FY03 SPECIAL EDUCATION COST
TO: City Auditors and Town Accountant
FROM: James R. Johnson, Director of Accounts
DATE: January 2003
Students placed in Private Residential Schools
State Department of Education (DOE) administers the so-called "50/50"
program, in which the state pays for approximately half the tuition cost for
special education students placed in private, residential schools. The state's
share is paid directly to the private schools.
DOE's current fiscal year appropriation is insufficient to pay all anticipated claims. In past years, the legislature has covered shortfalls in the program through supplemental appropriations or other means. Due to the state's current fiscal situation, DOE does not expect to receive any such relief this year.
a result, DOE has notified school districts that it will only pay for services
rendered through the end of the third quarter. Private schools will be
instructed to bill the sending school districts for the full cost of
services rendered in the fourth quarter.
the same time, DOE has announced the availability of a one-time federal grant
which districts can use for these tuition costs. DOE expects the federal grant
will cover most if not all of the shortfall. However, DOE will not be able to
make any payments under the federal grant until it has received the final fourth
quarter FYO3 accounting of actual costs from districts. Realistically, the
payments are likely to be made in mid- to late-August, after the closing of the
purposes of determining the amount of available funds or "free cash"
as of July I, 2003 pursuant to Chapter 59 § 23, we will recognize accrual of
such claims by cities and towns as of June 30, 2003, which otherwise would
result in a deficit fund balance at that date. Similarly, for purposes of
determining the balance in the "excess and deficiency" fund as of June
30, 2003 pursuant to Chapter 71 §16 B Y2, we will recognize accrual of
such claims by regional school districts as of June 30, 2003, which otherwise
would result in a deficit fund balance at that date. You should secure a copy of
the claim for the federal grant to document this accrual.
The Bureau's instructions for FYO3 closing will include reference for accruals for this federal grant program.
budgets for FY04 should developed recognizing the uncertainty of the level of
funding for the "50/50" program.