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High Cost Special Education Rule & Claims Update

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


DPI’s revision to the administrative rule on High Cost Special Education Aid, PI 30, has been submitted to the Legislature for consideration and approval. The proposed rule is posted to the Rules Clearinghouse website. There will be a public hearing at DPI on Friday, December 20 at 1:30 p.m. Interested parties are also invited to comment on the proposed rule through January 3, 2020.

The legacy Special Education Web Portal, which includes the old High Cost Special Education claim application, will be shut down in January along with the server that houses it, due to its reaching support end of life. Because there will not be time to develop a new application after the rule is formally promulgated this spring, we will make an interim form available for 2018-19 claims that follows the structure of the proposed rule. The interim claim form will have a new due date.

The proposed rule is intended to make cost identification more straightforward and in better alignment with state statute. Costs are divided into three tiers:

  1. Costs particular to a child with disabilities.
  2. Costs of a program that serves the child, such as one for disability-specific needs or a cross-categorical program.
  3. Costs of nonadministrative support services.

A cost is reported at the appropriate tier, based in part on the claiming agency’s overall special education program design and ability to identify costs. For example, a district may find it more appropriate to identify speech and language services at the third tier (nonadministrative support services) rather than the first (particular to one child). Attendance and FTE data are used to convert costs in the second and third tiers to daily rates, which are in turn used to compile the overall cost for providing special education and related services to a child.

Finally, external funding (state special ed aid, IDEA grant funds, “actual cost” Open Enrollment revenue, and Medicaid) is applied to a child’s special education and related services costs so that only the portion of that external funding above $30,000, if any, affects the agency’s final eligibility.

Watch future School Finance Bulletins to follow the rule process and find out when details are available about the interim High Cost Special Education claim form for children served in 2018-19.