Thursday, February 16, 2012

How State Aid was Determined For Schools

Here's some facts and information that every citizen and taxpayer in Winchester, whether you have children or not, should have so you'll understand  how part of our School Budget gets determined. The information is up to date and comes directly from the State of N.H. Dept. of Education. Direct your questions to Mr. Dassau or our BOS... The figures show we get more aid than they claim.

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Department of Education - an official New Hampshire Government website
Data Collection & Reports >
FY 2012 How State Aid Was Determined

NH Department of Education
Division of Program Support
Bureau of Data Management
November 15, 2010

Estimated FY12 Adequate Education Aid

In the 2008 legislative session, SB539 modified Adequate Education Aid and created the Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid program. These changes took effect beginning with aid for the 09-10 (FY10) school year. RSA 198:38 through 198:41 and RSA 198:46 specify how aid will be calculated and distributed.

Cost of an Opportunity for an Adequate Education


The Cost of an Adequate Education has been calculated using FY09 (08-09 school year) data for students in grades kindergarten through grade 12 who were legal residents of New Hampshire and:

    Attended a school operated by their resident district
    Were tuitioned by the resident district to a district operated school in NH or another state, or
    Were tuitioned by the resident district to a non-public school, such as a special education program.
    Charter school students are not included.
    Home schooled students, even those taking a few courses at a public school, are not included.
    Preschool students are not included.

Average daily membership (ADM) has been used to count the students. A student who is enrolled in school for the entire year has an ADM of 1.00. Students who transfer between schools are counted as a fractional ADM at each school. Half-day kindergarten students are counted as 0.50 and full-day kindergarten students are counted as 1.00.

Adequacy Cost:

Cost is computed per ADM. The base per pupil cost is $3,540, but certain school and individual factors increase that cost.

The percentage of students eligible for free/reduced priced school lunch (F/R) is the only school factor. This allocation, specified as differentiated aid, is allocated only when the F/R rate is 12% or more. The F/R rate is calculated using students in grades 1-12 identified as eligible in October. All students in kindergarten through grade 12, not just those eligible for F/R, are allocated differentiated aid based on the following differentiated rates:

    F/R rate of 12.00% to 23.99%, $885
    F/R rate of 24.00% to 35.99%, $1,770
    F/R rate of 36.00% to 47.99%, $2,655
    F/R rate of 48.00% or more, $3,540

Cost of Adequacy student factors and rates are:

    $1,904 for a special education student
    $693 for an English Language Learner receiving English Language instruction
    $442 for a kindergarten through grade 12 student eligible for free/reduced priced school lunch attending a school where the F/R was less 12%

Cost of Adequacy by Municipality:

The Department of Education calculates the Cost of Adequacy for students in each district-operated public school in NH and for students that attend other schools, such as privately operated special education programs or public schools in bordering states. The Department then sorts those students and their cost allocations by municipality of residence.

Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid:

Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid, which is separate from Adequacy, is allocated to municipalities with the lowest capacity to raise property tax revenue as long as the municipality’s Median Family Income (from the most recent US Bureau of the Census) is less than the state average.

Each municipality’s equalized valuation per pupil is computed by dividing the FY09 local tax base (4/1/08 equalized valuation including the utility properties) by the FY09 Average Daily Membership of resident students (ADM-R). The ADM-R used for Fiscal Capacity Disparity includes grades kindergarten -12 but counts only the first ½ day of full-day kindergarten students. It also includes charter school students. Provided the municipality’s median family is below the state average, aid for the 29 municipalities with the lowest equalized valuation per pupil is $2,000 per student, and aid for the 30 next lowest municipalities is $1,250 per student.

Statewide Education Property Tax Assessment:

Each December, the Department of Revenue Administration notifies each municipality of the amount it must raise through the Statewide Education Property Tax (SWEPT) for the following school year. The Department does this by first determining the rate needed to raise approximately $363 million statewide. When applied to 4/1/09 equalized valuations without utilities, the rate is $2.325 per thousand. Each municipality must raise its proportional share of the total. This process is described in RSA 76:3 and RSA 76:8.

Municipalities send the revenue raised by the Statewide Education Property Tax directly to school districts. Within cooperative districts the amount raised is credited to the individual towns. If the Statewide Education Property Tax to be raised by a municipality for FY12 exceeds the amount needed to fund the FY12 school budget after all other revenues have been applied, then the municipality must return the excess to the State. The amount of excess is determined by the Department of Revenue Administration when tax rates are set in the fall, and the excess must be returned to the State by March 15th.

Determination of Adequate Education Grants:

Each municipality’s grant is determined by adding the Cost of Adequacy and Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid, then subtracting the Statewide Property Tax assessment.

The grant payment schedule is 20% by September 1, 20% by November 1, 30% by January 1, and 30% by April 1.

State Aid:

State Aid is the sum of the Adequate Education Grant payment and the Statewide Education Property Tax revenue received from the municipality.

FY13 Adequate Education Grant:

For FY13 the Cost of Adequacy and Fiscal Capacity Disparity Aid will not change. Since the Statewide Property Tax assessment will be slightly different, grants will be slightly different.
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New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
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Rick Horton said...

I have spent alot of time reviewing the revenue side of our school budget. In comparison to other Towns we seem to be missing out on some revenue sources. If you review Hinsdale's MS27 it breaks down their revenues. They have some sources that do not appear on ours. There are also some lines that have more revenue than ours. I use Hinsdale as a comparison because they have a similar amount of students.

The school board talks of the revenue that we get from Surry and Hinsdale. That still doesn't stack up to what Hinsdale gets to offset their budget. You might think it comes from local sources but that line is the same also.

Next look at the SAU services line. Hinsdale's is a little under $500k. Winchester's is blank. Instead the SAU chose to move those costs around in other lines. By doing this we have a tough time seeing what exactly we are paying. If you dig through the budget detail(which is not on the School website and only provided to budget committee members) you can find approximately $700k that pertains to what should be our SAU line.

Regarding revenue from Surry. We receive approximately $42k for us providing them with SAU services. This is not just for what the superintendent provides(which we pay him an extra $5000). They also use many of our other SAU staff. It is a wash and not a money maker after you consider salaries, benefits and supplies.

We need a change on the school board. We need to change from the School Board working for the SAU to the SAU working for the School Board! Which means they work for the voters.

Anonymous said...

Why does it say Winchester has only 369 students. They have over 470 students??

Anonymous said...

So your saying the state of new hampshire school department lies? maybe it's our school department thats lying to us.

Anonymous said...

The report clearly states that pre-school and kindergarten are not included in those numbers; yet our school board adds them to our tax burden and charge us full tuition to make up the numbers. Gotta watch what they are doing closely, they are not honest people.

Anonymous said...

The cost of an adequate Education has been calculated using FY 08-09 school year data for students in K-12 Preschool is not included. Please reread the post carefully. Remember the number of students can change daily, some move in and some move out, our town/school has absolutely no control over the changes in the number of students moving in or out of our town during the budgeted year

Anonymous said...

How many does Colleen Duquette place here each year? With our high tax rate, who is moving into Winchester? If you look at real estate sales in the area, some weeks there is no listing for Winchester and other times it's a mortgage company taking over the house. I don't by the crap posted above as truthful at all. Just more spin to hide the fact that our school board isn't being up front with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Even if you take out preschool and kindergarten ... it still doesnt add up.

Anonymous said...

I'd believe the state figure before I'd believe anything our school board says after their deplorable behavior of late, besides the state should know how many students there are seeing as how they figure the aid amounts.

Anonymous said...

Student population changing daily, ins and outs, unpredictable... All words the SAU uses to make their budget a moving target. Is that why it takes them 7 months to close out a year? The fiscal year begins in July.... We are still waiting to find out what July 2010-June 2011 finished out with.

The town pays the school close to $500000 per month.... They never wait for their money yet we have to wait for answers on what they did with our money.

Anonymous said...

Colleen Duquette told a family member how she likes to place Foster Children with special needs in Winchester because we have such a great SPED program.

A great SPED program? For Christ sakes! As a school board chairperson advocating for more increases in the SPED program. Talk about conflict of interest the damage she has cause the tax payers.....

I say DUMP DUQUETTE.... school board.

Watch for signs coming near your home.

Time For Change said...

Integrity and character, as well as the 3 R's should be taught in our school's. The people in power aren't showing much of either.

Anonymous said...

The state aid was a little late for some in town recently. This morning's Sentinel business pages, showed three more Winchester foreclosures in the real estate transfers. People do lose their houses all the time in Winchester. Of course there is little consideration given by the school that they might be part of the problem.

Now is the time said...

How many more will lose their homes this summer with all of the extra spending warrants, the raised town budget and that ridiculously high school budget? People better wake up and get out and vote in March for new people so we can turn this town and school around. We need people to step up and volunteer to be write in candidates to oust these people who have brought this all upon us. Winchester has reached critical mass and about to melt down.

SO WHAT ! said...

When Mr. Dassau said,people lose there jobs and homes all the time, I bet he didn't think it would come back to haunt him like it has.

Anonymous said...

Best thing about money warrants is we can vote NO....So get out and vote If the people losing their homes and having a hard time making ends meet don't get out and vote then shame on them. and if these pass you have no right to complain.

Anonymous said...

We have an enrollment of 685 students in the Winchester School District. That includes K-12 and out of district students. It does not include the preschool students. So why is it that we have more students than Hinsdale and their cost to taxation is less?

Poor. SAU management? Has the current School board let the SAU run them? And now the SAU and school board has formed a group called CARE to defend why they shouldn't cut administration and why it's better for our children that we cut teachers

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the SAU has decided that the present middle school is not what we need. We all ready know that students in other towns with a K-8 scenario perform better on the standardized tests. Even in the state of Vermont the Commissioner of Education is talking about disbanding the Middle School concept. If I were a parent in this system I would make certain that we had qualified educators. We need educators that educate not give our students inappropriate information about the budget issues.

Then of course I certainly would change the board and the super. One would think that the board would want to be honest with the numbers. They would get more credit if they just said we have no idea how the numbers were arrived at. Mr. Dassau and the Business people still have not answered the question, "Why were the funds not encumbered?"

shame-shame! said...

Time for change, you are correct, Integrity and character are sadly lacking in our educational leaders.

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to figure out what this CARE group stands for. I am sure they are going to circulate information to support the $11.5m budget. Who is in the group? SAU Admin and School Board members...

Do they really CARE?


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Anonymous said...

Well that didn't line up properly...



Anonymous said...

I'll bet that the board and SAU have come up with this acronym to throw the townspeople off guard. You and I must remember that they are no smarter than we are even though they try to pull the wool over our eyes. It's amazing to see how far they will go to get their own way. When we find out just how many lies that they have told I am wondering what the town will do. We teach our children not to lie and they make a habit of it. Should we chalk this up to just another day in the neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

CARE = Cost Accumulating and Recruitment for Empowerment isn't that right Mr. Dassau?