Chapter 11: Federal and State Funding

    Funding Source:

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) Funds

    Federal special education funds are provided to local educational agencies (LEAs) through two programs:

    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B ( flow-through funds); and
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) (flow-through funds)


    City schools, exempted village schools, local school districts, community schools, county boards of mental retardation/developmental disabilities (MR/DD), and state-supported agencies may apply for Special Education Part-B IDEA and ECSE flow-through funds. Educational Service Centers (ESCs) serving as fiscal agents for consolidated (multi-district) funding applications also are eligible to apply for flow-through funds.

    Application for Funds

    School districts and other eligible agencies apply for Special Education Part-B IDEA and ECSE flow-through funds by using the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) web application. The CCIP is a unified grants application and verification system that consists of two parts: the Planning Tool and the Funding Application. Find additional information regarding the CCIP.

    Method of Distribution

    Funding is allocated to eligible agencies through a formula that includes each agency's:

    • December 1, 1998 child count;
    • Current average daily membership (ADM) for public and nonpublic students; and
    • Current count of children living in poverty.

    Benefits to Children with Disabilities in Nonpublic Schools

    State and federal rules and regulations require that districts set aside a "proportionate share" of their Special Education Part-B IDEA funds to serve children with disabilities placed by parents in chartered or nonchartered nonpublic schools. Each district must evaluate these children with disabilities and write a services plan for each child. The number and extent of services that can be funded for a child will depend on the amount of funding the district has set aside and the number of children receiving services. Children with disabilities parentally placed in chartered or nonchartered nonpublic schools are not provided FAPE by their districts of residence and do not receive a comprehensive individualized education program (IEP) unless they choose to enroll their children in their districts of residence.

    ESCE flow-through fund benefits for preschool-age children (3-5 years) enrolled in nonpublic schools also are provided through the child's district of residence. These benefits may be limited to preschool children who attend nonpublic schools within the geographic area of the eligible preschool child’s district of residence.

    The amount of Special Education Part-B IDEA and Early Childhood Special Education benefits that the public school district must allocate for eligible nonpublic school children is calculated based on a formula that includes the total number of nonpublic students who are identified as eligible to receive special education services under IDEA and Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities.

    Additional information regarding use of federal funds to provide benefits to children with disabilities parentally placed in nonpublic schools is included in Guidelines for Providing Services to Children with Disabilities Parentally Placed in Ohio Chartered and Nonchartered Nonpublic Schools and Operating Standards, rule 3301-51-08.

    Use of Funds

    1. The LEA must use funds provided under IDEA to supplement and ,to the extent practical, increase the level of state and local funds expended to educate children with disabilities. Direct services to children with disabilities are the first priority for the expenditures of flow-through monies. When this priority has been met, expenditures for purposes other than direct services may be considered.
    2. The LEA must comply with the requirements for providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities, ages 3 through 21, before flow-through funds may be used for purposes other than direct services to these children.
    3. In accordance with a child's IEP, IDEA funds may be used for the costs of special education and related services and supplementary aids and services provided in a regular class or in other education-related settings.
    4. Districts should consider the importance of professional development for general, as well as special, educators in educating children with disabilities.
    5. LEAs with significant over-identification and disproportionality in the disability categories and least restrictive environments are required to redirect 15 percent of their annual Special Education Part–B IDEA allocation for early intervening (EI) services.
    6. IDEA 2004 provides districts flexibility in the use of Special Education Part-B IDEA funds:

      • Maintenance of effort reduction: IDEA 2004 allows up to 50 percent of the Special Education Part-B IDEA funds received in excess of prior year' amount, to be treated as local education funds. (This allowance pertains only to Special Education Part-B IDEA funds and does not extend to ECSE funds.)
      • Early intervening services: An LEA may use up to 15 percent of its Special Education Part-B IDEA allocation to provide services to children, grades K-12 (with a focus on K-3) who have not been identified as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in the regular education environment.
      • Pooling of funds with Title I: LEAs may use a portion of their Special education Part-B IDEA funds to carry out the activities of a school-wide Title 1 program. The amount of funds that may be used is determined through a formula based on the number of children with disabilities that are served within the school-wide program.
    7. Detailed charts listing the allowable and unallowable expenditures for both the Special Education Part-B IDEA funds and for the ECSE flow-through funds are posted on the ODE Web site.

    State Funds

    The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) supplements the cost of educating a child with a disability, who is counted as a student first and is then as a child with a disability.

    Unit funding represents the funds allocated to districts to pay for the education of children with disabilities ages 3-5 who are in preschool programs. This aid is based on a salary allowance plus a 15 percent fringe allowance, a non-salary allowance and a supplemental allowance. Both classroom unit funding and related service units are funded.

    Supplemental weighted funding provides additional funding for pupils ages 6-21 with disabilities based on the severity of a pupil's disabilities.

    Each school district is required to spend state funds received through the special education weighted formula for children 6-21 on direct special education and related services for children with disabilities. Each district reports these expenditures to ODE, which in turn reports each district's expenditures to the governor and General Assembly, through the Annual Special Education Fiscal Accountability Report.

    The disability conditions for which state funds may be used are:

    • Multiple disabilities (other than deaf-blind);
    • Deaf-blindness;
    • Hearing impairments;
    • Visual Impairments;
    • Speech and language impairments;
    • Orthopedic impairments;
    • Emotional disturbances;
    • Mental retardation (cognitive disability);
    • Specific learning disabilities
    • Autism;
    • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
    • Other health handicapped – major; and
    • Other health handicapped – minor.

    (The U.S. Department of Education combines major and minor into one category.)

    Ohio's weighting categories and factors are:

    Category # Disability Categories Categorical
    Weighting Factors
    1 Speech only .2892
    2 Learning disabilities, cognitive disability, and other health - minor .3691
    3 Hearing impaired, visually impaired, and emotional disturbance 1.7695
    4 Other health – major, orthopedic 2.3646
    5 Multi-handicapped 3.1129
    6 Traumatic brain injury, autism, and deaf-blindness 4.7342

    The formula for the weighted funding calculation is:

    • The number of disabled children (by category), times the categorical weighted factor, times the per-pupil base cost funding ($5,565 for FY08) times, the district’s state share percentage, times the percentage of funding level.

    Note: The weights are not fully funded. They are pro-rated in the calculation – FY08 equals 90 percent.
    • For example, if a district has one autistic child and the district’s state share is 45 percent, the calculation is:

    (1 times 4.7342), times $5,565, times .45, times .90 equals $10,670.05 in weighted supplemental special education funding.

    Other State-Funded Programs

    Catastrophic Aid

    Catastrophic aid is a supplemental payment to districts, joint vocational schools and community schools for special education children in categories 2 through 6.

    This reimbursement is available to the financially responsible district for any child in categories 2, 3, 4 or 5 whose educational and related expenses exceed $27,375; and any child in category 6 whose expenses exceed $32,850.

    The payment calculation for catastrophic aid will be a combination of the following:

    1. 50 percent of the cost exceeding the threshold of $27,375 or $32,850, whichever is applicable; and
    2. 50 percent of the cost exceeding the threshold of $27,375 or $32,850 times the district's state share percentage.


    The funding for child transportation for special education is based on data that is collected and reported by all transporting agencies through the transportation reporting system, specifically the T-1 and T-2 reports. The formula for this distribution is based on the Ohio Administrative Code 3301-83-01 (D).

    Reimbursement for actual costs of special transportation may be made for up to $6 per day, per child, and one-half the actual cost exceeding $6 per day. This amount may be further adjusted by factors in the budget bill, or will remain within the budgeted allocation for special education transportation.

    Autism Scholarship Program

    Under ORC 3310.41, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has the authority to administer and supervise the Autism Scholarship Program (ASP). The ASP permits the parents of a qualified child receiving special education to choose to send the child to another special education program for the services prescribed in the child’s individualized education program (once the IEP is finalized), instead of the program operated by or for the school district where the child is entitled to attend school. The Resource Management Section of the Office for Exceptional Children (OEC) is primarily responsible for the management and supervision of the ASP. Currently the maximum amount an Autism Scholarship recipient can claim through the program is $20,000. This is pro-rated if a recipient begins later in the year or exits the program before year's end.

    The parents of a child who meet the eligibility criteria found in Rule 3301-103-03(B)(1) to (8) of the Administrative Code and wish to have their child participate in the ASP must complete and submit an ASP application found on the ODE Web site at, keyword search: autism scholarship program application.

    If a child participated in the scholarship program during the past school year, the parents must submit a continuation application/affidavit (provided by ODE/OEC) to the department for the next school year in order for the child to continue in the ASP.

    Home Instruction Reimbursement

    Local Education Agencies (LEAs) may file for reimbursement of the costs expended for providing home instruction to children identified as having one of the disability conditions that are most often associated with the need for home instruction: other health impaired, orthopedic impairment, and emotional disturbance. LEAs are eligible to receive reimbursement for 50 percent of the cost of one hour of home instruction for each day of absence, when childrens' Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) indicate that home instruction is the method of service delivery. To receive funding for home instruction, districts must complete and submit the Claim Form, the Assurance Form, and the Reimbursement Spreadsheet. The forms are updated annually.

    Districts can assess home instruction reimbursement information via the ODE web site., keyword search: home instruction reimbursement.

    School Psychologist Internship:

    Under Ohio's Teacher Education and Licensure Standards, school psychologists must complete a nine-month, full-time internship in an approved school setting before becoming fully licensed. The School Psych Intern Program provides an opportunity not only to provide the required intern training to future school psychologists, but also to address Ohio's shortage of special education personnel. Funds are used to provide reimbursement to school districts employing school psychology interns for one school year of supervised on-the-job training. School Psych funding is established as a line item in the General Revenue Fund (GRF) budget. That amount is divided equally among the interns selected through the Inter-University Council (IUC) for School Psychology. The district employing the intern receives the funds to support that intern.


Last Modified: 12/29/2015 12:52:38 PM