SCS/HCS/HB 137 - This act modifies the calculation of the amount a school district with one or more pupils attending a charter school shall pay to the charter school.
Under this act, provisions of current law setting forth aid payments for charter schools shall only apply to school years ending on or before June 30, 2022, for non-metropolitan school districts and on or before June 30, 2024, for metropolitan school districts.
For school years beginning on or after July 1, 2022, or July 1, 2024 for metropolitan schools, each charter school and each school district responsible for distributing local aid to charter schools shall include as part of their annual independent audit, an audit of pupil residency, enrollment, and attendance in order to verify pupil residency in the school district or local education agency.
A school district having one or more resident pupils attending a charter school shall pay to the charter school an annual amount equal to the product of the charter school's weighted average daily attendance and the state adequacy target, multiplied by the dollar value modifier for the district, less the charter school's share of local effort, plus all other state aid attributable to such pupils, plus local aid received by the school district, divided by the total weighted average daily attendance of the school district and all charter schools within the school district, per weighted average daily attendance of the charter school. Local aid is defined as all local and county revenue received by the school district and charter schools within the school district, per weighted average daily attendance of the charter school.
A charter school that has declared itself a local educational agency shall receive all state aid calculated under this act from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and all local aid calculated under the act from the school district. A charter school shall receive an annual amount as set forth in the act.
School districts shall withhold from January local effort payments an annual administrative fee for the administrative costs incurred related to the charter schools in the district. The fee shall equal .25% of the sum of the prior year's state aid received by the school district, the prior year's state aid received by the charter schools within the school district, and the prior year's local aid received by the school district and the charter schools within the school district, calculated as described in the act.
By December 31st each year, school districts shall transmit to the Department a calculation of monthly local aid owed to the charter school. The Department shall calculate the amount of such fee and publish such calculation by January 15th annually.
Each month, the school district shall pay the amount of local aid calculated to be owed to the charter school. If any payment of local aid is due, the school district shall make such payments on the twenty-first day of each month, beginning in July of each year. If the school district fails to make timely payments to the charter schools, the Department shall impose any penalty deemed appropriate.
Each school district shall, as part of an annual audit, include a report converting the local aid received from an accrual basis to a cash basis. Such report shall be made publicly available on its district website.
The Department shall be required, under this act, to conduct an annual review of any payments made in the previous fiscal year to determine whether there has been any underpayment or overpayment. Such review shall include a calculation of the amount of local aid owed to charter schools using the first preceding year's annual audit. The school district shall pay to the charter school the amount calculated by such review. In the event of an underpayment, the school district shall remit the underpayment amount to the charter school. In the event of an overpayment, the charter school shall remit the overpayment amount to the school district. If the school district or charter school fails to remit any required payment, the Department shall impose any penalty deemed appropriate.
If a prior year correction of the amount of local aid is necessary, the school district shall recalculate the amount owed to the charter school or provide a bill to the charter school for any overpayment amount.
The Department's annual review shall also assess whether each public school and charter school receiving stand and local aid provide similar amounts and quality of services to schools and pupils, as described in the act. Such results shall be a public record and distributed to the General Assembly.
Beginning February 1, 2024, for non-metropolitan school districts and February 1, 2026, for metropolitan school districts, each school district that contains charter schools and each charter school shall, as part of the annual audit provided to the Department, report the number of students with an individualized education plan, the costs incurred for providing special educational services as described in the act, the amount of funds reimbursed for high needs students under current law, and the amount of funds received under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. On or before February 14th of each year, the Department shall calculate the net cost for providing special educational services for each school district that has charter schools operating within the school district and for each charter school.
From each school district's February local aid payments to charter schools, such district shall withhold the annual administrative fee and the net cost for providing special educational services, as calculated under the act, for the district and each charter with total special educational services costs exceeding total special educational services funding. Each charter school shall be paid the amount withheld as such school's prior year net cost for providing special educational services by February 28th. Remaining local aid funds shall be allocated per weighted average daily attendance to the district and each charter school.
The Department shall adjust the net cost calculation based on the information reported to it under the act. Such adjustments may be based on underreporting or overreporting of the number of students with an individualized education plans, the cost to provide services, failure to draw high needs funds, failure to draw all available Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds, and costs determined to be excessive by the Department.
February local aid payments shall not be considered when calculating payments or withholdings from the calculations of February local aid payments.
This act is similar to HB 1664 (2021) and to provisions of HCS/SS/SCS/SB 528 (2020), SCS/SB 734 (2020), HCS/SS/SCS/SB 570 (2020), and HCS/HB 1664 (2020), and is similar to SB 527 (2020).