Appropriation #2005065 $20,600.00
V.L. Murray Elementary School has received an anonymous donation in the amount of $600. This donation will be used to support the miscellaneous classroom needs in the school.
Western Albemarle High School received an anonymous donation in the amount of $20,000. This donation will be used for the WAHS baseball locker room facility.
Appropriation #2005066 $4,588.36
Each year AP exams are administered and the State reimburses individual schools a specific amount for economically disadvantaged students. These fees have been paid by each school and the State is reimbursing them.
The Albemarle County Public Schools Enhancing Education Through Technology (Ed Tech) Subgrant for FY04/05 has been fully expended. There is a fund balance in the amount of $2,924.36. This fund balance will be used to cover the additional cost incurred in FY04/05 to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools, providing funds for teacher training and curriculum development.
Appropriation #2005067 $6,000.00
Background: The Department of Social Services piloted the use of federal Title IV-E Prevention funds to support 100% of the Family Support Program and 60% of the Bright Stars Family Coordinator costs in the fall of 1999. Virginia was one of the few states that had not utilized this funding stream for prevention services and the Commissioner at that time wanted to pursue the opportunity. Albemarle and Hampton were chosen as the pilot sites. While complicated, the funding was steady and the state opened up the opportunity for other local departments (as well as local governments and non-profits) encouraging their participation in using this funding source for local prevention programs. The program began reimbursement to localities for prevention programs for millions of dollars statewide. However in FY 2003 we began to see changes in policy interpretations from the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and we began to restrict eligibility based on these changes.
Current Status: In May 2005 the state office informed local departments that ACFís official disallowance had grown to $28.1 million. Virginia finally demanded that ACF either work in good faith toward resolution or allow them to officially appeal their shifting policy interpretations. ACF officially changed their stance from a deferral to a disallowance in May 2005. The Virginia Department of Social Services, with support from the Secretary of HHS and the Governorís Office, officially appealed the ACF rulings and is now in litigation. The Secretary has indicated that the state will do everything possible to support local governments in not having to pay back claims already approved. Unfortunately, these appeals can take up to two years to resolve and the Countyís outstanding anticipated federal reimbursement of $334,327.30 is stalled as a result. In a worst case scenario, the final outcome of the appeal could result in disallowances back to the beginning of the program in 1999. However, in February 2005 the state audited a sample set of cases in Albemarle and issued a finding of 100% compliance with the new policies in those cases giving us confidence that we have implemented the new procedures to the best of our ability.
Coupled with the news of the disallowance and appeal, the Family Support Program had an additional shortfall of $173,703.15. Funds thought to have been budgeted as revenue for the Family Support Program were instead budgeted as revenue in the General Fund.
In addition salaries in the Bright Stars Program were incorrectly budgeted by $6,000.00 due to a change in the FY05 Teacher Pay Scale.
Recommendation: The recommended strategy for addressing these issues is to use $179,703.15 ($173,703.15 for Family Support & $6,000 for Bright Stars) of the existing DSS local dollar savings from FY 2005 which was $189,650, as well as $334,327.30 of the projected FY05 CSA fund balance. The remaining CSA fund balance of approximately $90,000 will help to offset vendor increases in FY 2006 but could leave the fund short depending on new versus exiting cases. Itís important to point out, however, that the efforts of the Family Support Program have been shown in the past to have a relationship with preventing foster care. The recommended use of the CSA fund balance and the remaining local dollars in the social service budget are therefore seen as an investment in that strategy. When and if federal revenues are reimbursed from the FY 2003 and FY 2004 Title IV-E claims, those funds could be used to reimburse the General Fund, the CSA fund or as a continued investment in the Family Support Program.
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