With any State instruction, clarification is needed, so it should come as no surprise that the minimum instruction requirement for State Aid is still being discussed. Let’s address the clarification requested during the public comment period following the April 2018 proposed amendments (see our synopsis in Lesson Plan Vol. 18):
- The amount of instructional time that can be credited for superintendent’s conference days.
The number of hours that can be credited toward annual instruction time for superintendent’s conference days will be based on the average scheduled school day including time spent in homeroom, lunch, recess, and/or passing time. This means that if your district has a bell schedule longer than 5 hours at the elementary level and 5.5 hours at the secondary level, you could receive more instructional time credit on superintendent’s conference days.
- The State Aid calculations for districts that are deficient in the number of instructional hours provided.
Based on the revised Section 175.5, effective August 11, 2018, “in the event that a school district has a total deficiency in hours that equals a fraction of hours per day…such deficiency shall be rounded up to the next whole day” for State Aid deduction purposes.
- The amount of instructional time that can be claimed during a Regents or Rating day.
Based on NYSED’s Instructions for Using the 2018-2019 School Year Model Calendar, a district can “claim the greater of [its] regular instructional day or six hours.” In addition, based on conversations with NYSED and the proposed changes in how minimum instruction time is being interpreted and calculated, days on which instructional time is provided will count as session days so long as some amount of instructional time is provided, including the last day of school.
Just a Reminder:
- Lunch, recess, and passing time should be excluded from the hours counted toward “actual instructional or supervised study.”
- All proposed regulations and amendments will be in effect for school years beginning with 2018-2019 and the existing regulation will still apply for the 2017-18 school year calendars.
All proposed amendments were adopted as a permanent rule at the September 2018 Board of Regents meeting.
Nicholle Mezier, CPA, MBA
Nicholle is a member of Cerini & Associates’ audit staff where she brings experience in audit, review, and consulting services to our general business, nonprofit and special education clients. Nicholle has worked with a large number of nonprofit clients, predominantly focusing on social service providers, healthcare providers, foundations, educational institutions, and arts and culture organizations. Nicholle’s technical knowledge allows her to provide specific services, including financial statement audits, internal and claims audits, and nonprofit outsourced accounting services. Nicholle has also contributed to the firm’s various newsletters.