IDEA-B LEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Guidance Handbook Revision

Word version

December 10, 2015

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:    IDEA-B LEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Guidance Handbook Revision

The purpose of this letter is to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with updated guidance regarding the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA-B).

TEA published the IDEA-B LEA MOE Guidance Handbook to assist LEAs in meeting the IDEA‑B MOE requirement. Because the handbook is attached to a commissioner’s rule (19 TAC §109.3001(c)(1)), it can only be updated through a revision to the rule itself. The revised rule is expected to be incorporated into the Texas Administrative Code in spring 2016.

To provide LEAs with the guidance they need in the meantime to calculate MOE for 2014–2015, this letter serves to waive two sections of text in the current version of the handbook and to provide technical edits to the language.

The updated handbook is expected to be available in spring 2016. 

Summary of Finance Date

The first technical edit concerns the Summary of Finance (SOF) LEAs should use to calculate MOE. Found in Appendix 3 of the handbook, in the section titled Local Funds (p. 12 of 17), the text to be removed is struck through and the edited text is underlined:

Imputing the total local portion of LEA special education expenditures requires the following data:

  • The LEA’s total state and local special education expenditures.
  • The LEA’s Tier I Special Education Adjusted Allotment, Total Cost of Tier I, and Local Fund Assignment from the Legislative Planning Estimate (LPE) column in the Summary of Finance (SOF) dated September 10 or first date thereafter in the year under determination “First Near Final” of September in the year under determination.

Decrease in Enrollment of Children with Disabilities

The second section of text concerns the decrease in enrollment of children with disabilities. The entire section titled Decrease in Enrollment of Children with Disabilities (p. 4 of 17) is being clarified and updated: 

TEA automatically accounts for a decrease in the enrollment of children with disabilities when calculating the LEA’s IDEA-B MOE in the following two ways.

1.    If the number of students with disabilities decreases, and per-pupil special education expenditures remain the same or increase, the LEA will pass the second and fourth tests described in the Methods of Determining Compliance section.

2.    In addition, TEA implements allowable flexibility to reduce the refund due by the percentage decrease in enrollment of children with disabilities from the preceding comparison year to the most recent year. For example, if the special education enrollment in the LEA decreased by 5% and the LEA was determined to be noncompliant, then the refund due would be decreased by 5%. This reduction is reflected on the LEA’s MOE report.

In order for the level of local, or the combination of state and local expenditures to be reduced on the basis of decrease in enrollment of children with disabilities, the LEA must provide a description of the expenditures reduced that the LEA wishes to claim based on a decrease in enrollment of children with disabilities and provide supporting documentation. 

Examples of expenditures reduced due to a decrease in enrollment of children with disabilities may include but not limited to:

·         Special education staff reassignment to general education

·         Special education teacher or administrator layoff

·         Closure of a self-contained classroom/unit (combining/merger with another)

For Further Information

If you have any questions regarding these technical edits to the IDEA-B LEA MOE Handbook or to the associated commissioner’s rule, please contact the Division of Federal Fiscal Compliance and Reporting by phone at (512) 463-9127 or via email at compliance@tea.texas.gov.

Sincerely,

Michael Williams
Commissioner