Use of Federal Grants
MAG reminds districts that they cannot claim for STAC and Medicaid reimbursement if federal funds are used to pay for staff salaries, benefits, contracted services or equipment. Districts will notice the positive effects on their revenue stream by implementing prudent grant planning strategies.
When constructing the 611 grant, keep in mind that the grant is designed to supplement, and not supplant special education offerings. Usually, small high-cost classes are core educational programs reimbursable through Excess Cost State Aid (STAC). The provision of appropriate related services and evaluations are also claimable through Medicaid. However, school districts need to be cautious because they must not bill for Medicaid for a service and/or evaluation that is paid partially or in full by Federal Funds.
In developing the 611 grant, districts should consider budgeting staff who are assigned to non-high cost education programs into Code 15 (Salaries for Professional Staff), e.g. consultant teachers and resource room teachers. Additionally, we recommend that general funds be used for related service providers of Medicaid claimable services.
Whenever possible, exclude self-contained teachers teaching small classes, 1:1 or shared aides, 1:1 nurses and related service providers, or any claimable contracted services from the grant budget. These costs should be paid through the general funds budget because they may be reimbursable through the STAC system if students’ costs exceed the threshold levels assigned by the NYS Education Department for your district. This also holds true for purchased services, Code 40 (Purchased Services).
In addition, consider using general funds when purchasing special equipment for specific students (e.g. personal FM systems, laptops or any other assistive technology devices, could be claimed through Excess Cost State Aid). If these items are purchased using federal funds, districts cannot be reimbursed through Excess Cost State Aid.
Please note that districts (LEAs) must comply with the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement of 34 CFR 300.203. In essence funds provided to districts under IDEA Part B must not be used to reduce the level of expenditures for the education of children with disabilities made by the LEA from local funds below the level of expenditures for the preceding year.
Additional resources are found at the following links:
Reimbursement for Placement Into Approved Private School as a Result of Impartial Hearing
Private Placement Certification
Prior to requesting reimbursement, school districts must provide “Assurance of Required Certifications for 10-Month Private School Reimbursement.” This process must be completed annually on the DCERT screen within the STAC Online (EFRT) System. for each in-state and out-of-state school age student in an approved 10-month private day or private residential school, including Special Act School Districts.
DCERT records are only required for 10-month school age private placements. A new DCERT record is required when the following placement changes occur:
- A change in CSE district
- A change from a day to residential placement
- A change from a residential to day placement
- A change from preschool to school age
- A change from in-state to out-of-state
- A change from out-of-state to in-state
For annual reviews, CSE chairpersons are advised to place a blank DCERT form, (found in our Forms & Guidelines section) into the packets of students who are considered for approved private school placement for the first time or if they are recommended to continue.
Tip for Annual Reviews – Approved Private School Placement by the CSE
The NYS Education Department established a preapproval procedure for placement of students with disabilities in Approved Private In-State and Out-of-State Day and Residential Placements. The procedure requires all school districts to complete certifications (DCERTS) for all school age private school reimbursements.
Since annual reviews are upon us, Management Advisory Group is urging each district to place a private placement certification form, found at this link: DCERT FORM AND GUIDE into each annual review folder if a student is being considered for initial placement or continuation in an approved private school. This form should be filled out during the CSE meeting and immediately submitted to our office for posting.
This DCERT form is completed annually under the following circumstances:
- Initial placement of students with disabilities in approved private schools.
- Continued placement of students with disabilities in approved private schools (During annual reviews)
- Change of placement from day to residential or residential to day placement.
- Change from in-state to out-of-state or out-of-state to in-state placement.
- Change of CSE Responsibility (Date student transferred in)
- Change from preschool to school age.
The DCERT must be filed on the STAC website no later than six (6) business days of the student’s start date.
- Note, Transfer Students Only: When reporting DCERT information for transfer students, the STAC Unit has made a recent update to the Private Placement Certification screen (DCERT). The newly added field is “Change of CSE Responsibility”. This field is only to be used when a student transfers into a district and continues with the same educational provider. The date entered in this field becomes the effective date of the certification. This “Change of CSE Responsibility” field allows districts time to hold their CSE meetings and complete their DCERTs in a timely fashion, without adversely impacting the reimbursement. If the receiving CSE determines a change of placement which is different from the one made by the sending CSE, then the new CSE would need to generate 2 DCERTs; one for the time the student spent in the original placement, and a new DCERT for the change of placement recommended by the receiving CSE.
If your district plans to operate a new ESY program or plan to modify an existing ESY program, an application must be submitted to NYSED by June 1.
Please be aware that there are two new programs: 9050 and 9055. These were added to the continuum of placement options. See questions 16 to 18 for more details at this link: ESY Q&A
The ESY programs are:
- Full or half-day Special Class Programs (9000 or 9010)
- Full-day or half-day Integrated ESY Special Class (9050 or 9055) -New!!!!
- Specialized and/or Related Service Programs (9015 A thru D)
- Related Services Only (9015-A)
- Specialized Instruction Only (9015-B)
- Specialized Instruction with Related Services (9015-C)
- Home/Hospital Instruction (HHI) (9015-D)
Read the 9015 application carefully because reimbursement is based on the specific types of programs students are receiving in the summer. Since it is the beginning of annual reviews, if your district plans to provide ESY programs, we recommend that you review your current approved programs and compare them with your district’s current and predicted needs.
When considering 9015 programs, please be reminded that education costs cannot be reimbursed through the STAC system if a student is receiving Specialized Instruction with Related services (9015-C) and your district is approved for Related Services Only (9015-A) and Specialized Instruction Only (9015-B). To be eligible for reimbursement, in this case, the district must be approved for 9015-C.
Contact Linda Keech from the Office of Special Education at (518) 473-0170 or email Linda.Keech@nysed.gov if you have any questions. You can also contact your Regional Associate.
The application information memo could be found at this link: NYSED Special Education Application Forms
July/August Extended School Year Descriptions for
9000, 9010 Special Class Programs – 9050, 9055 Integrated ESY Programs and
9015 NonSpecial Class Programs
9000 Full-day Special Class Program – shall operate for six weeks (Monday through Friday) and shall be funded for thirty consecutive days of services, provided, however, that the observance of the legal holiday for Independence Day may constitute a day of services (Section 4408 – Article 89). A full-day program must not run less than 5 hours a day of instruction for students whose chronological ages are equivalent to those of students in grades K though 6 and not less than 5.5 hours a day of instruction for students whose chronological ages are equivalent to those students in grades 7 through 12. (Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner)
9050 Full-day Special Class Program Integrated ESY Special Class – An integrated ESY special class means a class made up of both students with disabilities and students without disabilities where all students receive academic instruction and students with disabilities receive specially designed instruction to support their access to participate and progress in the general curriculum. Instruction in an integrated ESY special class to not more than 12 students with and without disabilities may be provided by one teacher who is appropriately qualified in the content area and who is an appropriately certified special education teacher. For classes with more than a total of 12 students, the class must be taught by both an appropriately qualified content area teacher and an appropriately qualified special education teacher.
9055 Half-day Special Class Program Integrated ESY Special Class – An integrated ESY special class means a class made up of both students with disabilities and students without disabilities where all students receive academic instruction and students with disabilities receive specially designed instruction to support their access to participate and progress in the general curriculum. Instruction in an integrated ESY special class to not more than 12 students with and without disabilities may be provided by one teacher who is appropriately qualified in the content area and who is an appropriately certified special education teacher. For classes with more than a total of 12 students, the class must be taught by both an appropriately qualified content area teacher and an appropriately qualified special education teacher.
9010 Half-day Special Class Program – shall operate for six weeks (Monday through Friday) and shall be funded for thirty consecutive days of services, provided, however, that the observance of the legal holiday for Independence Day may constitute a day of services (Section 4408 – Article 89). A half-day session is a morning or afternoon session with not less than 2.5hours of instruction for students whose chronological ages are equivalent to those of students in grades K through 6, and not less than 3.0 hours of instruction for students whose chronological ages are equivalent to those students in grades 7 through 12.
9015-A: Related Services Only (RSO) is developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as required to assist a student with a disability and includes speech-language pathology, audiology services, psychological services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling services, orientation and mobility services, medical services, parent counseling and training, school health services, school social work, assistive technology services, other appropriate developmental or corrective support services, appropriate access to recreation and other appropriate support services. This program is usually 1:1 or in small groups and 2-3 times per week.
9015-B: Specially Designed Instruction Only (SIO) is the delivery of instruction by a certified teacher to address the unique needs that result from the student’s disability; and to ensure access of the student to the general curriculum, so that he or she can meet the educational standards that apply to all students. Students receive specialized instruction in core subject areas (math, social studies, reading, etc.) This program is usually 1:1 or in small groups and 2-3 times per week.
9015-C: Specially Designed Instruction with Related Services (SIw/RS) is a combination of both related services and specialized instruction (A and B). This program is usually 1:1 or in small groups and 2-3 times per week.
9015-D: Home/Hospital Instruction (HHI) is special education provided on an individual basis for a student with a disability confined to the home, hospital or other institution because of a disability.
All services provided are based on a student’s IEP.