Regional Occupational Centers and ProgramsFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Grant and the flexibility provisions in Senate Bill 4 of the 2009-10 Third Extraordinary Session (SBX3 4).
Please note that this information is provided for historical purposes. Funds for the Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCP) were made flexible under the 2009 legislation. The 2013 Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation repealed the flexibility provisions and instead, eliminated funding streams for many categorical programs, including the ROCP Grant. Categorical funding received in 2012–13 forms the basis for determining school funding in the phase-in period under the LCFF. See the categorical program [http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcfffaq.asp#CAT] and ROCP [http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcfffaq.asp#ROCP] topics in the LCFF FAQ page for additional information.
Refer to the Fiscal Issues Relating to Budget Reductions and Flexibility Provisions guidance letter [http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fr/eb/yr09budgetacts.asp] for information on provisions that apply to all programs. The letter covers such matters as the public hearing requirement, base year funding provisions, and how funding reductions will be calculated.
- Is there a difference between "program" flexibility and "funding" flexibility?
No. Flexibility is flexibility in both areas.
- If an ROCP’s governing board elects to conduct business as usual, must they continue to abide by all existing Education Code and Title 5 requirements governing ROCPs?
No. Local educational agencies (LEAs) may utilize all of their ROCP funds to provide services for the program or they may use all or part of their ROCP funds for other educational purposes and/or other categorical programs. LEAs will be deemed to be in compliance with the program and funding requirements for ROCPs contained in statutory, regulatory, and provisional language.
- A few ROCPs have indicated they are going to place their ROCP courses into their high school's morning schedule. Can the high school now count the course as part of their 240-minute minimum requirement?
Schools may count the course as part of the minimum day requirement if the student's attendance meets the criteria under Education Code Section 46300(a).
- For a high school to do the above, must the teacher of that ROCP class be a district-paid teacher, or can the teacher be an ROCP-paid teacher? Or does it matter?
Pursuant to Education Code Section 46300(a), the LEA must employ the teacher for the class to be counted as part of the 240-minute minimum day.
- Can passing time between ROCP classes and school classes now be counted?
Passing time requirements have not changed. If an LEA integrates the ROCP into its regular program, then passing time can be counted. If the ROCP is a separate program, passing time cannot be counted.
- Are all the requirements for ROCPs under AB 2448 still in effect?
No. ROCPs are now "deemed compliant" pursuant to SBX3 4.
- Is it necessary for an ROCP to continue to submit attendance data for its classes?
Since ROCP funding is no longer generated through hourly attendance, it is not necessary to continue taking attendance for ROCP funding purposes. ROCPs will receive their funding for 2008–09 and each of the next four years based upon a formula. The CDE notes that ROCP attendance is also used in apportionment calculations for lottery and county office of education "other purpose" funding. How these funding amounts will be calculated in the absence of ROCP attendance data is a matter of discussion with legislative and Administration staff and will likely be addressed in cleanup legislation.
- Are there any age restrictions for ROCP students now? Is a comprehensive high school plan required for under age students?
No to both questions. LEAs will be deemed to be in compliance with program and funding requirements for ROCPs contained in statutory, regulatory, and provisional language.
- Can an ROCP now have academic teachers teach a CTE or ROCP course?
Teachers of CTE courses, whether they are school district operated or ROCP operated, must possess the proper CTC credential authorizing service in the subject area.
- Under the flexibility provision, is there any requirement to maintain a 15 percent reserve? Can it be more than 15 percent?
Local educational agencies (LEAs) may utilize all of their ROCP funds to provide services for the program or they may use all or part of their ROCP funds for other educational purposes and/or other categorical programs. LEAs will be deemed to be in compliance with the ROCP program and funding requirements contained in statutory, regulatory, and provisional language.
- Under the flexibility provision, can an ROCP create a special long-term reserve account?
Yes. This can be decided by the governing board under the flexibility provision.
- Since a percentage of the current year’s allocations and some prior year adjustments will not be received before June 30, 2009, should ROCPs set up “accounts receivable” and apply all delayed payments to the previous year? Or should ROCPs budget the deferred payments as funding for the year in which they were received?
There is no change in accounting rules regarding when revenues should be recorded.
- Are reserves for capital outlay included in flexibility?
Restricted capital outlay reserves as of June 30, 2008, may not be redirected for other purposes.
- If possible, should ROCPs keep their 2008–09 reserves to offset the 15.4 percent cut?
This is a decision of the local ROCP board.
- Does the decision-making authority to use ROCP Joint Powers Authority (JPA) reserves rest with the ROCP JPA Governing Board?
- How will funds be allocated in 2013–14?
Under SBX3 4, formulas that were previously in place will be reinstated.
- Is the 2008-09 fiscal year the “base” ADA year? If so, is it wise to maximize ADA in 2008–09?
Please refer to the Fiscal Issues Relating to Budget Reductions and Flexibility Provisions guidance letter [http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fr/eb/yr09budgetacts.asp], which covers such matters as the public hearing requirement, base year funding provisions, and how funding reductions will be calculated.
- ROCP CalWORKs funding is allowed for ADA over cap. For the next four years, how is CalWORKs funding calculated since cap ADA is not required to be reported?
It has not yet been determined how CalWORKs funding will be handled.
- How will “Necessary Small School ROPs” be handled?
They will undergo the same percentage cuts as other programs, 15.4 percent and an additional 5.4 percent respectively for 2008–09 and 2009–10.
- When will funds be distributed for the 2009–10 fiscal year?
The schedule for apportionments in 2009–10 has not been determined.
- Should ROCPs continue to take separate attendance during the next four years? Can ROCPs plug into the regular school attendance accounting systems for their attendance? Is there a mandate to collect ROCP attendance?
There is no need to take attendance for ROCP apportionment purposes.
- Is it necessary to hold a regularly scheduled open public hearing?
Yes. Per SBX3 4 Section 15, Education Code Section 42605(c)(2), "As a condition of receipt of funds, the governing board of the school district or board of the county office of education, as appropriate, at a regularly scheduled open public hearing shall take testimony from the public, discuss, and approve or disapprove the proposed use of funding." No other conditions are placed on the use of flexibility.
- What are the rules for teacher credentials under the "deemed in compliance" provision?
All Commission on Teacher Credentialing rules still apply.
- If a school district wrote its Perkins Plan to include ROCP courses as part of its course sequences and programs of study, must it continue to operate classes?
Yes, if the district wants Perkins funds. It may be able to revise its plan.
- If a school district, or any LEA, uses ROCP classes as part of a grant application or contract for any purpose (i.e. SB 70, California Partnership Academies, Prop 1D, etc.) and the ROCP is forced to close the class, how is the LEA to disclose this to the awarding agency?
The LEA must contact the awarding agency (i.e. CDE, Chancellor’s Office, Office of Public School Construction) and prepare a revision to its application if allowable.
- What about Community Classroom/Cooperative Vocational Education requirements in Title 5 for ROCPs?
Education Code and Title 5 requirements for ROCPs are not in effect from 2008–09 through 2012–13.
- What about the ROCP course certification process with CDE?
The requirement for course certification is not in effect from 2008–09 through 2012–13.
- Can a school district now take its ROCP funding, combine it with Perkins funding, and now mix CTE classes with academic instruction, such as courses titled “Math in Construction” taught by a math teacher, getting a-g credit, with a little construction awareness, and a field trip or two to a construction site?
Perkins requirements remain in effect. CTE classes are defined in the California Plan for Career Technical Education as those courses with a minimum of 50 percent CTE content aligned to the California Career Technical Education Standards. The plan requires anyone teaching a CTE course to possess a proper CTE credential. Perkins funding cannot be used for academic instruction.
- Many Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) want to partner with ROCPs. Can they pursue these partnerships under the flexibility provisions?
Yes. Nothing has changed. WIBs have been able to partner with ROCPs prior to flexibility provisions and may continue to do so.