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WASBO Accounting Conference March 19, 2014 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM Bruce W. Anderson School Finance Consultant 1 2013 Wisconsin Act 20 included provisions.

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Presentation on theme: "WASBO Accounting Conference March 19, 2014 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM Bruce W. Anderson School Finance Consultant 1 2013 Wisconsin Act 20 included provisions."— Presentation transcript:

1 WASBO Accounting Conference March 19, :00 AM – 12:00 AM Bruce W. Anderson School Finance Consultant Wisconsin Act 20 included provisions to assist school districts with high cost pupil transportation. Feel like you missed some details? Will your district receive High Cost Transportation Aid in June? How can you prepare for a transportation audit? Which mileage category would be used for a student with two residencies? This is a practical discussion on these and other questions that impact this state categorical aid that is received by most school districts in Wisconsin.

2 2013 Wisconsin Act 20 impact WI Stat (2)(a)4. 4. For each pupil so transported whose residence is more than 12 miles from the school attended, $220 per school year in the school year and $275 per school year thereafter. WI Stat (2)(a)4. This is for the “Over 90 days” category. The change for the “1 to 90 days – Over 12 miles” category the aid amount will go from $110 to $

3 2013 Wisconsin Act 20 impact WI Stat High cost transportation aid WI Stat Provides $5,000,000 GPR in a new appropriation in both FY14 and FY15. This aid will reimburse school districts incurring ‘pupil transportation costs per member’ above 150 percent of the statewide average. If the amount of the appropriation is not sufficient to pay all costs, payments to school districts shall be prorated. 3

4 The Calculation Process of High Cost Transportation Aid (9 step process) Step 1 - Total the previous school year’s Audited Transportation Cost (Fund 10) for all school districts. Step 2 - Total the previous school year’s Audited Membership for all school districts. Step 3 - Determine the threshold to receive High Cost Transportation Aid. Step 4 - Determine the district’s transportation cost per member. Step 5 - Determine if a school district exceeds the state- wide threshold. Step 6 - Determine the district’s high cost of pupil transportation. Step 7 - Total the high costs for the qualifying school districts. Step 8 - Calculate each district’s percentage share of the appropriation. Step 9 - Calculate the district’s High Cost Transportation Aid payment. 4

5 2013 Act Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) Estimate Assuming Program was Effective in To have qualified for a share the High Cost Transportation aid in FY13( ), a district ‘s costs needed to exceed $605 per member. 129 of the 424 School Districts reach the threshold. The total transportation costs for these 129 districts was $15,537,156 In this scenario, each district would be reimbursed for 32% of their excess transportation costs in FY13. 5

6 2013 Act Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) Estimate Assuming Program was Effective in High Cost Transportation aid impact if paid in FY13: The range of “cost/member” above the $605 threshold was $2,231 to $2. The range of members/district was from 3,159 members to 61 members. Payment range per district was $322,228 to $395. To qualify for this aid program, a school district need not have submitted a PI-1547 claim. FY14 High Cost Transportation aid information will be released in early May and paid in June. 6

7 Exercise Your Brain – Visual Logic Brain Teaser by Caroline Latham 7 In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling? The only possible answers are “left” or “right.” Do you know the answer?

8 So what is the transportation audit? The transportation program must be audited at least once every 3 years. The most current ( if you are auditing ) transportation report should be audited. FULL AUDIT PROGRAM - should be used when a school district is required to have a federal single audit, AND pupil transportation aid is equal to or more than $25,000. PARTIAL PROGRAM - should be used when a school district is not required to have a federal single audit, AND pupil transportation aid is equal to or more than $25,000. 8

9 What is the auditor looking for? Supporting documentation that includes: a listing of pupils transported at least once during the school year home (pick-up point) to school distance using the most direct route days the pupil is enrolled. The pupils were transported at district expense Transportation aid may not be paid if the district is being reimbursed through fees charged. Verify that transportation costs have not been allocated from the general fund 10 to the special education fund 27 if the district is running only regular education routes. 9

10 What is the auditor looking for? that special education pupils are reported only on regular transportation tables or summer school tables as appropriate if… the district is NOT running special education only routes. that pupils for whom special education transportation costs have been reported on the annual report in fund 27… have NOT been counted in the regular transportation tables. 10

11 What is the auditor looking for? Determine, document, and evaluate the process used by district to verify… that the pupils reported were transported at least once during the school year. Determine that the district has maintained reliable source documentation to support… the number of pupils reported as actually transported at least once during the school year. 11

12 What is the auditor looking for? Determine and document the district’s system to count pupils actually transported by modes other than by district’s regular transportation routes. For example, parent contracts, city bus, taxi cab, etc., are other methods that may be used at the expense of the district and should be included in the data reported. WI Stats (9)(a), Unusually Hazardous Transportation (UHT) plan If pupils are counted as being transported less than two miles, determine that they are transported in accordance with a UHT plan filed by the district with DPI. Ask when the district last updated the UHT plan and determine if the plan has been properly updated for current conditions. 12

13 What is the auditor looking for? Document the district’s procedure to determine “One-Way” mileage (NOT "round-trip" or "total route") and the most direct route from the pupil’s residence (pick-up point) to the school attended. Trace the pupils reported in the PI-1547 and the PI-1547-SS to the district’s source documentation. If the transportation contractor is responsible for providing data to the district, determine… that the contractor is providing adequate information as required for the accurate completion of the transportation tables. What does the contract with the service provider say about providing adequate information? 13

14 What is the auditor looking for? Using the enrollment records and listing of pupils transported test at least one pupil in each category for regular school year (10 categories) for summer school transportation. (4 categories) If the district is running special education only routes, test at least two special education pupils transported. The minimum sample size should be twenty. Note that errors in the sample may require additional audit testing and procedures. 14

15 What is the auditor looking for? Test the items selected in the sample for the following: Pupils were enrolled in district for days reported as being enrolled. Pupils are reported within the correct mileage category. (Do not round up the distance.) Pupils reported as transported in the 0-2 mileage category reside within the boundaries identified in the UHT plan. Pupils reported in the transportation tables were actually transported at least once during the school year. 15

16 Documentation needed: 1. List for each student in the count with: 1. Name, that would be on the bus driver’s list 2. Grade level 3. Enrollment data, if less than full time, provide 1. Start date and departure date 4. Home (pick-up point) legal address 5. School (drop-off point) legal address 6. Most direct route distance to the 1/10 th of a mile 1. document of how distance was determined. 7. Bus Route assignment 2. A signed document from bus driver verifying ridership by each counted student at least once during the school year. 16

17 Documentation needed: 3. A dated copy of the district’s Unusually Hazardous Plan, if it exists. 4. Documentation of transportation related accounting records (Fund 10 and Fund 27). 5. Access to student IEP where transportation is a required service. 6. Documents for transported by modes other than by district’s regular transportation routes. 7. Document bus contractors responsibilities in data provision (if used). 17

18 Which mileage category would be used for a student with two residencies? A student who is actually transported at least once will be counted in the mileage category as determined by the district on the PI The determination of the mileage category does not need to be modified for the given school year as long as the student continues residing in the school district. (Source: Page 5 of 5, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Financial Services Team, WISCONSIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT AUDIT MANUAL Updated April 2013) 18

19 If a family changes residency (moves) during the school year, in which mileage category are the students placed? A student who is actually transported at least once will be counted in the mileage category as determined by the district on the PI The determination of the mileage category does not need to be modified for the given school year as long as the student continues residing in the school district. (Source: Page 5 of 5, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Financial Services Team, WISCONSIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT AUDIT MANUAL Updated April 2013) 19

20 School Finance Contacts Bruce AndersonConsultant Carey BradleyConsultant Dan BushConsultant Gene ForneckerAuditor Brian Kahl Auditor Michele GundrumAuditor Victoria ChungAccountant Robert SoldnerDirector Erin Fath Asst. Director

21 Thank you for making the pupil transportation audit process for your district a success! 21


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