OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

sHB-7016

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MORE COMMISSION SPECIAL EDUCATION SELECT WORKING GROUP.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 16 $

FY 17 $

Education, Dept.

GF - Cost

1,620,000

2,000,000

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

GF - Cost

101,899

206,410

Various State Agencies

GF - Cost

less than 2,000

less than 1,000

UConn

GF - Cost

15,000

15,000

Auditors

GF - Cost

263,644

263,644

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 16 $

FY 17 $

Local and Regional School Districts

STATE MANDATE - Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

Sections 1 and 2 of the bill do not result in a fiscal impact, as they require various state agencies to complete reports, and the agencies have both the staff and expertise necessary to do so.

Section 3 requires local and regional boards of education to distribute a fact sheet on transition resources. This could result in a cost of less than $1,000 per district to print and disseminate the appropriate information.

Sections 4 and 6 address the development of a new individualized education program (IEP) form. This would be a state mandated form, used by all districts.  It would allow for real time data collection and monitoring by the State Department of Education (SDE). In FY 16, the cost for this new system (piloting only selected districts) would total $1.6 million. This would include one-time costs of $1.0 million for system development and $600,000 for piloting the selected districts. Annual ongoing costs, beginning in FY 17, would total $2.0 million including 1 Associate Education Consultant ($99,500) and 2 Information Technology Analysts ($85,452), with corresponding fringe benefits ($104,511). The remainder of the funding is attributed to maintenance, updates and on-going support to users. Correspondingly, by developing a statewide individualized education program form, local and regional school districts could incur some minimal savings as most districts are currently purchasing some version of a computer-based IEP system.  

Section 5 establishes an Individualized Education Program Advisory Council. There may be a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 16 and in FY 17 to those agencies participating in the council to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Sections 7-9 establish additional requirements for SDE, which are not anticipated to result in an additional fiscal impact, as SDE has the staff and expertise necessary to fulfill the requirements.

Section 10 establishes a regional educational service center special education funding working group. There may be a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 16 to those agencies participating in the group to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Section 11 requires regional educational service centers to develop a regional model for provisions related to special education services, and is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact as they have the staff and expertise necessary to do so.

Section 12 expands special education coursework requirements for teacher certification, which results in a cost of $15,000 per year to the University of Connecticut to add one additional special education course.

Section 13 requires the attendance of paraprofessionals at Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings. This will result in an additional cost to local and regional school districts, as it will require substitute time for paraprofessionals. It is estimated that the costs to districts will be less than $5,000, annually.

Section 14 of the bill requires the Auditors of Public Accounts to conduct compliance audits of certain private special education providers on a five year audit cycle basis. The agency would need four audit staff, totaling $263,644, plus fringe benefit costs of $101,899 annually to accommodate the additional workload. Each audit is estimated to be 500 audit hours per engagement.  Currently there are 63 private special education programs approved by the State Department of Education, which translates into an average of 12 audits a year.

Section 15 establishes additional requirements for various state agencies, but does not result in a fiscal impact, as the agencies have both the staff and expertise necessary to do so.

Section 16 requires SDE to study the collection, assimilation, and reporting of longitudinal student data related to special education outcomes. This will result in a cost to SDE of approximately $20,000, as SDE would need to hire an external writer to meet the requirements of the study. The $20,000 cost is one-time in nature.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation, except for the costs that have been identified as one-time in nature.

1 The fringe benefit costs for most state employees are budgeted centrally in accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated active employee fringe benefit cost associated with most personnel changes is 38.65% of payroll in FY 16 and FY 17.