Revision: May 25, 2012, midnight
SB 404-FN – VERSION ADOPTED BY BOTH BODIES
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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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; Definition. Amend RSA 188-E:2, II to read as follows:
II. “Sending district” shall mean:
(a) A school district where students reside[
, and for whom said district has tuition responsibility,] who attend a regional center, regional course, or alternative education program other than within the district itself; or
(b) If a student attends a chartered public school the sending district shall be the school 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 RSA 188-E:6 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows: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 25 percent of the receiving district’s cost per pupil for the prior school year, 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. In consultation with the house and senate committees responsible for education policy and financial matters, 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.
3 Regional Vocational Education; Tuition. Amend RSA 188-E:7 to read as follows:
I. 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.]
II. 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] career and technical education [ rate] fee not to exceed 3 percent of the receiving district’s cost per pupil for the prior school year, as calculated by the department of education, and provided that the receiving district shall deposit [ that] the differential fee into its capital reserve account to be used for [ vocational centers] career and technical education program development, improvement, and equipment. III. The state’s tuition liability for a student enrolled in an alternative education program shall not exceed the per student cost of a student enrolled in a career and technical education program, as calculated by the department of education.
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 FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to funding for pupils enrolled in vocational education programs.
The Department of Education states this bill, as amended by the House (Amendment #2012-1674h), will have an indeterminable impact 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 expected to be allocated to the transportation aspect of the program;
• Through rules set in conjunction with the House and Senate committees responsible for education policy and financial matters, the amount available to be spent on alternative education programs will be capped at 5% of 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, appropriated by the legislature, after FY 2013 is unknown.
The Department states the proposed bill requires the state board of education, working in conjunction with the House and Senate committees responsible for education policy and financial matters, to develop a formula for determining the per student tuition and transportation costs for career technical education programs. The Department anticipates the new calculation will be a formula used statewide, 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 states the bill limits tuition reimbursement for alternative education tuition to not exceed that for career and technical education programs. The Department estimates this limit in conjunction with the assumed 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. 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.