Private Schools for Students with Disabilities

December 21, 2001

TO:

Chief School Administrators
School Business Administrators/Board Secretaries
Directors of Special Services
County Superintendents
County Supervisors of Child Study
County School Business Administrators
Directors, Private Schools for Students with Disabilities
Business Managers/Bookkeepers, Private Schools for Students with Disabilities

FROM:

Peter E. Genovese, III, Assistant Commissioner
Division of Finance

SUBJECT:

2002-2003 Tentative Per Diem Tuition Rates and 2000-2001 Preliminary Per Pupil Adjustments for Private Schools for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:23-4.2(i), the private schools for the disabled tentative per diem tuition rates for the 2002-2003 school year are attached. For pupils enrolled for a full day, local school districts are responsible to pay the full day per diem tuition rate, as certified by the Commissioner of Education.

Tentative Per Diem Rates for 2002-2003

The attached list indicates the tentative per diem tuition rate (column 1) each private school for the disabled is approved to charge in the 2002-2003 school year. The tentative per diem tuition rate contained in this memorandum is the maximum tentative per diem tuition rate a private school may charge local school districts unless a higher tentative per diem tuition rate is approved by the department based on the process on the following page. For your information, also attached is the 2001-2002 enrolled days in the private school’s calendar (column 2) and the 2002-2003 projected school year tentative tuition rates (column 3) based on the amounts in columns 2 and 3. These columns are presented only to provide the sending districts with a projected school year tuition rate; these are not the maximum tuition rates the private school may charge for 2002-2003. The maximum ten month school year and if applicable, the extended school year tuition rates to be charged are based on the tentative per diem tuition rate the private school chooses to charge and the number of possible enrolled days in the ten month school year and if applicable, the extended school year. Please read the entire memo carefully for these and other changes for 2002-2003 based on the adoption of the revised Finance and Business Services regulations.

A private school may charge the local school district any amount up to the tentative per diem tuition rate (column 1), but the same amount must be charged to all local school districts. It is very important that the local school district contact the private school to determine the tentative per diem tuition rate the private school will be charging for the 2002-2003 school year and the number of enrolled days the private school anticipates in the ten month school year and if applicable, the extended school year for 2002-2003. It is possible that the number of enrolled days reflected in column 2 for the 2001-2002 school year may change in the 2002-2003 school year, which would increase or decrease the school year tuition rate.

The total tentative tuition charged for one pupil for the school year will be based on the number of enrolled days for the pupil times the tentative per diem tuition rate. A written contractual agreement between the private school for the disabled and local school district must establish the tentative per diem tuition rate and the number of enrolled days in the school year for each pupil.

During the first two years of operation, the tentative per diem tuition rates for the new Private Schools for Students with Disabilities are determined by the department, based on a budget filed by the school. Therefore, a school that opened in 2001-2002 will be required to submit a budget to determine the 2002-2003 tentative per diem tuition rate. These schools are marked with an "A".

The certified per diem tuition rate, which may be charged to a local school district for the school year, will be determined from the year-end audit report. The certified per diem tuition rate may be higher or lower than the tentative per diem tuition rate originally charged. Likewise, the certified tuition rate, which may be charged to a local school district for extraordinary services, will also be determined from the year-end audit report, and this rate may be higher or lower than the tuition rate originally charged.

Application For A Higher Tuition Rate

If the tentative per diem tuition rate places an undue financial hardship on the private school, a higher tentative per diem tuition rate may be approved by the Department of Education through a request submitted no later than January 31, 2002. The procedure for applying for a higher tentative per diem tuition rate is contained in N.J.A.C. 6A:23-4.2(j). Private schools interested in requesting a higher per diem tuition rate should contact Jim Verner at (609) 984-4229 or Elise Sadler-Williams at (609) 777-4483 concerning the application procedure.

Application for A Higher Tuition Rate by Type

For the school years beginning in 2001-2002, N.J.A.C. 6A:23-4.1 et seq. allows private schools to charge separate tuition rates by class type, if the required accounting records are maintained. Any private school interested in charging separate tuition rates by class type should contact Jim Verner at (609) 984-4229 concerning the application procedure. The request must be submitted no later than January 31, 2002.

Additional Rate for Extraordinary Services

An additional tuition rate (separate from the rate contained in this memorandum) may be approved by the sending districts for a particular pupil who requires extraordinary services. Once the sending district agrees to pay for a pupil’s extraordinary services, the sending district board of education shall notify the Commissioner within 30 days of such agreement. The notification shall include the pupil’s initials, the name of the private school, the type of extraordinary service(s) and the cost of the additional service(s).

Public School Budgets - 2000-2001 (Over)/Under Charges

Also, attached are the 2000-2001 preliminary per pupil (over)/under charges (column 4) for the ten month school year and the preliminary per diem (over)/under charges (column 5) for the extended school year. The amounts in these columns indicate the per pupil/per diem (over) charges (in brackets) which are due to the local school districts and the per pupil/per diem under charges which are due to the private schools. These are based on a per pupil average daily enrollment of 1.0 for the ten month school year and one enrolled day for the extended school year. In addition, there are 13 private schools which are identified by a "D" next to the name of the school on the attached listing who are due undercharges as a result of extraordinary services.

The preliminary undercharges addressed above must be taken into consideration when budgeting for the 2002-2003 school year including undercharges for extraordinary services. In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:23-4.2(m), a district board of education must pay the approved private school for the disabled the difference no later than the end of the second fiscal year following the audit year. Therefore, local school districts must adequately budget the preliminary undercharges in the 2002-2003 budget since these funds are due to the private schools by June 30, 2003. In accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:23-4.2(l), the approved private school for the disabled must pay the district board of education for such differences no later than June 30 of the school year in which the audit is received. For accounting purposes, refunds on prior year expenditures are considered miscellaneous income and recorded in Refund of Prior Year’s Expenditures (A/C XX-1980-000).

The preliminary adjustments are strictly for budgetary purposes and must not be used for billing purposes. The Office of Fiscal Policy and Planning is currently reviewing the private school audits to determine if the certified actual cost per pupil was properly calculated and if the audit meets the department’s compliance requirements. Since this process will not be completed prior to formulating the 2002-2003 local school district budgets, the preliminary per pupil and per diem adjustments were presented to allow for budgeting estimates. The department will publish the audited tuition rates, which are certified by the Commissioner, when this process is completed. Due to possible errors in the audits, individual audited tuition rates certified by the Commissioner and the final (over)/under charges may be different from those presented in this memorandum. If this occurs, adjustments will be necessary.

Questions concerning this memorandum should be referred to Jim Verner at (609) 984-4229.

PEG/JV/m\2002-2003 memo.doc

Attachment

c:

Gloria Hancock, Acting Assistant Commissioner
Maria Nuccetelli, Acting Assistant Commissioner
Jeffrey Osowski, Assistant Commissioner
Gary Friedland, Chief of Staff
Katie Attwood, Director
Barbara Gantwerk, Director
Cecelia Downey, Manager
Judy Vazquez, Education Program Development Specialist
Jim Verner, Section Supervisor
Elise Sadler-Williams, Auditor