State to districts: Pearson's FCAT fines should cover staff costs
It’s the memo many Florida superintendents were hoping to get.
The state Department of Education expects to reimburse districts not just for the costs to mail out late FCAT scores to families, but for the additional expenses of bringing in additional personnel to analyze the data, adjust next year’s curricula and place students according to academic needs.
The goal is to use the millions of dollars in fines levied against NCS Pearson for all of the above, Frances Haithcock, chancellor of public schools, wrote in a memo sent to superintendents today.
Up to now, it had been unclear whether the reimbursement would go beyond mailing costs. But now districts are being asked to keep a detailed record of “any additional district or school personnel who are necessary to accomplish functions related to the distribution of the test scores, scheduling, or any curriculum decisions that had to be postponed until the scores were received,” according to the memo.
“Our intent is to obtain legislative authority to use the funds received from NCS Pearson to reimburse school districts for additional costs incurred as a result of the delay,” Haithcock wrote.
Accompanying the memo is an Excel form for districts to use to log the additional staffers’ hours and the associated costs of salary and benefits, postage and other supplies.
Some cash-strapped districts – Hernando among them – have hesitated to call back the ideal number of staffers for fear that the costs would not be covered.
Here is the memo in its entirety:
M E M O R A N D U M
DATE: June 28, 2010
TO: District School Superintendents
FROM: Dr. Frances Haithcock
Chancellor of Public Schools
Deputy Commissioner, Finance and Operations
SUBJECT: Reporting Additional Costs Incurred Due to Delayed Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Results
Last week, the Department submitted a request to our testing contractor, NCS Pearson, for payment of damages associated with delays in the delivery of this year’s FCAT results. Our intent is to obtain legislative authority to use the funds received from NCS Pearson to reimburse school districts for additional costs incurred as a result of the delay.
In order to support districts’ claims for reimbursement for additional personnel and other costs, the attached spreadsheet is provided for use in summarizing this information. Please report any additional district or school personnel who are necessary to accomplish functions related to the distribution of the test scores, scheduling, or any curriculum decisions that had to be postponed until the scores were received. Information for staff who are regularly employed during the summer should not be included. Supporting documentation for non-personnel costs, such as invoices, receipts, etc., should be submitted with the summary spreadsheet. Payroll documentation for personnel costs should be maintained in an auditable form.