensive accountability system for ensuring student performance across subpopulations present in individual schools as well as across the Division. The Act requires that students be tested in grades 3,4,5,6,7,8, and high schools in reading and math and science (3,5,8, high school) and that intervention services be provided to all students who are at risk of not meeting the math and reading Standards set and tested by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Non-Recurring Revenue
Funds that do not continue from year to year (one-time funds) are referred to as nonrecurring revenues.

Object Classification
A grouping of expenditures on the basis of goods or services purchased; for example, personal services, materials, supplies, equipment, etc.

Objectives represent incremental progress toward a goal. Objective statements should include either the word increase, decrease, or maintain. Objectives are measurable and time-specific, and can easily be annual.

Operating Expenditures
The cost for personnel, materials, and equipment required by a department in order to function.

Operating Revenue
Funds that the government receives as income to pay for ongoing operations, including such items as taxes, fees from services, intergovernmental revenues, and grant revenues. Operating revenues are used to pay for day-to-day services.

Non-instructional services provided by the school division.

A bill, resolution, or other means by which appropriations are given legal effect. It is the method by which the appropriation of the annual budget is enacted into law by the Board of County Supervisors, per authority of state statues.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is an informal screening inventory for students in grades K-3 used across Virginia to provide teachers with information for planning classroom instruction.

“Pay-As-You-Go” Basis
A term used to describe a financial policy by which capital outlays are financed from current revenues rather than through borrowed funds.

Licenses and permits are legal permission to engage in certain actions (a type of user’s fee). Examples are building permits, and Business, Professional and Occupational Licenses.

Personal Property
A category of property other than real estate, identified for purposes of taxation, which include personally owned items, corporate property, and business equipment. Examples include automobiles, motorcycles, trailers, boats, airplanes, business furnishings, and manufacturing equipment. Goods held for sale by manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers are not included.

Piedmont Regional Education Program (PREP)
This program is a consortium of school divisions that provides a variety of Special Education services. Through this consortion, the Ivy Creek School is operated.

Planning District 10
A regional grouping of cities and counties, which include the City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson.

Professional Development Reimbursement Program (PDRP)
This program supports professional development for teachers by providing funding for course/conference participation through an application process.

Property Tax Rate
The amount of tax stated in terms of a unit of the tax base expressed as dollars per $100 of equalized assessed valuation.

Real Property
Real estate, including land and improvements (building, fencing, and paving) classified for purposes of assessment.

Recurring Revenue
Funds that continue from year to year are referred to as recurring.

An account used either to set aside budgeted revenues that are not required for expenditure in the current budget year, or to earmark revenues for a specific future purpose.

Resolution of Appropriation
A legally binding document that delineates, by fund and department, all expenditures and revenues adopted by the Board of County Supervisors that are reflected in the adopted budget.

The total amount available for appropriation, including revenues, fund transfers, and beginning balances.

Income generated by taxes, notes, bonds, investments, income, land rental, fees, user charges, and federal and state grants.

Revenue Sharing (City of Charlottesville/Albemarle County)
An agreement between the City of Charlottesville and the County – approved in a public referendum and effective since 1982 – wherein both contribute portions of their respective real property tax bases and revenues to a shared fund. The fund is distributed between the two annually based upon a set formula.

Revenue Sharing Program (Transportation)
A program sponsored by the Virginia Department of Transportation wherein localities can apply for state funding for transportation projects that must be matched by a local contribution.

Revised Budget
The revised budget represents the total budgeted expenditures and revenues for the fiscal year, including all reappropriations.

Scale Adjustment
Each year Albemarle County conducts a market survey to evaluate whether pay scales are competitive. If it is determined that a scale adjustment needs to be implemented, the minimum, midpoint and maximum salaries for each paygrade are adjusted by a specified percentage.

School Fund
A governmental fund that reflects revenues and expenditures related to the operations of the County’s school system. The primary sources of revenue, exclusive of transfers from the General Fund, are basic aid payments from the Commonwealth and educational program grants. Major expenditures include instructional costs, transportation, etc. Service for long-term debt is included in the General Fund, not the School Fund.

Self-Sustaining Funds
Self-sustaining funds are separate funds apart from the School Fund that are used for very limited expenditures due to legal or regulatory provisions, and whose operations are self-sustaining or self supporting. These funds do not require any transfers from the General Fund, but are funded by federal and state categorical funds, fees, and grants. Examples of these funds are the Cafeteria Fund and the Community Education Fund.

Self-Sustaining Program
These programs operate primarily on external funding such as grants, federal funds, or fees. Such programs are not directly supported within the School Fund Budget.

The Virginia “Standards of Accreditation” (SOAs) provide a framework of requirements and accountability for all schools in the state.

The Virginia "Standards of Learning" (SOLs) provide a curriculum framework for the instructional program required by the state for all students.

The Virginia "Standards of Quality" (SOQs) are the mandated minimum standards required by statute for schools. The SOQs address areas such as staffing, facilities, and instructional programs.

Special Revenue Funds
These funds are used to account for the proceeds of specific revenue sources (other than major capital projects) that are legally restricted to expenditures for specific purposes. Special revenue funds include federal and state grant funds, the Vehicle Replacement Fund, and the Tourism Fund.

Student Resource Officer

State Basic Aid
This is the funding that is provided by the state based on enrollment to fund the Standards of Quality.

State Categorical Aid
This is the funding provided by the state for a specific purpose.

Supplemental Appropriations
Where requests with sufficient justification exist, special appropriations by the Board of County Supervisors may occur. Such appropriations reflect unanticipated emergency requirements subject to serious time constraints that a normal resource allocation mechanism cannot accommodate.

Tax Base
A part of the economy to which a tax is applied.

Mandatory charges levied by a governmental unit for the purpose of financing services performed for the common benefit.

Tax Rate
The level of taxation stated in terms of either a dollar amount (i.e., $0.766 per $100 of assessed valuation) or a percentage of the value of the tax base (i.e., 5.0% sales tax).

Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA)
The Teacher Performance Appraisal provides the structural, functional, and procedural components essential to evaluation of professional performance as well as to support the growth and development of teachers using a common set of professional standards.

Tipping Fees
The cost for use of the landfill; generally this is levied on tonnage of solid waste.

Title I
This is a federal program that supports additional instruction for economically disadvantaged students whose achievements do not meet expected standards.

Title II
This is a federal program includes staff development funds, School Renovation Grants and Class Size Reduction Grants. The focus is on preparing, training, and recruiting high quality teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals.

Title III
This is a federal program that assists in implementing the No Child Left Behind Act by providing funding to support limited-English proficient and immigrant students.

Title IV
This is a federal program that supports Drug-Free School initiatives.

Title VI
This is a federal program that supports innovative programs in the areas of technology, literacy development and media services.

Budget transfers provide the opportunity to shift already budgeted funds to another area. Transfers may occur throughout the course of the fiscal year as needed for an agency’s operation. The Director of Finance is authorized to transfer amounts between line items and between divisions within a department. Transfers between expenditure accounts in different departments are approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Trust and Agency Funds (Fiduciary Funds)
These funds account for assets held by the County in a trustee capacity or as an agent or custodian for individuals, private organization, other governmental units, or other funds. These funds include Non expendable Trust and Agency Funds such as the McIntire Trust Fund, etc.

Users Fees/Licenses
User’s fees are charges for services such as parks, public property, and parking fees. The fee assures that only the people using a service pay for that service. Licenses and permits are also forms of user fees.

The Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Plan (VERIP) is a stipend paid to employees upon retirement for 5 years or until age 65, whichever comes first. Employees must meet defined eligibility criteria to receive this stipend.

This is the earning of a longevity step on a pay scale.

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) provides pension benefits for retirees from state and local government.

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