The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) received a Special Education Services appropriation in Act 2131 of 2005 that includes funds to support the provision of Extended School Year (ESY) Services to eligible students with disabilities in need of such services, to provide special education services to children with disabilities who are wards of the State placed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in out-of-state therapeutic treatment programs, and to provide funds to support the payment of salaries of special education supervisors. The ADE must distribute these funds in a manner necessary to carry out the intent of the appropriation.
The appropriate provision of Extended School Year services is a priority for the ADE given state and federal special education law requiring its use and recent federal compliance monitoring findings on Arkansas ESY programs. ADE Special Education Procedural Requirements and Program Standards, Section 19.00, contains a methodology for the allocation of state funds related to the provision of ESY Services to students with disabilities.
ADE Special Education Procedural Requirements and Program Standards, Section 18.00, contains a methodology for the allocation of state funds related to the provision of education services to wards of the state with disabilities that have been placed out of state by DHHS.
The ADE Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part 3 – XII, Personnel Standards, provides for special education administrators’ qualifications, but does not contain a methodology for the allocation of state funds to support the salaries of special education administrators (supervisors). The ADE has determined that it can best carry out the intent of the appropriation by making funds available to each school district and open enrollment charter school on the basis of Average Daily Membership (ADM), which is consistent with other ADE methodologies used to allocate state education aid. In this case, the portion of the Act 2131 appropriation available to support the payment of special education supervisor salaries in FY06-07 will be allocated on the basis of each district’s or open enrollment charter school’s pro rata share of statewide FY05-06 ADM. This approach will provide maximum flexibility to school districts and open enrollment charter schools in the use of state funds for the employment of local personnel.
The amount of funds available to each school district and open enrollment charter school in support of the payment of salaries of qualified special education supervisors will be published on the Special Education website after the average of the first three quarters FY05-06 ADM is determined by the ADE. However, for planning purposes, districts and open enrollment charter schools are advised that if funds had been allocated on the basis of ADM in FY05-06, allocations would have been based on $7.16 per student.