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Billing and Contracting Matters

When eligible students are attending and receiving special education services in locations outside of their resident district, school officials need to establish contracts and follow state guidelines regarding financial responsibility.

Contracts for Services

An LEA/AEA may contract with other agencies or other AEAs/districts to provide special education and related services to students. These contracts must be for the actual costs of providing those special education services. The district providing the program is responsible for assuring that there is a contract in place and for the submission of timely invoices to the sending district.

Each agency contracting with other agencies to provide special education and related services for individuals or groups of individuals must maintain responsibility for individuals receiving special education and related services by:

  • Ensuring that all the requirements related to the development of each eligible individual’s IEP are met;
  • Requiring and reviewing periodic progress reports to ensure the adequacy and appropriateness of the special education and related services provided; and
  • Conditioning payments on delivery of special education and related services in accordance with the eligible individual’s IEP and in compliance with rules and regulations such as minimum length of the school day, pupil-teacher ratios, and appropriately licensed teachers.

Resident District's Financial Responsibility

The student’s resident district shall pay the school district in which the facility is located for the provision of educational services to the student. The resident district will pay:

  • A portion of the district cost per pupil based upon the proportion of time each student is provided educational services while in the facility, compared to the total time for which the child is provided educational services during a normal school year (e.g., 1/180th for each instructional day).
  • The actual special education instructional costs incurred to the district in which the facility is located. (Billing is not on a per diem rate according to the funds being generated.)

Financial & Educational Responsibility for Children in Residential Placements

If a student requiring special education is living in a licensed foster care, residential treatment, or another such type of facility, the district in which the facility is located must provide special education if the facility does not maintain a school. The school district in which the facility is located may contract with the facility to provide the educational program. A facility does not have the authority to provide an educational program unless contracted by the district to do so.

School districts in which a residential treatment facility is located are responsible for the provision of education services to students residing in the facility. All students residing in the facility shall be included in the basic enrollment of their districts of residence.

Financial Responsibility When the Resident District is Unknown

In cases where a student’s district of residence cannot be determined, or a student has been placed by the district court and parental rights have been terminated, the following procedures should be followed.

  • If the student was not included in the weighted enrollment of any LEA in the state, the LEA in which the facility is located may certify the costs to the director of education by August 1st of each year for the preceding fiscal year. Payment shall be made from the general fund of the state.
  • Any special education instructional program not provided directly by an LEA or any special education support service not provided by an AEA can only be provided through a contractual agreement.

Financial Responsibility for Out-of-State Students

If a student from another state is placed in a foster care facility in Iowa, the costs for the educational services provided to both general education and special education students are billed back to the student’s home district in the other state.

  • This placement is facilitated through the existence of an Interstate Compact for Juveniles between Iowa and other states.
  • The billing procedures for the costs of providing educational services shall be performed or supervised by the district responsible for providing the program.