Table of Contents

 
  Section E

 

OVERVIEW

Last year, forty-five community school district allocation formulas providing resources for supplemental pupil services were combined into one formula: Special Needs/Academic Intervention Services. Consistent with the new continuum of services, Special Education Services as Part of a Unified Service Delivery System, the Special Needs/AIS allocation formula addresses the various special need pupil populations.

This year, various high school formulas will be combined to establish a High School Special Needs/Academic Intervention Services allocation formula.

The delivery of special education services is described in the new Continuum within the context of broader school restructuring and the development of "whole school" approaches which create a single, unified and efficient service delivery system for all students, disabled and non-disabled alike. The "whole school" approach creates an environment where all students are offered access to an array of services to achieve high educational outcomes. The Continuum emphasizes the provision of services to disabled students in the general education classroom in their home-zoned school as the first option to be considered.

The Special Needs/AIS formula methodology supports the "whole school" approach and provides flexibility in using dollars from different funding sources to design programs that address the needs of all students. When combining available dollars, careful attention must be given to the parameters of the funding sources. The funding permits districts and schools to meet the IEP mandates of disabled students, as well as provide an array of non-special education supports. For example, the district can use funds to support collaborative team teaching classes. This can meet the IEP mandates of disabled students in addition to the requirements of academic intervention services for the non-IEP mandated students in the collaborative team teaching class. Districts may use funds to support the activities of Pupil Personnel Teams that provide early identifications of students in need and the development of supportive strategies.

Students with disabilities must receive services in accordance with their IEPs. Additionally, districts may not eliminate any special education service that is mandated by regulation or stipulation. The areas not subject to district discretion that must be maintained while we are phasing in the new Continuum include health coordinators, crisis intervention teachers, and supervisors.

Districts are permitted and encouraged however, to create whole positions for staff that serve mandated students to allow them to provide services to non-mandated "at risk" students rather than creating itinerant or part-time positions to serve only special education students. For example, the Special Needs/AIS allocation may be used to create a teacher of speech improvement position. The speech teacher could deliver school wide non-mandated services for part of the day and IEP related service speech for part of the day.

Once again, the provision of mandated services continues to be the first priority. Districts must comply with all laws, regulations, court orders and stipulations.


FORMULA CHANGES

Improved standards-based instruction has successfully reduced the number of students scoring in level 1. Although this is good news, it results in lowering the special needs virtual register and reducing the allocation. The intent of the special needs/AIS allocation formula is to be proactive not punitive. Consequently, to bring the virtual register back up to the prior year=s level, the poverty weighting will be increased from 6% to 7.3%.

Additionally, the self-contained special education register will be frozen at last year's allocation count. In our attempt to reduce the influence self-contained special education enrollment has on the allocation formula, the weighting is being lowered from 25% to 22%.


FORMULA STRATEGY

The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) calls for educating students with disabilities with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. Consistent with IDEA, the Board has adopted the "Special Education Services as Part of a Unified Service Delivery System." The continuum stresses the placement of a special education child in the least restrictive environment (LRE) appropriate to his/her needs. Among LRE settings, IDEA requires that the general education classroom with supplementary aids and services be the first consideration. The continuum states that the determining factor in making the eligibility determination for special education services may not be limited English proficiency or lack of instruction in reading or math.

The FY'01 allocation formula revision established the Special Needs/AIS allocation formula based on the following principles:

  • Simplify the formula allocation process.
  • Add Flexibility in combining resources to design programs and services.
  • Ensure Stable Funding to allow prevention/intervention as well as mandated programs.
  • Enable Financial Planning through retention of tax levy accruals (assuming compliance has been maintained).
  • Break Down Barriers between different service categories.
  • Broaden Focus from special education pupils to pupils with special needs.

The Special Needs/AIS formula recognizes that the best way to benefit all students is through a comprehensive unified service delivery system. The identification of special education pupil services is broadened to include all pupils having a special need -- mandated as well as non-mandated. The allocation formula focuses on distributing resources for the provision of supplemental services to all pupils with special needs. It supports the placement neutral policy and the seamless delivery of supplemental services.

The community school district allocations recognizing various special needs of pupils that were consolidated in FY'01 to one comprehensive Special Needs/Academic Intervention Services allocation, include:

    GENERAL EDUCATION-TAX LEVY
  1. Module 2B, Special Needs
  2. Module 5, Special Ed Class Coverage
  3. Special Ed Pupil Mainstreaming
  4. Section 504 Paraprofessional
  5. Attendance Child Abuse/Neglect
  6. Kindergarten Paraprofessional
  7. Latchkey

    SPECIAL EDUCATION-TAX LEVY
  8. Classroom Teacher
  9. Crisis Intervention
  10. Supervisor
  11. Industrial Arts Teacher
  12. Teacher Trainer
  13. Language Coordinator
  14. Basic Paraprofessional
  15. Counselor, Related Service
  16. Speech Teacher, Related Service
  17. Teacher Absence
  18. Basic Paraprofessional Absence
  19. Clerical Support for Supervisors
  20. OTPS & Other Support Services
  21. OTPS Industrial Arts
  22. OTPS Related Service, Speech/Counseling
  23. OTPS Supervision and Support
  24. IEP Driven Paraprofessional & Absence
  25. Bilingual Paraprofessional & Absence
  26. Health Coordinator
  27. Budget Reduction
  28. Restoration Prevention/Intervention
  29. Fractional Pool
  30. Pupil Suspension Hearings

    REIMBURSABLE
  31. ERSSA, Educational Related Support Services, Per Capita
  32. IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education, Per Capita
  33. IDEA, Least Restrictive Environment Pilot
  34. IDEA, IEP Equipment
  35. IDEA, Mono/Bilingual RR/CT Pilot
  36. IDEA, School Age Plus
  37. PCEN, Pupils with Compensatory Education Needs, Per Capita
  38. AIDP, Attendance Improvement/Dropout Prevention, Elementary & Middle Schools
  39. ERSSA, AIDP Transitional Program
  40. AIDP, Alternative to Suspension
  41. Chapter 53 Reading, Per Capita
  42. SIG/IPP, State Incentive Grant-Improving Pupil Performance, Per Capita
  43. SIG/IPP, Quality Improvement Program Plan, QUIPP
  44. Title VI, Consultant Teacher
  45. AIDP Welcome Centers

To establish a high school special needs/academic intervention services allocation, the following allocations are being combined.

    GENERAL EDUCATION-TAX LEVY
  1. Mediate/Negotiate Council for Unity
  2. Health Program
  3. Fit for Life
  4. Needs Assessment Schools (Partial)
  5. Young Adult Borough Center
  6. Handberry
  7. Special Education Support

    SPECIAL EDUCATION-TAX LEVY
  8. Related Services
  9. Basic Support
  10. Instructional Services
  11. Special Education Paraprofessional
  12. Resource Room
  13. Special Education Mainstreaming
  14. Adaptive Physical Education (APE)
  15. Bilingual Resource Room
  16. Compliance
  17. Consultant Teacher
  18. Health Coordinator
  19. Extended Day
  20. Transition
  21. Special Supply Allotments
  22. Assistant Principal Special Education
  23. Section 504 Paraprofessional
  24. Private School Resource Room
  25. Mainstreaming Incentive
  26. Additional Support
  27. Alternative Placement Paraprofessional
  28. IEP Paraprofessional
  29. OTPS Special Education
  30. OTPS Resource Room

    REIMBURSABLE
  31. IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education)
  32. IDEA Specialized Equipment (Assistive Technology)
  33. ERSSA (Educational Related Support Services)
  34. ERSSA Transition
  35. PCEN (Pupils with Compensatory Education Needs)
  36. AIDP (Attendance Improvement/Dropout Prevention)
  37. Chapter 53 Reading
  38. SIG/IPP (State Incentive Grant-Improving Pupil Performance)

FORMULA METHODOLOGY

The Special Needs/Academic Intervention Services allocation formula allocates teacher positions and a fixed dollar amount based on a "virtual" special needs register. The special needs register is comprised of a percentage of the following populations:

  • Student Population: 8%. October 31, 2000 audited register, grades kindergarten to 12 general and special education, adjusted for long term absentees (no shows).
  • Academic Criteria: 11%. From FY'00 testing, general and special education pupils scoring in Level 1 on the Reading or Math exam (CSD) or scoring below 55% on the English or Math Regents (HS). The percent below is applied to the October 31, 2000 audited register to produce the estimated number of pupils below academic criteria. This action compensates for untested pupils, i.e., grades kindergarten, 1, 2 and 9 and above, as well as enrollment growth.
  • Low Income: 7.3%. October 31, 2000 free lunch eligible pupils -- general and special education.
  • Limited English Proficiency: 2%. The number of English language learners scoring at or below the 40% tile on the Language Assessment Battery (LAB) test.
  • Mobility: group of 1,500 pupils. Expected pupil mobility in a group of 1,500 pupils. Mobility is expressed as a percentage. It is the number of pupils entering and/or leaving a school's register after October 31st, divided by the October 31st register plus all students who entered after October 31st.
  • Self-Contained Special Education: 22%. Register of pupils enrolled in self-contained special education classes excluding inclusionary pupils (see General Education Note below) and long term absentees, October 31, 1999 for community school districts and October 31, 2000 for high schools.
  • Teacher Certification: one pupil for every two uncertified teachers. Division of Human Resources' FY'01 uncertified teacher data.

The special needs "virtual" register drives the district allocation of teacher positions and dollars.

  • Teacher Positions: 1 position per 9.85 special needs pupils.
  • Fixed Dollar Amount: $2,190 per special needs pupil.

As was the case last year, insufficient resources are available to fully fund the Special Needs/AIS allocation. As a result, an allocation ceiling is established to prevent exceeding the available budget. Additionally, a floor is established to support the prior year's level of service.

              CSD               HS
  • Maximum Increase:     2.53%            4.48%
  • Minimum Increase:      0.00%            0.00%

Except in the areas discussed below, the Special Needs/AIS allocations are final.

Average Teacher Salary: Teacher positions are allocated at the district's projected average teacher salary (ATS). Average teacher salaries will be adjusted at midyear and again at the end of the school year. Calculations are presented in Section B.

Community school districts should note that average teacher salaries, for the most part, are lower than those used in last year's initial allocation. This will have the positive effect of increasing purchasing power beyond the above limits.

Related Services: The special needs allocation provides sufficient funds to serve all kindergarten to grade 12 pupils requiring speech and counseling as a related service. When these pupils receive the service from a non-district provider (e.g., contract service, RSA) whose costs are currently covered by a central budget, or from another district, resources will be removed from the district's budget at a fixed pupil amount:

  • Speech: $1,160,
  • Counseling: $635.

The fixed amount will also be transferred out where a pupil is unserved.

Conversely, districts providing related services to pupils outside their kindergarten to grade 12 registers will receive additional funding at the above fixed pupil amount. This could include, but not be limited to, serving pupils enrolled in non-public schools, prekindergarten, or other districts (in particular, District 85 and Alternative High Schools, District 79).

Related Service adjustments will be made at the end of the school year based on Spring CAP reports.

Other Mandated Services: On an as-needed basis, a similar procedure will apply for other mandated services, such as non-public school resource room.

District 75 Placements: District students newly placed in District 75 programs will "take" resources with them. A fixed pupil amount, to be determined, will be withdrawn from the district for each pupil who is transferred to Citywide Special Education (District 75). If necessary, the fixed amount will be prorated for midyear placements.

General Education Note: Beginning last year, general education allocations utilize a register that includes special education students served in a general education classroom. This includes both district and citywide special education pupils in a school age plus program, or an integrated/ inclusion class. For allocation purposes, this population will be reflected in the general education register in a similar manner as resource room students are currently reported.


ACCRUALS

Within the guidelines discussed in the surplus/deficit section in the cover memo, districts will be permitted to carryover unspent tax levy funds into FY'03. Furthermore, the retention of accruals will help stabilize financial planning. Districts may set funds aside to handle late year needs, such as a new pupil placement requiring an IEP paraprofessional. If the needs are not fully realized, accruals are carried over for use in the following year.

There are no carryover provisions for categorical funding.

Carryover amounts will take into consideration district compliance with the delivery of mandated services required by a pupil's IEP.


DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITIES

The Special Needs/Academic Intervention Services allocation should not compromise nor diminish programmatic or financial requirements, instructional services, health services, staff development or supervision previously identified through the previous allocation formulas. Services mandated by a pupil's IEP must be given first priority. Contingency planning should take into consideration mandated needs occurring all through the school year.

The effects of the new continuum are not expected to be fully realized for two to four years. Consequently, multi-year planning should take place so that both organizationally and financially, districts are ready to handle the change.

State and Federal categorical program regulations remain in effect. Districts should refer to BOR Circular No. 1, 2001-02, "Cost Factors for FY 2002 for all Reimbursable Programs," for budgeting rates and grant numbers. Budgeting guidelines and procedures can be found in the "District Schedulization" circular to be issued shortly. Tax levy and PCEN Schoolwide Program teacher positions are to be scheduled at the district's average teacher salary. All other teacher positions are to be scheduled at actual cost.



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