302D-28 Funding and finance. (a) Beginning with fiscal year 2012-2013, and each fiscal year thereafter, the non-facility general fund per-pupil funding request for charter school students shall be the same as the general fund per-pupil amount to the department in the most recently approved executive budget recommendation for the department and shall be based upon reasonable projected enrollment figures for all charter schools. The general fund per-pupil request for each regular education and special education student shall:

(1) Include all general fund regular education cost categories, including comprehensive school support services, but excluding special education services, adult education, and the after-school plus program; provided that these services are provided and funded by the department; and

(2) Exclude fringe benefit costs and debt service.

(b) Fringe benefit costs for charter school employees, regardless of the payroll system utilized by a charter school, shall be included in the department of budget and finance's annual budget request. No fringe benefit costs shall be charged directly to or deducted from the charter school per-pupil allocations.

The legislature shall make an appropriation based upon the budget request; provided that the legislature may make additional appropriations for facility and other costs.

The governor, pursuant to chapter 37, may impose restrictions or reductions on charter school appropriations similar to those imposed on department schools.

(c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, to ensure non-facility per-pupil general fund amounts allocated for the department and charter school students are equal on an annualized fiscal year basis, each year the director of finance shall:

(1) Determine the sum of general fund appropriations made for department and charter school student non-facility costs described in subsections (a) and (b);

(2) Determine the sum of department and charter school student enrollment based on reviewed and verified student enrollment counts as of October 15;

(3) Determine a per-pupil amount by dividing the sum of general fund appropriations determined under paragraph (1) by the sum of student enrollment determined under paragraph (2);

(4) Transfer a general fund amount between the department and charter schools that will provide each with a per-pupil allocation equal to the amount determined on an annualized fiscal year basis under paragraph (3); and

(5) Annually account for all calculations and transfers made pursuant to this subsection in a report to the legislature, governor, department, and charter schools.

This subsection shall not limit the ability of the director of finance to modify or amend any allotment pursuant to chapter 37.

(d) Charter schools shall be eligible for all federal financial support to the same extent as department schools. The department shall provide all authorizers with all state-level federal grant proposals submitted by the department that include charter schools as potential recipients and timely reports on state-level federal grants received for which charter schools may apply or are entitled to receive. Federal funds received by the department for charter schools shall be transferred to authorizers for distribution to the charter schools they authorize in accordance with the federal requirements. If administrative services related to federal grants are provided to the charter school by the department, the charter school shall reimburse the department for the actual costs of the administrative services in an amount that shall not exceed six per cent of the charter school's federal grants.

Any charter school shall be eligible to receive any supplemental federal grant or award for which any department school may submit a proposal, or any supplemental federal grants limited to charter schools; provided that if department administrative services, including funds management, budgetary, fiscal accounting, or other related services, are provided with respect to these supplemental grants, the charter school shall reimburse the department for the actual costs of the administrative services in an amount that shall not exceed six per cent of the supplemental grant for which the services are used.

All additional funds generated by the governing boards, that are not from a supplemental grant, shall be held separate from allotted funds and may be expended at the discretion of the governing boards.

(e) Authorizers shall calculate a general fund per-pupil amount based upon the amount of general funds appropriated by the legislature and released by the governor and the projected enrollment amount used to calculate the general funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (a).

Authorizers shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session that contains each charter school's current school year projection that is used to submit the budget request, the updated May 15 enrollment projection, the actual October 15 enrollment count, the authorizer's reviewed and verified enrollment count, and the November 15 enrollment count.

(f) To enable charter schools to access state funding prior to the start of each school year, foster their fiscal planning, enhance their accountability, and avoid over-allocating general funds to charter schools based on self-reported enrollment projections, authorizers shall:

(1) Provide sixty per cent of a charter school's per-pupil allocation based on the charter school's projected student enrollment no later than July 20 of each fiscal year; provided that the charter school shall have submitted to its authorizer a projected student enrollment no later than May 15 of each year;

(2) Provide an additional thirty per cent of a charter school's per-pupil allocation no later than December 1 of each year, based on the October 15 student enrollment, as reviewed and verified by the authorizer, only to schools in compliance with all financial reporting requirements; and

(3) Retain no more than the balance of the remaining ten per cent of a charter school's per-pupil allocation, as a contingency balance to ensure fiscal accountability and compliance, no later than June 30 of each year;

provided that authorizers may make adjustments in allocations based on noncompliance with charter contracts and the board may make adjustments in allocations based on noncompliance with board policies made in the board's capacity as the state education agency, department directives made in the department's capacity as the state education agency, the board's administrative procedures, and board-approved accountability requirements.

(g) The department shall provide appropriate transitional resources to a conversion charter school for its first year of operation as a charter school based upon the department's allocation to the school for the year prior to the conversion.

(h) No charter school may assess tuition; provided that a charter school may assess and collect special fees and charges from students for co-curricular activities. Any special fees and charges collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into insured checking or savings accounts and expended by each individual charter school. [L 2012, c 130, pt of 2; am L 2014, c 96, 17 and c 99, 18; am L 2016, c 113, 5]

 

 

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