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TO:                   Superintendents of Schools & Directors of Applied Technology Centers and Regions

FROM:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:              April 14, 2005

RE:                   ED 281 Vocational Education Allocation and Implications for Cost-Sharing

I am aware of the concerns expressed by some for the FY2006 vocational education allocations and the implications for many of your vocational center cost-sharing formulas that relied on the old funding law. Interpretation of the level of state support for vocational programs, or for any other individual component of EPS defined costs on the new ED281 subsidy printouts, is not possible in any way that is consistent with the old funding law and the old ED261 printouts. In both cases, the state support is calculated based on the law but how the state/local funds are allocated to each program is a local decision. Local School Administrative Units are still responsible under state law for supporting vocational education.

The vocational allocation for each unit in FY2006 has been determined in exactly the same way as in the past--the two-year-old costs, inflated. The allocations provided for FY2006 are in nearly all cases greater than those provided in FY2005. The allocations provided for FY2006 are in all cases greater than they would have been under the old law if it had been applied in FY2006, since the new funding law (LD1924) does not apply the 2.99% reduction to the allocation after inflation. The inflated two-year-old costs are the allocation.

After receiving information submitted by many centers and regions outlining the impact of the new funding law, we considered other approaches to alleviate the concerns for FY2006 that could be included in the new release of ED281 printouts scheduled for this week but those changes were deemed more disruptive than the current conditions (e.g., reallocation of ‘03/’04 expenses and ‘05/’06 allocations to be more student driven).

In order to alleviate any concerns for adverse impact on programs for FY2007, we are committed to working with you to make necessary changes that respond to the need for all centers and regions to share the costs of vocational education in a fair and equitable manner.