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Special Education

Proportionate Share Calculation for School Year Expenditures

To:Special Education Directors and School Business Officials
From:Russell Johnston, PhD, State Director of Special Education
Date:June 22, 2017

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As you are aware from last year, ESE now requires districts to submit proportionate share calculations and expenditure forms annually to ESE. Beginning in FY18, all districts must submit the required proportionate share forms with the grant application for IDEA Part B (Fund Code 240). The new grant application will be available later in July. To assist you in preparing this submission, attached are updated proportionate share data collection and calculation forms Download MS EXCEL Document that you will need to submit with the district's grant application.

In July, ESE also will post new guidance regarding calculating proportionate share for purposes of IDEA. This guidance will replace all previously issued guidance on proportionate share calculations and expenditures.

In addition, this memorandum clarifies the proportionate share instructions issued by ESE last year. Because the Department has become aware of some confusion, districts must revisit how they conducted child count, how they calculated proportionate share, and whether they fully spent their proportionate share amount in 2016-2017 (FY17). To ensure that every district meets its required obligations under IDEA, ESE is requiring all districts to confirm the accuracy of child count and of proportionate share calculations for FY17. Additional information is provided below about the activities that districts must complete before submitting applications for FY18 Fund Code 240.

Before submitting the FY18 Fund Code 240 application, all districts must take the following steps:

  1. Recalculate Proportionate Share for FY17, Based on the Child Count Conducted October 1 – December 1, 2015

    The IDEA requires that districts base the annual calculation of proportionate share on child counts occurring between October 1 and December 1 of the prior year. Child count occurring in one year is used as the basis for calculations and expenditures for the subsequent fiscal year.

    Using the attached calculation form Download MS EXCEL Document, please reevaluate your district's child count that occurred between October 1 and December 1, 2015. Consistent with IDEA, districts should have used this child count for the purpose of calculating required proportionate share expenditures in FY17. A district must revise the proportionate share calculation for FY17 if it determines that:

    • the child count was incorrect, and
    • the calculation of proportionate share for FY17 was based on the incorrect child count.

    Further, if the district did not meet the revised level of required expenditure for FY17, the district must carry over the additional amount not spent to FY18 for proportionate share calculations. If the district has spent all of its IDEA funds for FY17, then it must allocate additional FY18 entitlement funds to cover the shortfall from FY17.

    Districts must record any corrections to child count, the calculation of proportionate share, and required carry-over funds on the budget tab of the proportionate share form submitted with the grant application for FY18 Fund Code 240. Please retain all documentation created and used when reviewing child count and the calculation of proportionate share and required carry-over funds. ESE will review this documentation during the compliance monitoring and audit processes. We also will not collect any revised forms for FY17.

    Review the process used by the district in determining the number of eligible students who were privately enrolled by their parents and educated in your district. The count should have been taken between October 1 and December 1, 2015. This includes all resident and non-resident students attending private schools in your district during this time, including students who were home schooled. The total should include all students identified as eligible for special education services at any time during the three years preceding this time period. Please note that it is not relevant to the count whether a student is or has ever received services or from whom; rather, the count must include all eligible students attending a private school located in the geographic boundaries of your district. These eligible students are students the district would have found during regular child find activities and those found or who should have been found during timely and meaningful consultation with the private schools in your district. The count must include all eligible students who are home schooled in your district; students who are home schooled in Massachusetts are privately enrolled under Massachusetts law. Students who live within the geographic boundaries of your district but who attend private school in another district should not be included in your count.

    Example: In verifying child count and proportionate share, Anytown District realizes they have one eligible private school student who was not initially included in their child count completed between October 1 and December 1, 2015. Based on this data, the district determines that it should have spent an additional $1,400 in IDEA funds for purposes of proportionate share on services for any eligible private school students during FY17. For FY18, Anytown District must include the $1,400 of carry-over funds in addition to the proportionate share amount for FY18. The district will report these carry-over funds on the budget tab of the proportionate share form that it submits with the grant application for Fund Code 240 this summer.

  2. Calculate Proportionate Share for FY18, Based on the Child Count Conducted October 1 - December 1, 2016

    In addition to making the necessary changes for the FY17 expenditures, ESE requires all districts to verify their child count conducted during 2016-2017, because this child count is the basis for calculation and expenditure of proportionate share for FY18. Based upon the Department's clarification of the proportionate share instructions, all districts must verify the accuracy of the most recent child count conducted between October 1 and December 1, 2016, and the resulting calculation of proportionate share for FY18. Districts must confirm that the child count includes all eligible private school students attending a private school or home schooled within the geographic boundaries of your district regardless of whether those students are receiving or have ever received services from the district and regardless of whether the students live in the district or outside the district. This information should include students known through child count activities and those made known to the district through meaningful consultation with the private schools.

    Districts must use the verified child count, revised as necessary, as the basis for calculating the proportionate share expenditure required for FY18. The district must submit this information as part of its grant application for FY18, Fund Code 240. Please use the attached proportionate share calculation form Download MS EXCEL Document to begin these activities so that this information is readily available for the district's grant application.

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In summary:

  1. Using the guidance provided, review your child count numbers for October 1 to December 1, 2015. If the original child count was incorrect, use the attached form Download MS EXCEL Document to recalculate proportionate share for FY17 expenditures. If your district did not meet its corrected FY17 expenditure for proportionate share, please note the amount obligated for carry-over. If the district has already spent all IDEA funds for FY17, then the district must allocate additional IDEA entitlement funds for FY18 to cover the proportionate share obligation that is outstanding from FY17. Districts must maintain this data and supporting documents in their records because the Department will review it during the compliance monitoring and audit processes. The district must enter unexpended funds as carry-over funds on the proportionate share form for FY18 when it submits its application for Fund Code 240.

  2. All districts are required to verify their child count conducted this past school year and update the proportionate share calculation accordingly; this probably will impact FY18 spending. Districts must consider proportionate share expenditures and possible carry-over funds related to child counts originally conducted between October 1 and December 1, 2016, and reflect all corrected information and calculations in the grant applications for Fund Code 240 and the form for proportionate share calculations that they will submit this summer.

In July, ESE will provide more guidance about child count and proportionate share. Please bookmark the homepage of the Office of Special Education Planning & Policy, where announcements will be posted. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Cote at acote@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3382.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Attachments

Download PDF Document
Directions for filling out the Proportionate Share Calculation Form
Download MS EXCEL Document
Proportionate Share Calculation Form FY18



Last Updated: June 22, 2017
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