CONTACT PERSON NAME: Nancy Rivers PHONE: 850)410-1460 August 3, 2001 SUNCOM: 210-1460 DPBM: 02-17 MEMORANDUM TO: District School Superintendents FROM: Wayne V. Pierson SUBJECT: Finance Related Legislation A session of the Florida School Finance Officers Association Summer Conference consisted of questions from the participants, with answers provided by Department of Education staff in attendance. Answers to some questions were not known at the time of the conference. For that reason, and to provide a written response, the attachment lists the questions and answers. WVP:lrp Attachments cc: Finance Directors DOE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ESE SCHOLARSHIPS Contact: Diane McCain; (850) 488-5011, SC 278-5011; e-mail - email@example.com 1. Can private schools adjust the “matrix” for students after 1 year with no checks and balances, other than their own assurance, resulting in higher levels and more funds leaving the districts? Private schools cannot adjust the matrix for a student. The district completes the matrix of services. A student’s matrix remains the same after entering the program, until the district provides re-evaluation. 2. Are parents supposed to notify the districts of plans to enroll their children in private schools prior to DOE removing district funds? If so, why did DOE work with private schools and parents and make payments this year without district knowledge; will DOE continue this practice in future years so districts are unaware and cannot budget appropriately? Parents notify the district of their intent to participate in the McKay Scholarship Program. If the parent opts for a private school, the private school registers the student online. Districts can then go online at www.opportunityschools.org and view a list of students from the district attending private school and which private school each student is attending. 3. Will DOE require audits of private schools receiving public funds, especially in light of changes to the matrix of various students? Audits will not be required of private schools. Private schools do not have the authority to change the matrix of services. ESE - CHOICE Contact: Diane McCain; (850) 488-5011, SC 278-5011; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 4. If a parent notifies a district that they would like their child to go to a different school in the same district that does not have the appropriate program, must the district start a program at the new school? The district is not required to create a program for a student that has chosen to attend another public school. OPPAGA Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - email@example.com 5. The district may vote NOT to accept OPPAGA’s action plan, but what happens if the Board does not accept it? Is the Board required to formulate an alternative plan? No. It may be advisable to do so since the law suggests that school board members may be required to appear and present testimony before a legislative committee. IDEA/MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT Contact: Shan Goff; (850) 488-1570, SC 278-1570; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 6. We have heard of changed requirements regarding expenditure of these funds. Please explain these changes in full. A forthcoming memorandum from the Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services will explain new measure of flexibility for a portion of the increase in IDEA funding. There are no changes to Medicaid reimbursement. FTE – CHARTER SCHOOLS Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - email@example.com 7. Will DOE or the Auditor General be auditing charter schools’ FTE? If so, is this happening now or in the near future? The audit of charter school FTE is part of the district’s audit. Some charter schools have been included in FTE audits. CAPITAL OUTLAY – CHARTER SCHOOLS Contact: Spessard Boatright; (850) 487-1130, SC 277-1130; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 8. How will the capital outlay dollars be distributed to the charter schools? Last year they were paid 60 percent after Survey 2 and 40 percent after Survey 3. In the 01-02 FY we must start paying them in July. Based on what facts? Do we use their current student projection? Monthly payments began in July and were based on estimates obtained from district charter school contacts. These amounts will be adjusted at the end of August 2001 and following the regular FTE surveys in October and February. Pre-K FUNDING Contact: Shan Goff; (850) 488-1570, SC 278-1570; e-mail - email@example.com 9. We are hearing that these funds will be reduced for 01-02 FY. Is this true? If so, what amount will we receive? Also, this creates a very difficult position for us, as the teachers/staff have already been renewed. The teachers we can probably absorb; however, the aides we cannot as we no longer have regular aides in our schools (budget cut this year). The same amount was appropriated for school readiness programs. Consistent with recent legislation, the Readiness Partnership Board approved an allocation formula for both PreK early intervention and PreK migrant programs. Information on the allocation of these funds to the readiness local coalitions was distributed by the Partnership on July 11. TEACHERS LEAD PROGRAM Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 10. Many teachers have not spent Lead money from years prior to 2000-01 FY – money that was deposited into Internal Accounts. The original House Bill does not say that the district, principal, or the enhancement council can take that money to use how they see fit. We constantly encourage teachers to spend it, but some just do not. Can the district “legally” move that unspent money at the end of the FY? Existing law calls for any money unused by the teacher at the end of the school year to be returned for use by the school advisory council. Since the law under which prior year funding was distributed has expired, it seems appropriate to follow the current law. Prior notice of this action should be given to teachers with balances in internal accounts. RECRUITMENT/RETENTION BONUS Contact: Nancy Rivers; (850) 410-1460, SC 210-1460; e-mail - email@example.com See DPBM 02-07, dated July 16, 2001. INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY CATEGORICAL Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 11. What are the restrictions for use of 2001-02 Instructional Technology funds? Can we charge instructional technology personnel costs? The proviso makes no restriction other than the funding is to be used for Instructional Technology. SCHOOL RECOGNITION FUNDS ("A" SCHOOL FUNDS) Contact: David Montford; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - email@example.com 12. What is the basis of the calculation for the School Recognition portion of lottery? The sum of FTE in eligible schools multiplied by $100. 13. Will it be adjusted after school grades are certified? Yes. 14. What is going to happen to the remaining School Recognition funds after “A” school funds are allocated? What happens if a district has more schools qualified to receive these funds than funds available in this allocation? Will other districts’ funds be appropriated to the district without the required amount? The amount available for School Recognition awards is $113,500,000. The amount left after disbursement of awards by DOE is to be allocated to all school districts by prorating on each district’s K-12 base funding entitlement. This prorated amount is to be added to each district’s discretionary lottery allocation. See DPBM 01-116, dated June 26, 2001. ADMINISTRATIVE SICK LEAVE – CALCULATION OF MAXIMUM PAY OUT Contact: Nancy Rivers; (850) 410-1460, SC 210-1460; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org or David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - email@example.com Note: DPBM 01-113, dated June 14, 2001, confirmed that SB 708 is not retroactive and does not affect sick leave earned as of June 30, 2001. 15. Can leave used be charged on a last in first out (LIFO) basis to preserve balances on hand on June 30, 2001? Yes. The law preserves balances on hand on June 30, 2001, provided that leave earned after that date is equal to or greater than leave taken after June 30, 2001. 16. Do provisions apply to any non-administrators? Section 231.40, F.S., defines “educational support employee” and “instructional staff.” Any other employee is subject to the restriction on payment of terminal sick leave. 17. Non-Instructional personnel on continuing contracts – does July 1, 2001, count as contract renewal date and trigger the new provisions? The law states that the limit does not impair any contractual agreement established before July 1, 2001. 18. Can leave earned in another district before June 30, 2001, and transferred to current district prior to July 1, 2001, count as leave earned before July 1, 2001? Yes, if done in accordance with district board policy. 19. If an administrator is on a 3-year contract as of June 30, 2001, but was hired after July 1, 1995, is he/she subject to caps currently in place? The law changes July 1, 1995, to July 1, 2001. 20. If an administrator was hired after July 1, 1995, does all accrued sick leave as of June 30, 2001, now become subject to “full” payout? The law changes July 1, 1995, to July 1, 2001. TRAVEL – CLASS “C” MEALS Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 21. Can we pay for subsistence for lunch at the rate of $6 for travel that does not extend overnight? Per the wording of the bill, “State” employees are noted in one sentence and “travelers” are noted in the next sentence. Section 112.061, F.S., which is amended by this bill, applies to all “travelers.” Applies only to state employees. PROMPT PAYMENT Contact: Spessard Boatright; (850) 487-1130, SC 277-1130; e-mail - email@example.com 22. Please explain the provisions of the Prompt Payment Act. In particular, does interest accrue immediately after the due date or after another 30 days? Payments not made in accordance with the Act bear interest from 30 days after the due date at 1 percent. Please see CS/CS/SB 870 for details relative to differences in the procedures for payments for construction services and payments for other obligations. 2 MILL FUNDS Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 23. What is allowed to be purchased out of 2 mill funds after next year when the funds can only be used for school related items and buses, i.e., can maintenance vehicles and attendance officer vehicles be purchased out of 2 mill funds? The schedule set in Section 236.25(2) for phase-out on some authorized uses ends in 2002-2003 with a 10 percent cap of the base-year expenditure for the specified items. Maintenance vehicles are a cost of maintenance of school buildings and is not subject to the phase-out. Attendance officer vehicles are not authorized. DEPOSITS TO SBA 24. Why are there not better descriptions or sources to contact for DOE deposits? The method of notification seems to be a hit or miss situation. Also, sometimes the description gives us no information except the amount. We will inform the appropriate parties of this concern. HB 1545 – REDIRECTION OF EXPENDITURES TO THE CLASSROOM Contact: Nancy Rivers; (850) 410-1460, SC 210-1460; e-mail - email@example.com or Financial Reporting Staff; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142 25. Explain the calculation of the amount to be redirected to functions 5000 and 6400. See DPBM 02-06, dated July 17, 2001, and TAN 2002-07, dated July 19, 2001. EQUITY AND FUNDING ACT (90 Percent Rule) Contact: David Morris; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 26. What revenue is required to be included in the calculation required by this legislation? Is our discretionary millage included in the calculation of revenue for the schools to determine the percentage of revenue to be used at the school level (i.e., 50 percent to 65 percent to 80 percent to 90 percent)? If so, can the revenue provided in the cost report be amended to include the discretionary local taxes in order to measure compliance with the school level expenditure requirements (could be a separate report)? Section 236.08103, F.S., Equity in School Level Funding, includes gross state and local funds, discretionary lottery funds, and funds from the school district’s current operating discretionary millage levy. Total funding for each school is to be recalculated during the year to reflect changes due to actual weighted full-time equivalent students. Funds that are unused at the end of the fiscal year are not to revert to the district. The revenue file provided for the CAPOR report in the cost reporting software relates to compliance with Section 237.34, F.S. We will provide an additional revenue file for the Section 236.08103, F.S., purpose which will be formatted for use in CAPOR. Information relative to accessing this file will be provided in the near future. AFR Contact: Linda Champion; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - email@example.com 27. Are spreadsheets going to be furnished by DOE? If so, when? See TAN 2002-04, dated July 19, 2001. BUDGET Contact: Linda Champion; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org 28. What is the estimated date that DOE will certify Required Local Effort (RLE)? Will this be e-mailed and on the website? See e-mail of July 18. GASB 34/33 Contact: Linda Champion; (850) 488-5142, SC 278-5142; e-mail - email@example.com 29. PECO Dollars – Should all deferred revenue be considered as revenue at the allocation or encumbrance stage in order to be in compliance with GASB 33 at year-end? Present procedures for recognizing PECO revenue are GASB 33 compliant. 30. Tangible Personal Property – Do we remove costs/accumulated depreciation for equipment that is depreciated below the $750 limit? Is it no longer tracked as a control item? No. Rules of Auditor General must be observed. 31. When determining major and non-major funds, should we roll up funds by type; such as 2-mill fund for each funding year to one 2-mill fund; or General Obligation Bond issues to one General Obligation Bond fund (as funds are reported on DOE AFR statements)? Roll up by type.
To Chief Education Financial Officer Home