Texas Education Agency
Division of Federal and State Education Policy
Program Effective Date:
October 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013
Purpose of the High Cost Fund
The purpose of the High Cost Fund is to assist local education agencies (LEAs*) in addressing the needs of high need children with disabilities by lessening the financial impact associated with providing direct special education and related services to high need children with disabilities.
*For these purposes, throughout the HCF Instructions document, the term “local education agency (LEA)” includes a consortium of school districts or a charter school that is an LEA.
The LEA may request a High Cost Fund award provided that the LEA:
- Has not violated the least restrictive environment requirements of IDEA 2004;
- Has not lapsed IDEA-B Formula or Formula Deaf funds from the previous school year, 2011-2012;
- Does not roll forward 50% or more of its IDEA-B Formula funds from the previous year 2011-2012; and
- Has complied with all systems of accountability and reporting to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), including but not limited to: accountability ratings, performance-based monitoring, compliance, fiscal reports, and dispute resolution processes.
The costs of each high need student must be in excess of $35,000 and may only be those costs associated with providing direct special education and related services to the child that are identified in that child’s IEP.
Deadline to Apply for a High Cost Fund Award
To apply for a High Cost Fund award, the LEA must submit the online HCF Eligibility Application by 11:59 pm Monday, October 1, 2012. All HCF Eligibility applications received by this deadline will be considered for a High Cost Fund award, subject to eligibility criteria. HCF Eligibility applications received after the deadline will not be considered for a HCF award. The application can be accessed at TEASE Logon
A TEASE (Texas Education Agency Secure Environment) account is required in order to access and submit the HCF Eligibility Application.
If the submitter already has a valid TEA SE user name and password for at least one other TEA application, the submitter can log on as usual at TEASE Logon and click the “Add/Modify Application Access” button at the upper right of the screen. From this page, the HCF Eligibility Application can be selected from the drop down list. Once the request has been submitted and approved, the submitter will have access to the HCF Eligibility Application.
If the submitter does not already have a TEA SE account, the submitter must request both an account and access to the HCF Eligibility Application at E Grant TEASE Information
For information on how to apply for a TEASE account, access: TEASE HELP. For help with the TEA SE account email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes in the 2012-2013 HCF Process from Previous Years
- LEA Eligibility: The eligibility criteria that the LEA must not roll forward (carryover) 50% or more of its IDEA-B Formula funds was waived for the 2011-2012 HCF. It is re-instated for the 2012-2013 HCF.
- Cover Sheet: In previous years, the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) assurance statement disappeared after the LEA indicated their compliance by selecting “Yes”. Effective this year, the LRE assurance statement will remain visible on the Cover Sheet.
- Cover Sheet: A new assurance statement has been added to confirm that, if the LEA pro-rated salaries or services, the LEA used the required High Cost Fund Pro-Rating Calculator tool associated with the HCF Eligibility application. The Pro-Rating Calculator tool is located in the “Additional Resources” section of the Help file associated with the HCF Eligibility application.
- Adjusted Allotment: In previous years, charter schools were instructed to enter $3,512 as their Adjusted Allotment amount in the Member District page. This year, charter schools must enter the 2010-2011 state average Adjusted Allotment amount of $5,932.
- Student Page: In previous years, the LEA was required to enter the student’s current year instructional setting and the student’s previous year instructional setting. Effective this year, the LEA is only required to enter the student’s current year instructional setting.
- Student Cost (RDSPD student): If the high cost student receives services from a Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD), the LEA must indicate whether the sending LEA or the receiving LEA (RDSPD) enters the student’s data in PEIMS. If the sending LEA enters the student’s data in PEIMS, the LEA’s Adjusted Allotment amount (obtained from the Member District page) will be subtracted from the student’s costs. If the receiving LEA enters the student’s data in PEIMS, the LEA’s Adjusted Allotment amount will not be subtracted from the student’s costs.
- Student Cost (Non-Public Day School student): In previous years, the LEA’s Adjusted Allotment amount was subtracted from the non-public day school student’s costs. Effective this year, the LEA’s Adjusted Allotment will not be subtracted from the non-public day school student’s costs. Instead, a projected amount of state funds that the LEA should receive for the non-public day school student (on the LEA’s Summary of Finance) will be subtracted from the non-public day school student’s costs. The LEA must enter the number of months in contract on the student page. The system will auto-calculate the projected amount of state funds the LEA should receive (on their Summary of Finance) by using the same formula used in the SPE106 Non-Public Day School Report.
- Student Eligibility (residential student): If applying for a HCF award for a residential student, the Residential Placement Application (SAS-A111-13) must be submitted by the LEA to the ESC by September 1, 2012. All corrections requested by the ESC or TEA must be submitted to TEA within 15 business days from the date of request. If these deadlines are not met, the residential student’s HCF Eligibility application will be denied and a HCF will not be awarded.
- High Cost funds budgeted in the eGrants IDEA-B High Cost Grant application SPED AH13 MUST tie back to the student-specific cost items identified on the HCF Eligibility Application. Since the High Cost Fund award is based on the costs of a specific high need student, the eGrants application for these funds must reflect these costs. The eGrants application must NOT indicate cost items that were not approved on the HCF Eligibility Application.
- The Adjusted Allotment amount is found on the district's Summary of Finance located at School District State Aid Report
- Use the most recent 2011-2012 Summary of Finances document LPE column for Adjusted Allotment.
- If you are a charter school, use $5,932 as the amount for the Adjusted Allotment.
Use of Funds
Only those costs associated with providing direct special education and related services to the high need child that are identified in that child’s IEP are allowable expenditures with High Cost funds.
The HCF Eligibility application submitted by October 1, 2012 is a projection of the costs of a high need student for 2012-2013. The itemization of costs for the high need student on the HCF Eligibility Application must be for expenses projected to be incurred between October 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013.
LEAs, if eligible, already receive discretionary residential funds to assist with the costs for students with disabilities who are served in residential care and treatment facilities. Therefore, disbursements from the High Cost Fund for the cost of residential care and treatment will be limited to the portion of the LEA’s 25% residential set aside amount being used for the specific high need student and may not be fully funded.
The High Cost Fund must not be used to limit or condition the right of a child with a disability who is assisted under Part B of the Act to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) pursuant to section 612(a)(5) of the Act. The High Cost Fund must not be used to support legal fees, court costs, or other costs associated with a cause of action brought on behalf of a child with a disability to ensure FAPE for such child. The High Cost Fund may not be used to pay costs that otherwise would be reimbursed as medical assistance for a child with a disability under the State Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
Since High Cost funds are student-specific, the award amount for the eligible high need student may not be used for another student.
If the eligible high need student leaves during the year, contact the High Cost funding team at 512-463-9414 for instructions. Several factors will determine the course of action, such as whether the LEA had already budgeted the funds in eGrants, whether the LEA had already incurred expenses, and whether any expenditures had already been drawn down through the Expenditure Reporting (ER) system.
Allowable use of High Cost funds is child-specific, not program-specific. The pre-populated cost items in the Non-Residential section of the HCF Eligibility Application are allowable costs for High Cost funds. Write-ins by the LEA will be evaluated by the TEA staff for allowability. If a write-in cost is not allowable, TEA will place the application in amend status for the LEA to remove the cost item.
Pro-rating of Salary:
Pro-rating the salary of special education teachers and related services personnel who provide services described in the high need student’s IEP is allowable.
Use the pro-rating tool located in the "Additional Resources" section of the Help file in the High Cost Fund Eligibility application.
If a bus aide is required specifically for the high need student and is identified in the child’s IEP, the aide’s salary is allowable with High Cost funds and may be pro-rated if the aide is required for more than one high need student on the bus. In that case, the pro-rated amount is allowable for each high need student’s HCF Eligibility Application.
Indirect cost is unallowable because it is already claimed on the eGrants Special Education Consolidated application.
Pro-rating the salary of a regular bus aide, who is assigned to a bus regardless of whether a high need student is a passenger, is not allowable with High Cost funds.
The following cost items are not allowable with High Cost funds: Educational or other Diagnostician, Evaluation, Group Therapy, LSSP, and Social Worker.
As with other grants and programs, LEAs must create and maintain adequate and sufficient documentation demonstrating that an expenditure pertained to the High Cost Fund. This may be accomplished by maintaining routine records (e.g., purchase orders, invoices, payroll records, etc.) and by utilizing a locally defined subobject code or other local option code to track expenditures. Alternatively, the LEA may indicate on all documentation (purchase orders, contracts, etc.) that the transaction will be reimbursed out of the High Cost funds. If the LEA chooses to use the funds for salary, the appropriate time and effort and/or certification reports will be required.
Calculation of the Award Amount
A non-residential high need student’s costs minus the Adjusted Allotment amount and minus the SHARS reimbursement, if applicable, will be considered the requested award amount.
A non-public day school student's costs minus the projected amount of state funds to be received and minus the SHARS reimbursement, if applicable, will be considered the requested award amount.
A residential high need student’s requested award amount is the amount of the 25% residential set-aside amount being used for that student.
The requested award amount for each student must be at least $35,000 to meet the definition of a high need student.
The amount of funds requested statewide and the amount of funds available will affect the amount being awarded.
If the requested statewide amount is greater than the amount available to award, the following method will be used to determine the award amount. TEA will determine what percentage the LEA's request is of the LEA's 2012-2013 IDEA-B Formula Tentative Entitlement. The HCF request will then be multiplied by that percentage. For example, an LEA whose request was only 3% of their entitlement, will only receive 3% of their requested amount. An LEA whose request was 90% of their entitlement will receive 90% of their request.
If after using this method, the requested statewide amount is still greater than the amount available to award, reduction to the requested amount will be made based on a common factor.
Notification of Status
After the HCF Eligibility Application has been submitted to the TEA, the TEA Division of Federal State and Education Policy will begin its review process. Once all applications have been reviewed for eligibility, the award amount will be determined. The requested award amounts may not be fully funded based on the total statewide dollar amount requested by the LEAs.
An award letter or denial letter will be generated and mailed to the Superintendent of the Single Member District or to the Superintendent of the Fiscal Agent of a SSA. A copy of the letter will be mailed to the Special Education Director of the LEA and to the Special Education Contact of the Education Service Center (ESC).
The award and denial letters are expected to be generated in January 2013.
Applying for funds via eGrants
Once the award letter has been received, the Single Member District or the Fiscal Agent of a SSA MUST budget the funds in eGrants via the Standard Application System (SAS), using the 2012-2013 IDEA-B High Cost Grant Application (SPED AH13). The eGrants application may be accessed at: TEASE Logon.
Special Note: Failure to budget these funds in eGrants will result in loss of funds.
Only those costs that received approval in the HCF Eligibility Application may be budgeted in the eGrants application.
The deadline to submit the eGrants application is July 15, 2013. Once this eGrants application has been reviewed and approved by TEA, the HCF Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) will be generated.
Drawing Down via the ER System
The Expenditure Reporting (ER) system must be used to apply for reimbursement on the High Cost Fund NOGA. The final expenditure report for this fund source is due to the TEA on Sept. 30, 2013. Revised expenditure reports must be submitted by Oct. 31, 2013. The ER system is accessed through the TEA SE system at: TEASE Logon.
For technical questions about the HCF Eligibility Application or for programmatic questions on use of funds, please call the High Cost funding team at 512-463-9414 or send your question to email@example.com.
Please also contact your ESC Special Education Contact for questions.
For information on how to apply for a TEASE account, access: TEASE Login. For technical questions about your login into TEA SE email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For technical assistance about the eGrants IDEA-B High Cost Grant application, contact 512-463-7025 or email eGrants@tea.state.tx.us
Division of Federal and State Education Policy
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Phone: (512) 463-9414 | Fax: (512) 463-9560