FAQs

  • The LEA should currently be experiencing an increase in initial evaluations, providing compensatory services, and/or providing extended school year services to students eligible for special education. 

  • Any LEA in Texas may apply for Round 2 of Special Educaiton Fiscal Support. This includes LEAs that applied in Round 1, AND LEAs that are applying for the first time.  
  • The timeline for spending Special Education Fiscal Support funds is September 1, 2019 – May 31, 2021. 

  • The timeline for spending Special Education Fiscal Support funds is September 1, 2019 – May 31, 2021.
  • Not at this time. 
  • Yes. The fiscal agent LEA of a Shared Service Arrangement may submit one consolidated application on behalf of all participating LEA members. When completing the application, the fiscal agent LEA would consolidate all data related to initial evaluations, compensatory services, and ESY provided across ALL member LEAs to arrive at a combined total amount in each section.   An LEA may only apply for fiscal support with one type of application.  LEAs are prohibited from submitting duplicate applications as a member of a consolidated Shared Service Arrangement, and again as a single independent LEA applicant.  Should an LEA attempt to enter a duplicate application, the system will generate an error message indicating that an application for the County District Number selected has already been submitted.  

    If an SSA is submitting a consolidated application on behalf of LEAs in multiple regions, please select the primary region of the Fiscal Agent LEA.   LEAs from all regions of Texas will be listed in the drop down menu when identifying application membership, allowing the Fiscal Agent to select LEAs across multiple regions if needed.   
  • Once an application has been formally submitted, any changes or edits that an LEA wishes to make must be made by the ESC-20 program administrator.   To discuss potential clerical or data updates to an existing application, please contact Amy Strauch via phone (210) 370-5440 or email
  • Yes.  Once the application has been submitted, a confirmation screen will appear that allows the LEA to print a pdf copy of the application for records retention.  
  • There are five sections of the application:

    Section 1: Demographic Information 
    Section 2: Initial Evaluation Capacity 
    Section 3: Compensatory Services 
    Section 4: Extended School Year Services
    Section 5: Assurances

    All LEAs seeking fiscal support must complete Section 1: Demographic Information and Section 5: Assurances.   LEAs may apply for one or more areas of fiscal support by completing the necessary information in Section 2: Initial Evaluation Capacity, Section 3: Compensatory Services, and/or Section 4: Extended School Year Services (ESY).

    LEAs may choose to apply for fiscal support in all three areas, or in any combination of areas reflecting the local needs. *Note: LEAs allotted funding in Round 1 may apply for any combination of areas in Round 2 that reflect changes in current needs.

  • Yes.  An LEA must decide to apply either as a single LEA or as part of consolidated Shared Service Arrangement group.  Duplicate LEA applications will not be accepted.  
  • The fiscal agent of the SSA may apply on behalf of ALL member LEAs or a partial membership given the needs represented in the overall group.  The fiscal agent must select the LEA names included in the group application from the drop down menu located in Section 1. 

    If an SSA is submitting a consolidated application on behalf of LEAs in multiple regions, please select the primary region of the Fiscal Agent LEA.   LEAs from all regions of Texas will be listed in the drop down menu when identifying application membership, allowing the Fiscal Agent to select LEAs across multiple regions if needed.  

     

  • TEA classifies Texas public school districts into community types using factors such as enrollment, growth in enrollment, economic status, and proximity to urban areas.  To locate classification information for a specific LEA, visit the TEA website. The categories include:

    Major Urban
    Major Suburban
    Other Central City
    Other Central City Suburban
    Independent Town
    Non-Metropolitan: Fast Growing
    Non-Metropolitan: Stable
    Rural
    Charter School Districts

  • Separate application rounds for Geographic Hardship supplemental funding will not be conducted. The determination of Geographic hardship supplements will be made in conjunction with the general application process.  LEAs should use the physical address of the corresponding regional Education Service Center as the starting address, and the farthest reaching school building address within the LEA boundary to calculate the mileage distance between the two locations.  (round to the nearest whole number).
  • No, the Total 2018-2019 LEA Student Enrollment (all students) should reflect the total overall number of students enrolled in the LEA.
  • To be considered for funding support, LEAs must meet eligibility Criteria A pertaining to a documented rise in the number of initial evaluations completed, and at least one additional eligibility criteria outlined in this section (Criteria B Evaluation Personnel Shortage OR Criteria C Diminished Workload Impact)
  • When completing this REQUIRED eligibility criteria, LEAs must enter detailed information pertaining to the number of initial evaluations completed over the course of the last three school years. This information should correspond with the number of initial evaluations submitted by the LEA within the State Performance Plan Indicator 11 data platform. LEAs must also enter the number of initial referrals resulting in initial evaluations experienced thus far from the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year until the current date of Fiscal Support application submission.

    The documented rise will be determined by comparing the current rate of evaluations with the previous three-year average rate experienced. Data entered into the fields of Criteria A should only reflect Initial Evaluations that have been, or will be reported in SPP 11. Initial Evaluations completed as part of SPP 12 related to Early Childhood Transition are not included in this area.  *If entering an application on behalf of a Shared Service Arrangement, provide the TOTAL number of initial evaluations across all member LEAs combined for each line.

  • When completing this eligibility criteria, LEAs must enter the number of unfilled evaluation personnel positions that are currently posted for employment. All types of evaluation professionals may be reported here including Educational Diagnosticians, Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs), Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) and related service providers. LEAs must also indicate the maximum length of time these unfilled positions have been posted for employment application with attempts to be filled.  If multiple positions are posted for employment, please enter the timeframe corresponding to longest duration amongst those indicated.  The proven shortage in evaluation personnel will be determined by analyzing the number of unfilled positions and the length of time the positions have remained unfilled.
  • When completing this eligibility criteria, LEAs must provide a narrative description including documented evidence demonstrating that existing evaluation personnel have experienced a diminished impact to other duties due to the rate of increased initial evaluation requests. Documented evidence should include the type of duties diminished and the impact to systems of campus support.
  • ** Due to the COVID-19 school closure period, LEAs may enter projected student data for this area. **

    To be considered for funding support, LEAs must enter documented evidence of compensatory services provided as Instructional Support, Speech Services, or Related Services.  These services must be indicated in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and could be subject to a quality assurance check.  

    Compensatory services are not limited to those associated with students who should have been referred, but rather those provided for any purpose deemed appropriate by the ARD committee.   Additionally, compensatory services can be included for ANY student receiving special education compensatory services in your LEA, and is not limited to those initially referred during the grant period.   

    *If entering an application on behalf of a Shared Service Arrangement please enter the TOTAL amount of Compensatory Services in each area provided across all member LEAs combined.

  • ESC-20 will conduct a controlled sampling of LEAs that receive fiscal support funding in the areas of Compensatory Services and Extended School Year Services.  This sampling will be representative of LEAs from all regions and enrollment sizes across the state.  The Quality Assurance check will involve direct documentation verification that these services were provided in accordance with individualized student needs.  
  • No.  To be considered for funding support in this category, LEAs must report data in a minimum of one area outlined in this section (Criteria A Instructional Support, Criteria B Speech Services, OR Criteria C Related Services).  
  • ** Due to the COVID-19 school closure period, LEAs may enter projected student data for this area. **

    To be considered for funding support in this section, LEAs must enter documented evidence of ESY provided to students receiving special education services in the 2018-2019 school year and in the 2019-2020 school year. Comparisons in budgeted spending and the number of students served will be used for funding determinations.  

  • This can be accessed online in the TEA Summary of Finances in the Tier 1 Detail Report.  Please check with the LEA business office for this information.  The TEA Summary of Finances can be found by clicking this link.
  • The Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract is the method that ESC-20 utilizes to provide funds for this program to qualifying LEAs.  The performance contract includes important information related to this fund including program purpose/goal and evaluation; special instructions; general provisions & assurances; and funding allocations. 

    Note:  Special Education Fiscal Support funds are provided after ESC-20 has received an approved performance contract. 

  • No, funds are provided via a performance contract per each round the LEA receives funding.  
  • LEAs receiving program funding will receive login information to the LEA website.  The Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract will be available on this site and must be approved by the LEA prior to receipt of funding. 
  • This is a local decision as determined by the LEA.  An email notification of the funding will be sent to the district/charter school Superintendent, the primary contact indicated in the application, and the business manager.  It is recommended that the individual designated to approve the contract ensure communication occurs at the local level that this has been completed.  
  • If board approval is required, the LEA may print the Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract by clicking printable page at the top of the Contract Info page.  The contract includes the contract table, with the contract number, and the allotments.  Proceed with local procedures for board approval.  Once approved, the performance contract must be emailed to spedfiscalsupport@esc20.info

  • The Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract is due by noon on April 15, 2020 for qualifying LEAs.

    Note:  Funds are provided after the approved Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract has been received.

  • The Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract is due by noon on June 3, 2020 for qualifying LEAs. 

    Note:  Funds are provided after the approved Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract has been received.

     
  • Yes, the timeline for spending Special Education Fiscal Support funds for either Round is September 1, 2019 – May 31, 2021. 
  • Not at this time.
  • Yes.  If critical needs arise due to unforeseen circumstances, an LEA can use funds in any of the three areas as long as this new need meets the requirements of the program.   Local documentation must be retained to demonstrate that spending aligns with the program assurances. Expenditure reports will also be required and are outlined in the timeline.  
  • The program period is from September 1, 2019 through May 31, 2021.  Local business office procedures would need to be discussed locally and local determination is needed as to how best to proceed should the LEA receive Special Education Fiscal Support funds.  
  • LEAs can use the Special Education Fiscal Support funds in accordance with allowable expenditures associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for the provision of services related to initial evaluations, compensatory services and/or ESY.  Any funding received may be used at the discretion of the LEA in accordance with the purpose of the Special Education Fiscal Support Program, the requirements outlined in the application, and the performance contract.  Local documentation must be retained to demonstrate how the LEA used these funds.  
  • Activities associated with:

    • Completion of Full and Individual Initial Evaluations (FIIEs), 
    • Completion of Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) stemming from disagreement with an FIIE,
    • Provision of compensatory services, and
    • Provision of ESY services; and/or
    • Expanding capacity so the above services may be provided
    • Payroll costs associated with the above activities
    • Professional or contracted services consistent with the above activities
    • Travel costs associated with the above activities
     
  • Costs not associated with the aforementioned services would not be allowable.  Administrative or indirect costs are not allowable.
  • These funds are from state funds, which do not require time-and-effort documentation. However, if the position is split-funded with federal funds, time-and-effort documentation is required, as described in 2 CFR §200.430(i).
  • The revenue code would be 5839 (State Revenues from State of Texas Government Agencies (Other than Texas Education Agency)).  
  • These funds are considered a special revenue code and will not be added onto the state amount in the Summary of Finances.  Therefore, this state funding will not increase the state percentage amount (55% Requirement).
  • Please refer to the TEA Special Education Fiscal Support IDEA-B LEA MOE Guidance found in the LEA Login Site under the Special Education Fiscal Support Fund Amounts tab.
  • Per the FAR Appendices Fund Code 447 would be reported in PEIMS under Fund Code 459 in PEIMS. Below is an excerpt from page 45:

    “446–458 State-Funded or Locally Funded Shared Services Arrangements— Locally Defined

    These codes are used, at the option of your school district, for state funded or locally funded shared services arrangements not specifically defined elsewhere. For PEIMS reporting, these codes must be converted to code 459.

    Therefore, when TEA distributes the survey in January/February 2021, an LEA that did not reverse their original journal entries would report their Special Education Fiscal Support expenditures that are coded to Fund Code 429/459 in PEIMS. These self-reported amounts will be added to their local/state expenditures in the 2019–2020 IDEA-B LEA MOE calculation. I can also confirm that TEA will only collect this information for 2019–2020, and not in subsequent years when we will only use expenditures coded to Fund Codes 199/420/437 in the IDEA-B LEA MOE calculation.

  • The fund code is 429 and this fund source should remain by the recipient. If the SSA is drawing down the funds on behalf of the member LEA, fund code 459 should be used to keep these funds separate from any funds already accounted for within 437. 
  • Fund code 427 (State Funded Special Revenue Funds-Locally Defined (Converts to 429 for PEIMS)) or 458 (State/Local Funded Shared Services Arrangements-Locally Defined (Converts to 459 for PEIMS)) can be used.   
  • Fund code 427 (State Funded Special Revenue Funds-Locally Defined (Convert to Fund 429 in PEIMS)) can be used.  
  • This is a local decision.  The LEA may consider using a sub object code to track expenditures related to these funds.  SSAs may consider using different sub object codes per LEA to track individual LEA expenditures.  All expenditures will need to tie back to the Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract.
  • This is a local decision.  Expenditure reporting will be delineated by each round and the LEA may consider using a different sub object code in the LEA’s general ledger for funds from each round.  

  • These funds are not a grant award. Therefore, no NOGA will be received. The funds are being provided via the Special Education Fiscal Support Performance Contract.  However, since many business managers and auditors request this document, the NOGA that ESC-20 receives from TEA will be available in the LEA website.  
  • Qualifying LEAs receiving funds will be required to:

    • Report expenditures by the individual support area by noon on September 16, 2020
    • Report expenditures by the individual support area by noon on December 16, 2020
    • Report near final expenditures by individual support area by noon on April14, 2021
    • Report final expenditures by individual support area by noon on May 31, 2021 (NOTE: This is Memorial Day and expenditure report is due at noon.)
    • Maintain local documentation to demonstrate Special Education Fiscal Support funds were spent in accordance with program guidelines and requirements
    • Provide a copy of a detailed general ledger that aligns expenditures with the funding received as part of a sampling conducted by ESC-20
  • The Expenditure Report will be submitted on the LEA site on the same page as the allotment table that will be viewable during the expenditure reporting period.  The cumulative total to date of reporting for each individual Round will be submitted by category (initial evaluations, compensatory services, ESY, or geographic hardship).
  • The Special Education Fiscal Support funds are not federal funds and are awarded via a performance contract, therefore, a CFDA number does not exist for these funds. 
  • The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the pass-through entity.
  • No, LEAs are not required to use the awarded vendors from the Special Education Fiscal Support provider database.  LEAs may utilize funds in accordance with IDEA allowable expenditures that align with the purpose of the program. This may include contracting with vendors to assist in providing evaluation support or to provide special education and related services. Vendors are selected at the discretion of the LEA, and the selection may include providers available through the Special Education Fiscal Support Program at the pre-negotiated price points. 
  • Yes.  Due to the anticipated needs of qualifying LEAs, access to the vendor information will be limited to qualifying LEAs only. 
  • The LEA must follow local procedures to complete the interlocal agreement available on the LEA website, including obtaining board approval, and return it to spedfiscalsupport@esc20.info.  Once the interlocal agreement is returned to ESC-20, the LEA should contact the awarded vendor to determine availability.  It is the responsibility of the LEA to engage in a contract with the awarded vendor that does not invalidate the terms and conditions outlined in the Special Education Supports request for proposals (RFP) and to ensure vendor compliance and quality of contracted services, including adhering to LEA guidelines and requirements, and adherence with federal requirements.  Note: The Special Education Supports RFP can be found at the LEA website. 
  • The LEA should ensure:

    • The vendor provides qualified individuals with the appropriate license and/or certification and has completed the appropriate background checks as required by TEC 22.0834. 
    • Agreed upon travel rates should not be in excess of those indicated in the vendor information. 
    • SHARS billing guidelines are taken into consideration prior to finalizing a contract (https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/BillingGuidelines.pdf).  
    • Deviations are reviewed on the vendor information sheet and the LEA determines if these are acceptable.  
     
  • No.  If none of the vendors on the provider list will be used, then an interlocal agreement is not needed.  
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  • Sherry Marsh
    Component Director,
    Special Education Support Services
    (210) 370-5411
    Contact Sherry Marsh