New Transportation Guideline— Effective July 1, 2014 Don’t miss the bus! Arizona Department of Education, Audit Unit Brian Lockery, Audit Manager Brian.firstname.lastname@example.org 602-364-4038
A short time ago, in a government building far, far away (from some of you)…………………………
This was NOT a fishing expedition! This guideline was directly requested by the field.
Issues identified by field: What is an eligible student? How do we calculate eligible students? How do we calculate daily route mileage? How do we track route miles? How are we supposed to report dead head mileage? How are we supposed to report contracted route miles? What is a route? PLEASE provide us guidance and consistency statewide!
ADE Guidelines Committee Process Reviewed questions posed by LEAs Developed a list of: Transportation issues that have arisen Statutory requirements Past written ADE guidance Case law AG Opinions Past ADE and OAG audits Met and developed draft guideline over five months Issued to a test field last month, responses due June 6 th Next steps
Purpose section Reporting Transportation Route Report Documentation to Maintain Compliance Rubric Additionally, new and improved definitions: Daily route miles, eligible student, school bus, contracted route miles
Transportation Route Report A.R.S. § 15-922 Within 12 days of the 100 th day of instruction Vehicle Inventory Report On or before July 15 Actual odometer reading for each school bus as of June 30 Total mileage for the year ending June 30
Current practice remains in place—No changes under the guideline Each school district shall, on or before July 15 th immediately following the fiscal year, report to the Superintendent of Public: The actual odometer reading for each school bus operated by the school district as of June 30 th ; and The total mileage for the year ending June 30 th.
School districts must report three categories of miles in the Transportation Route Report: daily route miles, other route miles and miles for extended school year services. Each of these categories defines what should be included in each section. Clarifies and makes consistent how miles should be reported by category. Additionally, school districts must report the eligible students actually transported.
What is an eligible student? Whose place of actual residence is within the district, except students for whom a transportation fee is charged. For common school students, whose place of residence is more than one mile from the school of attendance. For high school students, whose place of residence is more than one and one-half miles from the school of attendance. Who are actually transported by the school district on a school bus.
A school bus is defined as: A motor vehicle owned by a public school or governmental agency or other institution and operated for the transportation of eligible students from their residence or pickup point to school and from school to their residence or return point on a regularly scheduled basis. (A.R.S. §§ 15-901, 28-101); A vehicle designed to be a student transportation vehicle; Owned or leased by the school district; Reported to ADE with beginning and ending odometer readings in the vehicle inventory report; and, At least 75% of the miles driven during the current fiscal year are for student transportation purposes.
Contracted route miles—What are they? Clarification provided on contracted route miles: One mile means ONE MILE! Legislation passed for clarification purposes—Guideline supports and strengthens the law Guidance provided on who can claim route miles and eligible students
Guidance and Consistency on how to calculate eligible students—Who should be counted? Who should NOT be counted?
School districts must identify and maintain a record of the designated purpose for each mile or trip conducted. School districts must maintain this documentation for a minimum of four years pursuant to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records General Records Retention Schedule for School Districts and Charter Schools (Schedule Number 000-11-53).
Self-identified Can open a 915 adjustment to correct data Follow established process by requesting a 915 adjustment and uploading corrected data Self-reported, as with all data, and subject to audit State aid may be impacted Budget capacity may be impacted ADE determination Follow audit process Adjustments made according to statute Data is audited after reviewing all documentation from school district and ADE Audit determines corrections and state aid adjusted accordingly Budget capacity adjustments required
A.R.S. § 15-921: The SPI may withhold a school district's apportionment of state aid if it is determined that the school district is not in compliance with the reporting requirements. In addition, if the SPI determines that the information provided by school districts was not accurate according to this guideline or state law, the SPI may make any appropriate adjustments to return the school district to compliance.
A.R.S. § 15-915 Determine if adjustments are necessary—if so, make the adjustments to state aid If adjustments are made to state aid, require corrections to budget capacity Corrections may be made in the current year or the budget year, except that in the case of hardship to the school district, the SPI may approve corrections partly in one year and partly in the year after that year (Hardship Exception)
What would auditors look for: Original documentation Paper and electronic/digital records Aggregated documentation Each school district is different—it is a local decision on how to document, so each audit process is unique— auditors determine how and then collect information
A school district must identify the reason for the trip, document the beginning and ending mileage and designate the trip mileage as: Route miles authorized under A.R.S. § 945 (A); An academic education, career and technical education, vocational education, athletic trip and summer school miles authorized under A.R.S. § 945 (B); An extended school year services for pupils with disabilities miles authorized under A.R.S. § 15- 945 (C); Other non-route miles or miles to transport non-eligible students; OR other miles that do not qualify as miles to be categorized under A.R.S. § 15- 945 (A), (B) or (C).
Rubric Scenario Are the student and miles eligible for funding? Legal Citation
Arizona Department of Education Questions? Please contact your School Finance Unit Account Analysts www.azed.gov/finance