Revision: Feb. 16, 2012, midnight
SB 404-FN – AS INTRODUCED
SENATE BILL 404-FN
This bill changes the procedures for tuition and transportation reimbursement for students enrolled in a career and technical education program.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve
AN ACT relative to funding for pupils enrolled in vocational education programs.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Regional Vocational Education; Definitions. Amend RSA 188-E:2, II to read as follows:
II. “Sending district” shall mean [
a] the school district where [ students reside] a student resides, [ and for whom said] or the school district which has tuition responsibility for a student[ ,] who [ attend] attends a regional center, regional course, or alternative education program [ other than within the district itself] in a district other than the district in which the student resides.
2 Regional Vocational Education; Reimbursement for Students Attending Career and Technical Education Programs. RSA 188-E:6 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
188-E:6 Reimbursement for Students Attending Career and Technical Education Programs.
I. The state shall reimburse the state’s portion of the cost of tuition and transportation, as provided in this section, for a student attending an approved career and technical education (CTE) program.
II. A student’s sending district shall be financially responsible for an amount equal to 1/3 of the per student cost of a CTE program, as calculated by the department of education.
III. Any student who attends an approved CTE program that provides instruction in subject areas approved by the state board of education shall be eligible for reimbursement of tuition and transportation costs. Students enrolled in introductory CTE programs, pre-CTE programs, or other CTE programs offering instruction in subject areas not approved by the state board of education shall not be eligible for tuition and transportation reimbursement.
IV. The state board of education shall, in rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A, develop a formula for determining the tuition and transportation costs for approved career technical education programs and procedures for disbursement of funds.
V. No chartered public school, or chartered public school student, or school district in which a chartered public school is located, shall be eligible to receive tuition and transportation reimbursement funds under this chapter for any student who is enrolled in an alternative education program.
3 Regional Vocational Education; Tuition. Amend RSA 188-E:7 to read as follows:
188-E:7 Tuition. The department of education is authorized to pay from its regular budget tuition for full or part-time students, attending programs at designated vocational centers or designated vocational educational courses at other comprehensive high schools, whose residence is in a district where the high school of normal attendance does not offer a similar vocational education course. The department is authorized to pay from its budget for at risk students who reside in a school district in which the high school does not offer an alternative education program, to attend an alternative education program at a regional vocational education center or the associated high school. [
The tuition payment shall not exceed the cost of attending the regional vocational education center.] The liability of the state and local school districts for tuition shall be determined by the state board under rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A, provided that [ a receiving district may charge a student from a sending district a differential vocational education rate and that the receiving district shall deposit that differential into its capital reserve account to be used for vocational centers and equipment] the state’s tuition liability for a student enrolled in an alternative education program shall not exceed the per student cost, as calculated by the department of education, of a student enrolled in a career and technical education program.
4 Regional Vocational Education; Payment of Tuition and Transportation Funds. Amend RSA 188-E:9, III to read as follows:
If the funds appropriated are inadequate to pay the total cost of tuition and transportation, both tuition and transportation payments will be reduced on a prorated basis.] Funds appropriated to pay the costs of tuition and transportation shall be distributed in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
5 Chartered Public Schools; Establishment. Amend RSA 194-B:3, I(a) to read as follows:
I.(a) Except as [
expressly] otherwise provided in [ this chapter, including but not limited to RSA 194-B:8] law, chartered public schools shall be fully exempt from state laws and rules which otherwise apply to public or nonpublic schools, or local school boards or districts. Notwithstanding the foregoing, chartered public schools shall have all the rights and privileges of other public schools.
6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
SB 404-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to funding for pupils enrolled in vocational education programs.
The Department of Education states this bill will have an indeterminable effect on local revenue and expenditures in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There is no fiscal impact on state or county revenue or expenditures.
The Department of Education states this bill makes certain changes to the state aid program to local school districts for regional vocational center tuition and transportation reimbursement. The Department makes the following assumptions in estimating this bill’s impact:
• FY 2013 will be the first year in which local school districts would be impacted by the proposed legislation;
• In FY 2013, funding for the state’s tuition and transportation program will remain at the amount of $6,900,000 set in the FY 2013 operating budget, with $1,000,000 of those funds allocated to the transportation aspect of the program;
• The proposed legislation caps the amount available to be spent on alternative education programs at 5% of the aid program funding, with that entire 5% being spent on that designated purpose;
• The total number of students from sending schools will average 2,500 per year; and
• The program funding amount after FY 2013 is unknown
The Department states the proposed bill requires the state board of education to develop a formula for determining the tuition and transportation costs for career technical education programs, which is a departure from the current practice of each school calculating costs-per-pupil and percentage-of-school-day in order to determine the tuition amounts charged. The Department states this change to a single equitable calculation of tuition eliminates the fluctuation year to year and variance among different schools which result under the current system. The Department states the proposed bill also eliminates the provision in current law to prorate aid payments when costs exceed the program appropriation, and dictates a calculation that ensures the calculated aid will not exceed the appropriation. The Department estimates, based on the FY 2013 program appropriation of $6,900,000 and the 5% cap on aid for alternative education programs, aid to alternative education schools will decrease by $107,823 in FY 2013, as compared to aid in FY 2012. The Department also states this bill prevents charter schools operating as alternative schools from being eligible for funding from multiple appropriations for the same purpose, and using that provision along with the FY 2012 spending levels, the Department estimates that aid to those charter schools will decrease by $259,498 in FY 2013, as compared to FY 2012. After setting aside 5% of the FY 2013 appropriation for alternative education programs and $1,000,000 for transportation, the Department estimates $5,555,000 would be available for tuition reimbursement to sending schools, which, based on the estimate of 2,500 sending school students, would translate to a reimbursement of roughly $2,222 per student. Because currently tuition rates are determined by each school and rates vary widely, this change to a statewide rate would mean some schools would see per student reimbursement decline while others would see it rise. Due to this uncertainty, the Department cannot provide a specific estimate of changes to revenue and spending levels in individual municipalities. Also, the uncertainty of appropriations in future years contributes to the Department’s inability to make a specific projection regarding this bill’s impact.