Federal funds (IDEA B Section 611 for students with disabilities 3-21 and Section 619 for students ages 3-5) are allocated to the state education agency in each state to support the provision of special education and related services to individuals with disabilities. The SEA awards funds to LEAs on a non-competitive basis which are meant to help off-set the costs of providing special education instruction and related services to students who have been identified as a student with a disability in need of special education.
IDEA Part B Sections 611 and 619 flow-through allocations to LEAs are calculated according to a formula established with the IDEA Amendments of 1997 and are based on three distribution factors:
A BASE amount is allocated based on 75% of FY1999’s federal grant (the amount that the LEA received in IDEA funds the final year child count was used to determine the allocation);
85% of remaining funds are allocated on the basis of relative POPULATION of children aged 3-21. This is the previous year’s October Enrollment of Public and Private Schools ; and
15% of remaining funds are allocated based on POVERTY in which the previous year’s October Free and Reduced School Meal Rates are used.
Special Education federal funding does not increase when new students are identified as needing special education.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B entitlement funds awarded to LEAs are available to LEAs for 27 months from the date of award.
The Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding program is a formula driven allocation of state provided funds to local school districts. The General Assembly establishes a per-pupil amount of funding for each budget cycle. The Guaranteed Base Funding is calculated by multiplying the per pupil funding amount set by the General Assembly by the prior year average daily attendance (ADA), adjusted for growth.
Statutes provide for “add-ons” to the Guaranteed Base Funding which reflects the additional costs associated with educating at-risk, exceptional, and limited English proficiency students. The amount of Exceptional Child Funding is based on the number and types of exceptional children in the district as defined in KRS 157.200. Exceptionalities are arranged into three categories: low incidence disabilities, moderate incidence disabilities, and high incidence disabilities. Each category is given an additional weighting of 2.35, 1.17, and 0.24, respectively. The prior year December 1 child count is multiplied by the weighting and the Guaranteed Base Per Pupil Funding Amount to arrive at the additional funding for this add-on.
IDEA-B funds are to be used to identify and provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities who are eligible for special education and related services. The funds help schools develop individualized education programs (IEPs) to meet the needs of students with disabilities and prepare those students for further education, employment, and independent living.
IDEA-B funds must be used only to supplement, and not supplant, State, local, and other Federal funds used for students with disabilities This means IDEA-B funds may only be used in addition to these other funds, rather than replace them.
IDEA-B funds may only be used to pay the “excess costs” of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. This requirement prevents LEAs from using IDEA-B funds to pay for all the costs attributable to the education of a child with a disability.
CEIS are provided to assist students in K – 12th grades (with a particular emphasis on students in K – 3rd grades) who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and/or behavioral assistance to enable them to be successful in a general education environment. CCEIS are for children in those groups that were significantly over-identified from age 3 through grade 12. These set aside funds should focus particularly, but not exclusively, on the children in those groups that were significantly over-identified.
If an LEA uses federal funds to pay employee salaries, wages, and/or benefits, then the LEA must maintain records that reflect the work the employees perform. These records are known as “time and effort” records, and their purpose is to verify that the employees whose salaries are charged to a federal grant perform work consistent with the grant’s intents and purposes. The type of time and effort certification an employee must sign depends on the number of “cost objectives” the employee works on. An employee will work on either a single cost objective or multiple cost objectives. An employee who spends 100% of his or her time on a single cost objective must maintain a semi- annual certification. An employee who works on multiple cost objectives must sign a personnel activity report (PAR). The PAR must be prepared monthly and coincide with one or more pay periods; be signed after-the-fact by the employee; and account for the employees total activity.
Items purchased with federal funds must follow the specific inventory management requirement outline in EDGAR.
Equipment is defined in EDGAR as tangible, nonexpendable property with a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.States and local education agencies may implement a more restrictive definition such as items purchased for $1000 or more. Equipment costing more than $5,000 requires approval from the KDE prior to purchase.
LEAs are required to conduct a physical inventory at least every two years and reconcile the results. EDGAR requires that the record includes:
A description of the property
A serial number or id number– should be tagged with a physical label with inventory #, funding source, and name of title holder
The source of the property
Who holds title to the property
The acquisition date and cost of the property
The location, use, and condition of the property
Any ultimate disposition data including date of disposal and sale price of the property, if applicable
Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requires LEAs to maintain the level of state and local funds they spend to support federal programs from one fiscal year to the next. There are four methods for determining whether an LEA has met the IDEA-B MOE requirement:
The total amount the LEA expended in state and local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended from those sources for special education during the previous fiscal year.
The per-pupil amount the LEA expended in state and local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended per capita from those sources for special education during the previous fiscal year.
The total amount the LEA expended in local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended from that source for special education during the previous fiscal year.
The per-pupil amount the LEA expended in local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended per capita from that source for special education during the previous fiscal year.
An LEA only needs to pass one of the four tests to be compliant.
If an LEA fails all four tests, it will be notified of its preliminary determination of noncompliance and given the opportunity to respond by claiming allowable federal exceptions, voluntary MOE reduction, and/or requesting state reconsiderations.
If an LEA does not have sufficient allowable federal exceptions, a voluntary MOE reduction, and/or state reconsiderations to offset the decline in fiscal effort, the LEA must refund to KDE the amount by which the LEA failed to maintain effort
The LEA may reduce the level of its state and/or local expenditures below the level of those expenditures for the preceding fiscal year only if the reduction is attributable to any of the following:
(a) The voluntary departure, by retirement or otherwise, or departure for just cause, of special education or related services personnel.
(b) A decrease in the enrollment of children with disabilities.
(c) The termination of the obligation of the agency, consistent with this part, to provide a program of special education to a particular child with a disability that is an exceptionally costly program, as determined by the State Education Agency (SEA), because the child—
Has left the jurisdiction of the agency;
Has reached the age at which the obligation of the agency to provide FAPE to the child has terminated; or
No longer needs the program of special education.
The termination of costly expenditures for long-term purchases, such as the acquisition of equipment or the construction of school facilities.
To meet the requirements of IDEA, every year each LEA must expend a proportionate share of federal IDEA funds on equitable services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities. The formula for determining the proportionate share of the LEA’s IDEA-B section 611 funds is based on the total number of eligible (not on the number served) parentally placed children with disabilities aged 3 through 21 attending private schools located in the district in relation to the total number of eligible public and private school children with disabilities aged 3 through 21 in the LEA’s jurisdiction. LEAs also must expend a proportionate share of their IDEA-B section 619 funds for parentally placed children with disabilities aged 3 through 5 who are enrolled by their parents in private schools that meet the definition of “elementary school". “Elementary school” is defined as a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school that provides elementary education, as determined under state law. This amount is calculated relative to the number of eligible parentally placed private school children aged 3 through 5 with disabilities compared to the total number of eligible children with disabilities in its jurisdiction aged 3 through 5.