SECOND SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5311
State of Washington
2023 Regular Session
BySenate Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Wellman, Braun, Dhingra, Hunt, Kuderer, Mullet, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Torres, and C. Wilson; by request of Office of Financial Management)
READ FIRST TIME 02/23/23.
AN ACT Relating to special education funding formula; amending RCW 28A.150.390
; adding a new section to chapter 28A.310
RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 28A.150
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2020 c 90 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The superintendent of public instruction shall submit to each regular session of the legislature during an odd-numbered year a programmed budget request for special education programs for students with disabilities. Funding for programs operated by local school districts shall be on an excess cost basis from appropriations provided by the legislature for special education programs for students with disabilities and shall take account of state funds accruing through RCW 28A.150.260
(4)(a), (5), (6), and (8) and 28A.150.415
(2) The excess cost allocation to school districts shall be based on the following:
(a) A district's annual average headcount enrollment of students ages three and four and those five year olds not yet enrolled in kindergarten who are eligible for and receiving special education, multiplied by the district's base allocation per full-time equivalent student, multiplied by ((1.15))1.2;
(b)(i) Subject to the limitation in (b)(ii) of this subsection (2), a district's annual average enrollment of resident students who are eligible for and receiving special education, excluding students ages three and four and those five year olds not yet enrolled in kindergarten, multiplied by the district's base allocation per full-time equivalent student, multiplied by the ((special education cost multiplier rate of:
(A) In the 2019-20 school year, 0.995 for students eligible for and receiving special education.
(B) Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, either:
(I) 1.0075 for))following multipliers:
(A) For students eligible for and receiving special education and reported to be in the general education setting for ((eighty))80 percent or more of the school day((; or
(II) 0.995 for)): Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, 1.12;
(B) For students eligible for and receiving special education and reported to be in the general education setting for less than ((eighty))80 percent of the school day: Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, 1.06.
(ii) If the enrollment percent exceeds ((thirteen and five-tenths))15 percent, the excess cost allocation calculated under (b)(i) of this subsection must be adjusted by multiplying the allocation by ((thirteen and five-tenths))15 percent divided by the enrollment percent.
(3) As used in this section:
(a) "Base allocation" means the total state allocation to all schools in the district generated by the distribution formula under RCW 28A.150.260
(4)(a), (5), (6), and (8) and the allocation under RCW 28A.150.415
, to be divided by the district's full-time equivalent enrollment.
(b) "Basic education enrollment" means enrollment of resident students including nonresident students enrolled under RCW 28A.225.225
and students from nonhigh districts enrolled under RCW 28A.225.210
and excluding students residing in another district enrolled as part of an interdistrict cooperative program under RCW 28A.225.250
(c) "Enrollment percent" means the district's resident annual average enrollment of students who are eligible for and receiving special education, excluding students ages three and four and those five year olds not yet enrolled in kindergarten and students enrolled in institutional education programs, as a percent of the district's annual average full-time equivalent basic education enrollment.
and 2019 c 387 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) 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
(b) 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.
(2) Safety net funds shall be awarded by the state safety net oversight committee subject to the following conditions and limitations:
(a) The committee shall award additional funds for districts that can convincingly demonstrate that all legitimate expenditures for special education exceed all available revenues from state funding formulas.
(b) In the determination of need, the committee shall consider additional available revenues from federal sources.
(c) Differences in program costs attributable to district philosophy((, service delivery choice,)) or accounting practices are not a legitimate basis for safety net awards.
(d) 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 students eligible for special education 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 (e) and (f) of this subsection shall not exceed the total of a district's specific determination of need.
(e) The committee shall then consider the extraordinary high cost needs of one or more individual students eligible for and receiving special education. Differences in costs attributable to district philosophy((, service delivery choice,)) or accounting practices are not a legitimate basis for safety net awards.
(f) 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 (2)(f) shall be adjusted to reflect amounts awarded under (e) of this subsection.
(g) The committee shall then consider the extraordinary high cost needs of one or more individual students eligible for and receiving special education served in residential schools ((as defined in RCW 28A.190.020
)), programs for juveniles under the department of corrections, and programs for juveniles operated by city and county jails to the extent they are providing a secondary program of education.
(h) 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.
(i) 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.
(j) Safety net awards must be adjusted for any audit findings or exceptions related to special education funding.
(3) The superintendent of public instruction shall adopt such rules and procedures as are necessary to administer the special education funding and safety net award process. By December 1, 2018, the superintendent shall review and revise the rules to achieve full and complete implementation of the requirements of this subsection and subsection (4) of this section including revisions to rules that provide additional flexibility to access community impact awards. 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.
(4) 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.
(5) 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.
(6)(a) Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, a high-need student is eligible for safety net awards from state funding under subsection (2)(e) and (g) of this section if the student's individualized education program costs exceed two and three-tenths times the average per-pupil expenditure as defined in Title 20 U.S.C. Sec. 7801, the every student succeeds act of 2015.
(b) Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, the average per-pupil expenditure used to determine safety net award eligibility for a high-need student is the lesser of:
(i) The average per-pupil expenditure calculated using the methodology defined in 20 U.S.C. Sec. 7801, the every student succeeds act of 2015; or
(ii) The average per-pupil expenditure calculated using the methodology defined in 20 U.S.C. Sec. 7801, the every student succeeds act of 2015, using only the expenditure and average daily attendance data for the subset of districts receiving the same salary regionalization factor as the high-need student's district, as determined under RCW 28A.150.412 and the omnibus operating appropriations act.
(c) When calculating the average per-pupil expenditure for safety net eligibility purposes, safety net funding provided in this section must be excluded.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3.
A new section is added to chapter 28A.310
RCW to read as follows:
(1) Subject to amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, each educational service district shall contract for independent special education advocates.
(2) The role of a special education advocate is to:
(a) Serve as a resource for a child with disabilities who is eligible for special education due to the disability and the child's parents and family;
(b) Advocate on behalf of the child for a free and appropriate public education from the public school system that emphasizes special education and related services that are:
(i) Provided in the least restrictive environment;
(ii) Designed to meet the child's unique needs;
(iii) Appropriately ambitious and reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress in light of the child's circumstances; and
(iv) Addressing the child's further education, employment, and independent living goals; and
(c) Assist parents with any one or more of the following:
(i) Preparing for a meeting to develop or update their child's individualized education program;
(ii) Attending the individualized education program meetings to help present the parents' concerns, negotiate components that meet the parents' goals and requests, or otherwise assist with the understanding and navigation of the process;
(iii) Attending an individual education program meeting on behalf of the child to assist in writing an appropriate program when a parent opts out or otherwise cannot attend the meeting.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4.
A new section is added to chapter 28A.150
RCW to read as follows:
(1) It is the policy of the state that for purposes of state funding allocations, students eligible and receiving special education generate the full basic education allocation under RCW 28A.150.260
and, as a class, are to receive the benefits of this allocation for the entire school day, as defined in RCW 28A.150.203
, whether the student is placed in the general education setting or another setting.
(2) The superintendent of public instruction and the state auditor shall develop an allocation and cost accounting methodology that ensures state general apportionment funding for students who receive their basic education services primarily in an alternative classroom or setting are prorated and allocated to the special education program and accounted for before calculating special education excess costs. Nothing in this section requires districts to provide services in a manner inconsistent with the students individualized education plan or other than in the least restrictive environment as determined by the individualized education plan team.
(3) The superintendent of public instruction shall provide the legislature with an accounting of prorated general apportionment allocations provided to special education programs broken down by school district by January 1, 2024, and then every January 1st of odd-numbered years thereafter.
--- END ---