Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 421

    February Session, 2018

Substitute Senate Bill No. 364

Senate, April 11, 2018

The Committee on Education reported through SEN. SLOSSBERG of the 14th Dist. and SEN. BOUCHER of the 26th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT REQUIRING REPORTS CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION EXPENDITURES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) On or before July 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, each local and regional board of education shall submit a report on its expenditures for special education for the prior fiscal year to the Department of Education. Such report shall include, but need not be limited to, (1) the total expenditures for special education of the board of education, (2) the expenditures for special education as a percentage of the school district's total expenditures, and (3) individual expenditures for each child requiring special education who is under the jurisdiction of the board of education, except a board of education shall not include in such report any information that personally identifies, or can be used to personally identify, any such child or children requiring special education. Such report shall not be a public record, as defined in section 1-200 of the general statutes, except that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the disclosure of information that is included in the strategic school profile under subsection (c) of section 10-220 of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) On or before October 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the Department of Education shall submit a report on disaggregated data relating to the expenditures for special education by local and regional boards of education for the prior fiscal year, collected pursuant to section 1 of this act, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. Such report shall include, but need not be limited to, a breakdown of the total number of students requiring special education in each school district whose per pupil educational cost for such school district is (1) two times the net current expenditures per resident student of such school district, (2) two and one-half times the net current expenditures per resident student of such school district, (3) three times the net current expenditures per resident student of such school district, (4) three and one-half times the net current expenditures per resident student of such school district, (5) four times the net current expenditures per resident student of such school district, and (6) four and one-half times the net current expenditures per resident student of such school district. For purposes of this section, "net current expenditures per resident student" means the quotient obtained by dividing the net current expenditures, as defined in section 10-261 of the general statutes, of such local or regional board of education for the prior fiscal year by the number of resident students, as defined in section 10-262f of the general statutes, of such local or regional board of education.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2018

New section

ED

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Education, Dept.

GF - Cost

130,000

90,000

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

GF - Cost

29,064

29,064

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Local and Regional School Districts

STATE MANDATE - Cost

Potential Significant

Potential Significant

Explanation

The bill results in a cost to the State Department of Education (SDE) and local and regional boards of education as it requires districts to report disaggregated data about special education expenditures for the prior fiscal year.

Currently, districts report expenditures on students who are eligible for the Excess Cost grant (4.5 times net current expenditures per resident student), which is approximately 5,000 students statewide. Under the bill, districts would be required to report expenditures on approximately 67,000 additional students statewide. This could result in a potential significant cost to various districts, associated with additional administrative staff time. The cost to the districts will vary by the size of the district and the number of special education students, but could be significant.

Additionally, SDE would require one additional full-time staff position to monitor and aggregate the additional data. This results in an annual cost of $109,064 ($80,000 for salary and $29,064 for fringe benefits). SDE would also require up to $50,000 in FY 19 for additional information technology related expenses. The information technology costs are associated with: (1) data collection ($10,000), (2) data analysis and integration ($30,000), and (3) report modifications ($10,000). The data analysis, integration, and report modification expenses are one-time in nature. The data collection costs are ongoing.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation, except for most of the information technology costs, which are one-time in nature.

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 364

AN ACT REQUIRING REPORTS CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION EXPENDITURES.

SUMMARY

This bill requires each local and regional board of education, beginning July 1, 2019, to annually report its special education expenditures for the prior fiscal year to the State Department of Education (SDE). Each report must include at least:

(Under existing law, boards must already report the information required by the first two items above as part of the strategic school profile report they must provide to SDE each year (CGS 10-220(c)) (see BACKGROUND)).

The bill exempts the special education expenditure reports from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, except for any of their contents that a strategic school profile report, which is a public record, might also contain.

It also requires SDE, annually by October 1 and beginning in 2019, to submit to the Education Committee a report, using the disaggregated data submitted by boards, that detail local and regional board of education special education expenditures for the prior fiscal year. At a minimum, the report must include a breakdown of the total number of special education students in each district whose per-pupil educational cost to the district exceeds its net current expenditures per resident student multiplied by (1) two, (2) two and a half, (3) three, (4) three and a half, (5) four, and (6) four and a half.

Under the bill, “net current expenditures per resident student” means the result of dividing a board's net current expenditures for the prior fiscal year by its number of resident students (CGS 10-261 and 10-262f).

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

Strategic School Profile Report

These reports contain school and district information about various topics, such as student needs, school resources, student and school performance, and the provision of special education services. By law, local and regional boards of education must create and submit these reports to the education commissioner (CGS 10-220(c)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

21

Nay

14

(03/23/2018)

TOP

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 36.33% of payroll in FY 19 and FY 20.