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28A.150.390  <<  28A.150.392 >>   28A.150.400

RCW 28A.150.392

Special education funding — Safety net awards — Rules — Annual survey and report — Safety net oversight committee.

(1) To the extent necessary, funds shall be made available for safety net awards for districts with demonstrated needs for special education funding beyond the amounts provided through the special education funding formula under RCW 28A.150.390. If the federal safety net awards based on the federal eligibility threshold exceed the federal appropriation in any fiscal year, then the superintendent shall expend all available federal discretionary funds necessary to meet this need. Safety net funds shall be awarded by the state safety net oversight committee subject to the following conditions and limitations:

     (a) The committee shall consider additional funds for districts that can convincingly demonstrate that all legitimate expenditures for special education exceed all available revenues from state funding formulas. In the determination of need, the committee shall also consider additional available revenues from federal sources. Differences in program costs attributable to district philosophy, service delivery choice, or accounting practices are not a legitimate basis for safety net awards. In the determination of need, the committee shall require that districts demonstrate that they are maximizing their eligibility for all state revenues related to services for special education-eligible students and all federal revenues from federal impact aid, medicaid, and the individuals with disabilities education act-Part B and appropriate special projects. Awards associated with (b) and (c) of this subsection shall not exceed the total of a district's specific determination of need.

     (b) The committee shall then consider the extraordinary high cost needs of one or more individual special education students. Differences in costs attributable to district philosophy, service delivery choice, or accounting practices are not a legitimate basis for safety net awards.

     (c) Using criteria developed by the committee, the committee shall then consider extraordinary costs associated with communities that draw a larger number of families with children in need of special education services, which may include consideration of proximity to group homes, military bases, and regional hospitals. Safety net awards under this subsection (1)(c) shall be adjusted to reflect amounts awarded under (b) of this subsection.

     (d) The maximum allowable indirect cost for calculating safety net eligibility may not exceed the federal restricted indirect cost rate for the district plus one percent.

     (e) Safety net awards shall be adjusted based on the percent of potential medicaid eligible students billed as calculated by the superintendent of public instruction in accordance with chapter 318, Laws of 1999.

     (f) Safety net awards must be adjusted for any audit findings or exceptions related to special education funding.

     (2) The superintendent of public instruction may adopt such rules and procedures as are necessary to administer the special education funding and safety net award process. Before revising any standards, procedures, or rules, the superintendent shall consult with the office of financial management and the fiscal committees of the legislature. In adopting and revising the rules, the superintendent shall ensure the application process to access safety net funding is streamlined, timelines for submission are not in conflict, feedback to school districts is timely and provides sufficient information to allow school districts to understand how to correct any deficiencies in a safety net application, and that there is consistency between awards approved by school district and by application period. The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall also provide technical assistance to school districts in preparing and submitting special education safety net applications.

     (3) On an annual basis, the superintendent shall survey districts regarding their satisfaction with the safety net process and consider feedback from districts to improve the safety net process. Each year by December 1st, the superintendent shall prepare and submit a report to the office of financial management and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the legislature that summarizes the survey results and those changes made to the safety net process as a result of the school district feedback.

     (4) The safety net oversight committee appointed by the superintendent of public instruction shall consist of:

     (a) One staff member from the office of the superintendent of public instruction;

     (b) Staff of the office of the state auditor who shall be nonvoting members of the committee; and    

     (c) One or more representatives from school districts or educational service districts knowledgeable of special education programs and funding.

[2009 c 548 § 109.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2009 c 548 §§ 101-110 and 701-710: See note following RCW 28A.150.200.

     Intent -- 2009 c 548: See RCW 28A.150.1981.

     Finding -- 2009 c 548: See note following RCW 28A.410.270.

     Intent -- Finding -- 2009 c 548: See note following RCW 28A.305.130.