The legal citation for the Regulatory Authority of this memo is as follows: Ark. Code Ann. §§ 6-5-301 et seq., 6-20-601 et seq., 6-20-2301 et seq., 6-20-2501 et seq., Acts 229, 272, 273, 989, 1052, and 1573 of the Regular Session of 2007, and Acts 811, 1186 and 1450 of the Regular Session of 2009.
The June 30, 2009, preliminary state aid notice for fiscal year 2008-2009 has been completed and will be posted to the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) web site http://arkansased.org/communications/reports.html. Scroll down to State Aid Notices. Click on State Aid Notice 2008-09 - PDF June 30, 2009.
For each listed funding category, the following information is provided on the state aid notice: indication of the existence of an ADE rule; the amount of state aid; the applicable statutory code; indication of the existence of expenditure restrictions; the Revenue Code; and the Source of Fund Code. The DATA section of the state aid notice provides most of the data supporting the funding calculations. The FUNDING section of the state aid notice provides preliminary funding estimates based on available data. Changes to data will result in changes to the 2008-2009 estimated funding. Updates or corrections to data will change all associated funding categories. Districts will be notified of changes on subsequent state aid notices. Updates to the June 30, 2009, state aid notice include the following:
• Actual URT (Uniform Rate of Tax) Collections and 98% of URT less Actual URT Collections amounts are provided. Commissioner’s Memo FIN-09-064 dated March 30, 2009, provides information regarding these two line items.
• Two amounts for miscellaneous funds and two amounts for local revenue per student are shown on the state aid notice. Act 1450 of 2009 requires the use of one set of miscellaneous funds to calculate state foundation funding aid, and a second set of miscellaneous funds to calculate bonded debt assistance. Refer to Commissioner’s Memo FIN-09-070 dated April 27, 2009, for information regarding implementation of this law.
• The portion of State Foundation Funding Aid that is Educational Excellence Trust Funds (EETF) changed as a result of implementing Act 1450 of 2009, and as a result of an increase in the revenue forecast for EETF since the July 31, 2008, state aid notice.
• Isolated Special Needs Transportation is provided. Refer to footnotes for information regarding eligibility for qualifiers of both Declining Enrollment Funding and Isolated Special Needs Funding.
• Declining Enrollment Funding is provided for qualifying school districts. Refer to footnotes for information regarding eligibility for qualifiers of Student Growth Funding and Declining Enrollment Funding. A district cannot receive both Declining Enrollment Funding (with the exception of adequacy funding of both Declining Enrollment and Isolated Special Needs) and either Student Growth or Isolated Special Needs. A district that is eligible to receive Declining Enrollment and Student Growth, Declining Enrollment and Isolated Special Needs, or Declining Enrollment, Isolated Special Needs, and Student Growth will receive the category or categories yielding the most funding.
• Student Growth Funding is based on the comparison of 2008-2009 first, second, third, and fourth quarter Average Daily Membership (ADM) to 2007-2008 three-quarter ADM. As the fourth quarter ADM will not be available until after June 30, an adjustment will be made during the 2009-2010 school year based on actual 2008-2009 ADM of all four quarters. The ADE will distribute the difference (underpayment) to the school district or the school district shall refund the difference (overpayment) to the ADE.
Arkansas Department of Education Rules pertaining to state aid may be found at http://www.arkansased.org/. From the drop-down menu located under Rules, select Current Rules, and then select the specific rule as follows: Calculation of Miscellaneous Funds - PDF Sept. 10, 2007; Closing Isolated Schools - PDF July 2005; Education Excellence Trust Funds - PDF 6/10/1996; Funding of Public School Districts - PDF September 2007; Limited English Proficiency Funding - PDF April 2000; Professional Development - PDF July 11, 2005; Special Needs Funding and the Determination of Allowable Expenditures of Those Funds - PDF Nov. 13, 2006. The Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation Rule Governing the Retirement and Termination of Bonded Debt Assistance, General Facilities Funding and Supplemental Millage Incentive Funding dated November 2005 is posted on the following web site: http://www.arkansasfacilities.com.
Please review the state aid notice carefully. A comparison of the most recent state aid notice to prior state aid notices may prove helpful in detecting errors and variances. Questions may be directed to Vivian Roberts at 501-682-4486.