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Ltr2-10: Pupil Transportation

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

May 16, 2011

Dear County Superintendents of Schools:

NOTICE OF APPORTIONMENT
FOR THE PUPIL TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM
MAY 2011 CERTIFICATION
FISCAL YEAR 2010-11

This apportionment, in the amount of $476,598,017, is made from funds provided by Schedule (1) of Item 6110-111-0001 of the Budget Act of 2010 (Chapter 712, Statutes of 2010). This apportionment certifies local educational agencies’ (LEAs) final 2010-11 entitlements for Pupil Transportation.

Warrants will be mailed to each county treasurer approximately three weeks from the date of this Notice. For standardized account code structure coding, use Resource Code 7230, Transportation: Home to School, or Resource Code 7240, Transportation: Special Education (SD/OI), and Revenue Object Code 8311, Other State Apportionments-Current Year, for both home-to-school and special education transportation. For prior year adjustments, use Revenue Object Code 8319, Other State Apportionments-Prior Year.

Beginning in fiscal year 2010-11, letters of apportionment from the California Department of Education’s (CDE) School Fiscal Services Division are no longer being mailed to the county superintendents of schools. Instead, county superintendents will be notified of each apportionment by e-mail. Accordingly, the CDE has sent an e-mail to each county superintendent, addressed to the county’s CDEfisc e-mail address, to inform him or her of this apportionment. The e-mail contained a link to the CDE Categorical Programs Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/ where, under the program name, the letter and schedule for this apportionment are posted.

Pursuant to the provisions of California Education Code (EC) Section 14041, payments for the Special Purpose Apportionment (which consists solely of Pupil Transportation funds) are to be made in twelve installments beginning in July and ending in June. The July and August payments are equal to five percent of each LEA’s estimated 2010-11 apportionment, and the September through April payments are equal to nine percent of each LEA’s estimated 2010-11 apportionment. The May payment is equal to nine percent of the final 2010-11 apportionment. The June payment is equal to each LEA’s final 2010-11 apportionment less payments made for July through May.

Calculation of 2010-11 Entitlements. The calculation of final fiscal year 2010-11 entitlements for Pupil Transportation (Home-to-School and Special Education) are being certified in this apportionment to reflect 2009-10 unaudited actual data submitted on the Form TRAN, Annual Report of Pupil Transportation. Per EC Section 41851(c), the current year transportation allowances (entitlements) are calculated by first comparing prior year expenditures (approved costs) to the prior year allowances. LEAs are to receive the lesser of their prior year expenditures or their prior year allowances. That amount is increased by any growth or cost of living adjustment (COLA) funding provided in the annual budget act. The Budget Act of 2010 did not provide funding for growth or COLA. Please note an LEA’s allowance is not the apportionment (cash) it is receiving, but the actual entitlement amount (lesser of prior year expenditures or allowance). Funds available to pay the entitlement have been reduced by Control Section 12.42 of the Budget Act.

The Schedule of Apportionment for the Pupil Transportation Program identifies the final 2010-11 Home-to-School Transportation entitlement for each participating school district and county office of education, its apportionment (cash), and the flow of cash payments through June 2011. The transportation entitlement is the allowance for non-special education pupils and special education pupils who are not severely disabled or orthopedically impaired (non-SD/OI).

The Schedule of Apportionment for the Pupil Transportation Program also identifies the final 2010-11 Special Education Transportation entitlement for each participating school district and county office of education, its apportionment (cash), and the flow of cash payments through June 2011. This transportation entitlement is the allowance for pupils who are SD/OI.

Basic Aid Reductions. Section 37 of Assembly Bill 2 of the Fourth Extraordinary Session (ABX4 2) requires that fiscal year 2010-11 categorical funding allocations to school districts that were basic aid in 2009-10 be reduced by the lesser of: (1) the district’s 2009-10 total revenue limit subject to the deficit factor, calculated as of the 2009-10 certified second principal apportionment, multiplied by 5.81 percent or (2) the amount of the district’s excess taxes. In implementation of ABX4 2, we have reduced the amount paid to basic aid districts in this apportionment. To view the list of basic aid districts and the total amount to be reduced from their 2010-11 categorical funding allocations, please go to the CDE Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/documents/basicaidcut2010.xls. Basic aid districts will be held harmless from these reductions in the calculation of fiscal year 2011-12 Pupil Transportation entitlements as described below.

Section 56 of Senate Bill (SB) 70 (Chapter 7, Statutes of 2011) similarly requires that categorical funding allocations in fiscal year 2011-12 to school districts that were basic aid in 2010-11 be reduced by the lesser of: (1) the district’s 2010-11 total revenue subject to the deficit factor, calculated as of the 2010-11 certified second principal apportionment, multiplied by 8.92 percent or (2) the amount of the district’s excess taxes. Section 57 of SB 70 enacts a cut of identical size in fiscal year 2012-13 to school districts that were basic aid in 2011-12. The list of categorical programs from which the CDE may recover funds in satisfaction of the basic aid cut includes the pupil transportation program, therefore, districts that are basic aid in 2010-11 or 2011-12 may experience basic aid reductions to Pupil Transportation in fiscal year 2011-12 or 2012-13.

2011-12 Calculation of Entitlements. An LEA must spend in fiscal year 2010-11 an amount equal to or greater than its 2010-11 final entitlement in order to avoid a permanent reduction to its 2011-12 entitlement. Each LEA’s 2011-12 entitlement will be calculated as the lesser of its 2010-11 expenditures or 2010-11 allowance (entitlement). If an LEA spends in 2010-11 an amount equal to its 2010-11 state apportionment for pupil transportation, which is its 2010-11 entitlement minus the Control Section 12.42 cut, it will incur a permanent reduction to its 2011-12 entitlement.

2011-12 through 2013-14 Calculation of Entitlements for Basic Aid Districts. To satisfy the 2010-11 basic aid reduction requirements, the CDE recouped district funds from a number of categorical programs, generally, in the order in which funds were first apportioned. In this way, not all basic aid districts had funds recovered from their Pupil Transportation apportionments. A school district that did receive a reduction to its Pupil Transportation funding will be held harmless in the calculation of its 2011-12 entitlement. Specifically, a basic aid district’s 2011-12 entitlement will be calculated as the lesser of its 2010-11 entitlement (calculated prior to the Control Section 12.42 reduction) and the sum of its 2010-11 expenditures and its 2010-11 basic aid cut to pupil transportation. The same calculation method will be used in fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Charter Schools. Charter schools, with few exceptions, receive Pupil Transportation funding through the charter school categorical funding model (EC, commencing with Section 47633). This funding model provides categorical block grant funds in lieu of various categorical programs, including Pupil Transportation. These block grant funds are allocated as part of the Principal Apportionment process. LEAs and charter schools may wish to consider this in their discussions about how to provide transportation services to charter school pupils.

If you have any questions regarding this apportionment, please contact Christina Schlueter, Assistant Fiscal Consultant, Categorical Allocations and Management Assistance Unit, by phone at 916-324-9806 or by e-mail at cschlueter@cde.ca.gov [Note, the preceding contact information is no longer valid and has been replaced by Christina Kersey, Fiscal Consultant, Categorical Allocations & Management Assistance Unit, at 916-324-9806 or by e-mail at ckersey@cde.ca.gov.] [Note, the preceding contact information is no longer valid and has been replaced by Julie Klein Briggs, Fiscal Consultant, Categorical Allocations & Management Assistance Unit, by phone at 916-323-6191 or by e-mail at jbriggs@cde.ca.gov.]

Sincerely,


Jeannie Oropeza, Deputy Superintendent
Finance, Technology, and Administration Branch

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