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Office of Student Learning & Partnerships

5.

How is the final Cap waiver determined and how is the final adjustment made?

To determine the number of additional ADMr, the severity and spending points are totaled and rounded to the nearest whole number.  This score is used as a weight and referenced as “total factor” on the 11% spreadsheet.  It is multiplied by the number of special education students in excess of 11% of the district’s population.  This product (factor X #students over 11%) is close to the number of additional weights assigned to a district, but one final adjustment must be calculated.

The 11% committee was aware that the percent of districts exceeding 11% was continually increasing.   Over 85% of districts exceeded 11% in the calculation of special education students for the year 2004-2005.  In an effort to control the effect of this increase on the State School Fund2 (SFF) the committee created a cap on the 11% cap waiver.  This process set the maximum proportion of the amount available for waivers, based on previous years' data.  It allowed for an increase in the amount the waivers could generate, but kept the amount of increase a consistent proportion (based on the projected amount if all special education students over 11% were fully funded in eligible districts).  This allowed ODE’s School Finance to reasonably estimate within the SSF the numbers of waivers and the amount that would be annually adjusted via these waivers.  It is important to note, that while this process provides a better statewide estimate on the effect of the 11% process it does nothing to account for the wide degree of variance that can exist year to year at any district.  For example, in any two consecutive years a district may significantly increase or decrease its special education spending and it may have more or fewer special education students with varying proportions of primary disabilities.  Any of these shifts would account for a change in the number of additional ADMr a district would generate via the 11% cap waiver process.

At the end of this complex process an eligible district’s additional ADMr is calculated and sent to ODE School Finance to adjust for the previous year.  Depending on other SSF calculation factors, the effect of additional 11% waiver ADMr may not be seen on the final adjustment.  This is most likely to occur in districts with declining enrollment.  Instead, the district’s ADMr is increased which will be beneficial in next year’s SSF when the SSF adjusts for the district’s higher ADMr.

In closing, the 11% Cap Waiver Process is complex.  It has greatly benefited from the improved accuracy of district and ESD fiscal data.  This summary is provided to clarify the many questions that arise each year, and to present a transparent process for the reader.

HIGH COST DISABILITIES

1.  How does the state assist LEAs in financing high-cost students with disabilities?

2 The funds that flow through the 11% Cap Waiver Process come directly from the State School Fund.  There are no additional monies for the 11% waivers.  When 11% awards are made, the money is taken from the school fund, in effect reducing the amount available for each ADMr for all students in the state.  In reality, the 11% redistributes a less significant portion of funds than might be otherwise assumed.

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