School Finance Newsletter

School Finance Newsletter

PAYMENTS

1/22/2014

Preschool special payment methodology changing

The state foundation payments will soon switch to a new methodology and new data for preschool special education funding. This will affect payments to traditional school districts, educational service centers, and county boards of developmental disabilities. The change will occur with the first foundation payment in February, on Feb. 7.

Due to current-year data limitations associated with the transition to the new funding methodology, ODE temporarily has been paying preschool special education based on data and calculations from last fiscal year. The budget bill, HB 59, changed the methodology from unit-based funding to per-pupil-based payments to each student’s resident school district, with a deduction and transfer to the educating entity if necessary. Using data from the special education December student count and a survey-tool reporting by county boards of developmental disabilities of the resident district of students, ODE will soon be able to make the new calculations.

Resident school districts will see a new calculation in line M of the School Finance Payment Report (SFPR) under “Preschool special education funding.” The district may also see new calculations under line P “Education Service Center transfer” or line U “Other adjustments” if other entities educate the district’s preschool special education students.

To ensure correct calculation of the payments, you should verify that your entity has correctly reported its students in the following systems:

Note that, depending on your entity’s situation, the February update may result in a higher or lower payment to you. You may want to schedule any other contracting changes with the Feb. 7 change. For instance, if an ESC and resident school district have arranged for special education services to be billed directly by the ESC to the district (rather than asking ODE to make deductions through the foundation payment system), you may want to start the direct billing in February.

The state foundation payments for preschool students may be pro-rated so that, statewide, the total payments for preschool special education do not exceed the approved appropriation. Until the student data is final, the calculation of the pro-ration will be subject to change. If other appropriation is available, the department may seek approval to shift funding into preschool special education to reduce or eliminate the proration deductions.

For additional information on pre-school special education funding, click on the following link:

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Finance-and-Funding/State-Funding-For-Schools/Overview-of-Funding

 

 

Juvenile detention center billing detailed

With passage of Am Sub HB 59, several changes to the laws regarding the provision of educational services for students placed in juvenile detention or other juvenile facilities went into effect on Sept. 29, 2013.  

The juvenile facility is responsible for the coordination of the education of the student by following any of five measures described in section 2151.362 of the Revised Code.  The measures include: 

  1. use the chartered nonpublic school operated by the juvenile facility;

  2. educate the student in its own facility pursuant to an arrangement with the school district responsible for the cost of educating the student;

  3. contract with an educational service center (ESC) to educate the student;

  4. contract with the school district in which the facility is located to educate the student;

  5. permit a student enrolled in an internet- or computer-based community school to continue to be educated by that school if the facility meets requirements of RC 2151.362 (B)(5).

For measures (1) through (4), the school district responsible for the cost of educating the student must pay the cost based on the per capita cost of the facility within the detention home or juvenile facility. For measure (5) the school district responsible for the cost of educating will continue to pay the community school through a deduction included in the School Finance Payment Report.

Payment by the school district responsible for the cost of educating the student under measures (1) through (4) shall be administered pursuant to section 3317.30 of the Revised Code.  If the juvenile facility operates its own educational program or its own chartered nonpublic school, the facility or chartered nonpublic school may bill the school district directly which shall pay the facility or nonpublic school directly.  If the facility contracts with the school district in which the facility is located to educate the student, the educating school district may directly bill the school district responsible for payment, and that district shall pay directly.  If the facility contracts with an ESC for educational services, the ESC may bill directly and the district responsible shall pay directly.

School districts which pay the facility, chartered nonpublic school, ESC or educating school district shall include the student in the paying district’s ADM.  No other school district shall include the student in its ADM.

A school district in which the juvenile facility is located and which provides education to students at the facility is not permitted to submit the SF-14PD or SF-14H for payment. Direct billing is required.

 

Payment reports updated

The School Finance Payment Reports (SFPRs) have been updated to the new foundation formulas for all five entity types: traditional school districts, joint vocational school districts, community schools, educational service centers, and county boards of developmental disabilities. Four of these have been presented in the updated, easier-to-follow, format. The new format of the SFPR for community schools will debut in January, and will be available alongside the old format for a transition period of a couple of months. 

The summary report, detail report, and statement of settlement for each of the SFPRs are in place. ODE is in process up adding additional reports, including a listing for each community schools of all the resident districts of its students, and a listing for each resident district of all the community schools attended by its students. Other reports, similar to ones from previous years, will detail scholarship students, preschool funding, ADM detail, and a listing of “other adjustments.”  In addition, ODE is working to make available reports not previously produced, including transportation funding, the calculation of the state share index, and funding per building for each of four subgroups (special education, gifted, limited English proficiency, and economic disadvantaged).

 

Straight A Fund Transportation added to some SFPRs

Beginning in January, some school districts are seeing funding for “Straight A Fund Transportation” added to their School Finance Payment Report (SFPR). 

In the budget bill’s section 263.320, $5 million is earmarked for certain schools out of the Straight A Fund appropriation, even though the funding is not part of the Straight A grant process. The bill states that the funds are “to support innovations that improve the efficiency of pupil transportation. This may include, but is not limited to, the purchase of buses and other equipment.”  Districts qualify for funding based on a low property wealth per student combined with a low number of riders per square mile.

After the close of the fiscal year, recipient districts will be surveyed by the department on their use of the funds.