[esd-dir] OSE- High Cost Students FAQs 2/17/2004 DRAFT
Debra.Zerbe at state.or.us
Tue Feb 17 17:00:25 PST 2004
Sent on behalf of:
Office of Special Education
DRAFT Working Document 2/17/2004
High Cost Students FAQs
Recommended Answers from the Feb 2004 11% Cap Waiver Committee
The following draft questions/answers were developed by the 11% Cap Waiver Committee in an effort to guide districts in their readjustments to estimates for the High Cost Students with Disabilities (550). These revisions are due February 20, 2004.
Please review the document to guide any revisions you might have for your estimates. The intent of this document is to help define OAR 581-23-103.
For further clarification contact Bruce Bull at 503-378-3600, Ext 2316, or bruce.bull at state.or.us <mailto:bruce.bull at state.or.us>.
1. Do all my high cost expenditures have to be coded "320" special education expenditure for Maintenance of Effort?
Yes. When claiming ESD and LEA expenditures, EVERY expenditure for high cost students must be coded as a Area of Responsibility code 320 (special education) expenditure. In that way, as the law requires, only those expenditures for the delivery of special education and related services are included. Only those costs being coded a (A of R) 320 are allowed. Note that coding expenditures under (A of R) 320 will assign them to your overall Maintenance of Effort level-a spending level that must be maintained in future years.
2. Can we can claim students in ESD programs that are covered through ESD resolution dollars (aka service credits).
Yes, if the combined LEA and ESD cost of providing special education and related services to the student exceeded $25,000. The ESD must report the ESD expenditures as (A of R) 320 on behalf of the district and through an auditable process must determine the cost of the services at the individual student level. Only expenditures coded 320 (special education) may be attributed to an individual student.
3. What types of services can I attribute to an individual student?
You should include any special education service and any related service that is:
a) LISTED ON THE STUDENT'S IEP, b) being provided by your agency to the individual high cost student, and c) coded as a special education (A of R) 320 expenditure. Whenever there is any reimbursement of this expense (such as transportation or Medicaid service) you may only include your 'net' cost. That is, only the amount you spent (or will spend) after all reimbursements have been calculated can be included in this process. (See below for how to determine the cost of services on a per student basis.) The following list includes the types of services that you might include. This is NOT an inclusive list. However, every service must be listed on the IEP for the service to be considered as high cost:
* * Out-of-state tuition
* Approved private school costs
* Student specific consultant costs such as behavior specialist, (however you can NOT include state funded services provided through the Regional Programs).
* Specialized equipment purchased for the individual student's access to special education
* Assistive technology including augmentative communication devices for the student's access to special education
* Extended School Year
* Non-regional services (OT, Speech/Lang, PT, Braille, autism, audiology, etc.)
* Specialized transportation (after deduction for state and Medicaid reimbursement).
* Real time captioning service
* Specially designed instruction e.g.,
o Recreation and leisure
* Any services listed on IEP cover sheet
Portion of costs associated with personnel involved with the delivery of special education and related services
* Special education teacher
* Regular education teacher
* Special education administrator
* Building administrator
* Assessment specialists
* Support personnel
* Counselor (also must be listed on IEP)
* All or part of any Teaching Assistant assigned to an individual student
* Student Specific Job Coach assigned to an individual student
* Medical assistant or Nurse assigned to an individual student
* Personnel costs associated with aug com for a particular student
* Sign language interpreter assigned to an individual student
4. How do I determine the individual child cost associated with my teaching staff? (Note that this will affect Maintenance of Effort.)
Again, only that portion of your teaching staff that you are coding as (A of R) 320 can be considered towards high cost expenditure for a student. There are a number of different approaches that can be taken to determine this. However, any method you select must be able to stand up to an audit.
One approach would be for a district to determine costs based on the IEP cover sheets and associated work.
A teacher's entire personnel cost is charged to (A of R) 320 and her/his hourly cost is determined to be $36/hr including case management, prep time, etc. She/he provides a student 4 hours of service a week including 1:1 time with the student, IEP meetings and preparation, parent contacts, teacher consults, etc. Additionally, she/he has the same student for 2 hours a week in a group of three students. There are 32 typical weeks of school for this example.
Her/his cost for services to that child would be:
One on one cost (including case management):
32 weeks X 4 hours/wk X $36/hour = $4,608
Small group cost: (32 weeks X 2 hours/wk X $36/hour)/3 = $ 768
Here is how a district could, if it so decides, determines what portion of another teacher's personnel cost could be attributed to a specific student. Assume a middle school teacher's personnel cost is $250/day or $31.25/hr. She/he teaches five classes every day and sees 150 students a day in those classes. She/he has lots of special education students in those classes, but only five require significant time designing individualized instruction, meeting with the resource teacher, etc. On average she/he spends one hour each week prepping for each of these five students. Each of those five special education students has class with her/him three times a week.
$ 250 $1.67/student/day
For each special education student the district could show: $31.25/hr (her/his special education prep time) + 3 hr/wk X $1.67/hr (her/his class time) = $36.26/student/week
However, the above amount must be charged to 320. Consider how this would affect Maintenance of Effort.
When a student has an individual teaching assistant assigned to him or her, as shown on the IEP, all of the assistant's cost can be attributed to that student. When an assistant works with more than one student, the assistant's time must be prorated.
5. Do I average my staff costs or do I individualize costs, knowing some staff members are more expensive than others?
You have a choice, except for specialized transportation costs that must be individualized. You must, however, be consistent about the method you choose within a program type. (Program types include: resource room, self-contained skills, and speech/language therapy.)
For example in a district with three special education classrooms you could add all staff costs and divide by the total number of students in that program. (However, be careful you don't count any staff member more than once when calculating costs at the student level. For example, you would not count an individual teaching assistant personnel costs for both the program cost AND an individual student.) Then in the same district you could choose to determine the individual costs of each of your resource rooms when calculating a cost for the students attending that program. Again all costs must be an Area of Responsibility code 320 and will affect your Maintenance of Effort.
6. How do I determine the non-direct cost (e.g., administration) associated with staff supporting an individual child? I have some students that take up a disproportionate amount of our staff time.
You must divide the cost of your non-direct staff equally across all your special education students-those that are high cost and those that are not. Also, only that portion of staff time that supports special education, and coded 320, can be proportioned equally across students.
If you choose to use personnel costs of a principal, special education director, and/or support person you must first determine that portion of each person's salary that is being charged as special education (320). That portion then can be divided by the TOTAL number of special education students in the district (or school where applicable) to determine the per pupil amount of this support.
Example, a special education director in a district spends half her/his time supporting special education and therefore half her/his salary and benefits are special education expenditures marked 320. If her/his total salary and benefits was $80,000/year and there were 100 special education students eligible on that district's last SECC, you would determine her per student amount as follows.
($80,000/2) = $400 per special education student
This would be the amount attributed to each student in the district that year for the special education director. The same process can be used for district support personnel, principals, etc.
Note that applying these costs to individual students requires submitting them as special education expenditures (320) and will affect your district's Maintenance of Effort.
7. How do I determine my transportation cost for individual Special Education students?
Note: In many instances after subtracting for state reimbursement (70%) and Medicaid reimbursement this expense may be negligible (and difficult to calculate) at the student level. Also, this is another Maintenance of Effort issue.
Transportation costs must be individualized. Only the non-reimbursed portions of transportation expenditures may be included; the 'net' after applying reimbursements for state and/or Medicaid. Second, only specialized transportation costs, as listed on the IEP, may be included. Example, a student on an IEP that is picked up on a regular bus would not have ANY specialized transportation costs and no costs could be attributed to providing the special education of this student. (Exception, if the student had an assistant assigned to him/her on the bus, that portion of the assistant's time spent on the bus with the student would be an acceptable expense. However this expense would be taken under the personnel section.)
8. How do we determine the after Medicaid reimbursement cost of services?
Use your best estimate of what you know or expect your Medicaid reimbursement to be. Subtract your Medicaid reimbursement from your original cost to show the total "net" cost to your agency for that student's services. For example if a service was $75/hr before Medicaid, and after reimbursement it was $50/hr. Use the $50/hr rate.
You could deduct the Medicaid amount at the program level, the individual student level, or the provider level.
9. Should/can the cost of services purchased with IDEA funds be included?
No. You must subtract the mean amount of IDEA funds you receive for each IDEA student for the year in question. Remember:
* Even though students don't generate IDEA funds on a per capita basis, the amount of IDEA funds per student can be determined be dividing the number of "district only" students on the Special Education Child Count into the total IDEA award.
* If the high cost student was also receiving regional services then IDEA funds should NOT be subtracted from this student's total. (The reason is that the Federal funds for regional students were previously directed to the regional programs.) Remember, as with all students, including regional students, you CANNOT include any cost for services paid for with state funds.
10. What about a high cost student who is a resident of one district and attends another? If the attending district is expending in excess of $25,000 can the attending district claim this student?
No. Only the resident district may claim and receive reimbursement for a high cost student. IF the resident district has a written interagency agreement whereby they are paying over $25,000 for SPECIAL EDUCATION and RELATED SERVICES for their student who is attending in another district, then the resident district can show they expended over $25,000 and claim the student as high cost. A written interagency agreement must be in place. NEVER can two agencies claim the same high cost student based on the same services. However if District A spent >$25,000 on a high cost student and then the student moves to District B which also spent > another $25,000 on the same student in the same year, both districts can claim the student for up to the amount which they provided services.
11. Through the high cost process or the 11% process, could a district receive more money than it actually spent on special education and related services for all of their special education students?
No. Districts who spend more on special education and related services shall be eligible for up to (based on available funding) a maximum reimbursement (through a combination of either the 11% cap waiver and/or the high cost student reimbursement) of up to the total amount spent on special ed and related services (LEA + ESD expenditures as coded 320).
12. How does same year reimbursement work when estimates are current year and current year payments are based on the estimates, yet we don't have final cost figures until well after the close of the year?
A real question the committee couldn't answer. The committee strongly recommends that the reimbursement be paid on prior year actual, such as the 11% Cap Waiver process. In this way the data would be accurate.
13. Is the bar for half-day Kindergarten students the full amount ($25,000) or half?
Kindergarten students attending a half-day program should be considered at half the high cost amount. Kindergarten students attending full day programs must exceed the full amount to be considered.
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