State Education Department

Tuition Rate Setting Process for Schools Providing Special Education Programs

Students with handicapping conditions may be taught in separate schools whose costs are reimbursed by State and local taxpayers on the basis of tuition reimbursement rates set by the State Education Department. We examined the rate setting process and concluded that the rates are more likely to be reasonable if the costs claimed by the schools were analyzed more extensively by the Department. For example, even though most of the costs claimed by the schools are personal service costs, the personal service costs claimed by individual schools are not analyzed to ensure they are reasonable. When we analyzed these costs, we identified large variations in student-to-staff ratios that warranted further review. We also found that the Department was considering the use of different reimbursement methodologies, such as methodologies in which the amount of a school's reimbursement is based to some extent on the effectiveness of the school in accomplishing certain goals. We encouraged the Department in its efforts to improve the rate setting process.

For a complete copy of Report 98-S-39 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.