The first fiscal year 2019-20 state aid notice for school districts is posted on the Arkansas Department of Education website at http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/fiscal-and-administrative-services/publication-and-reports/report_categories/state-aid-notices-for-school-districts. Under State Aid Notices for School Districts, select State Aid Notice 2019-20 Preliminary (PDF) – July 31, 2019.
For each listed funding category, the following information is provided: indication of the existence of an Arkansas Department of Education Rule; the preliminary amount of state aid; the applicable statutory code or act; indication of the existence of expenditure restrictions; the revenue code; and the fund/source of fund code. The data section of the state aid notice provides much of the data supporting the funding calculations. The funding section of the state aid notice provides funding amounts based on available data. Changes to data due to updates or corrections will be reflected in all associated funding categories. Please note the following when viewing the state aid notice:
• All data supporting the funding calculations are subject to review.
• Miscellaneous funds are defined and are calculated as per Arkansas Code Annotated §§ 6-20-2303 (12), 6-20-2308, and 6-20-2503 (a) (3). Calendar year 2018 calculated miscellaneous funds and district total millage rate effective January 1, 2018, are used in the initial calculation of 2019-20 state foundation funding aid and in the calculation of 2019-20 bonded debt assistance. Calendar year 2019 calculated miscellaneous funds and district total millage rate effective January 1, 2019, will be used to update the calculation of state foundation funding aid for fiscal year 2019-20.
• The available average daily membership data reflects data submitted during cycle 7 of each applicable year.
• Alternative learning environment funding is based on prior year full-time equivalent data. Please review the data provided on line 18 of the state aid notice and notify C.W. Gardenhire or Deborah Bales at 501-580-5660 if you believe corrections should be made.
• District square miles as calculated by ArcGIS 10 software are provided and may affect eligibility for special needs isolated funding pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-20-604 (c) and (d), and small district funding pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-20-604 (f). School district density ratio is one of several determining factors for qualification for some funding categories pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-20-604.
• District total millage rates in effect as of 1/1/18 and 1/1/19 are provided.
• The calculated portion of foundation funding that is educational excellence trust funds is provided. Changes to the total educational excellence trust fund available for distribution may result in revised educational excellence trust fund amounts. Any changes will be reflected on subsequent state aid notices. Refer to Act 170 of 2019, Section 1, regarding the determination of an increase in educational excellence trust funds allocated for teacher salaries. Emergency Rules governing the school district educational excellence trust fund, effective July 20, 2019, in part, provide an exemption to the requirement to increase salaries as a result of a school district’s trust fund allocation for the 2019-20 school year.
• Enhanced student achievement funding (formerly national school lunch state categorical funding) is based on October 1, 2018 national school lunch data. If applicable, the effect of enhanced student achievement transitional funding is provided. Any adjustments due to enhanced student achievement funding withholding pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-20-2305 (b) and (e), will appear on subsequent state aid notices. Refer to Commissioner’s Memo Number FIN-19-013, published 10/16/2018, for information on enhanced student achievement (formerly national school lunch) matching grant funds set aside for eligible school districts. Information regarding enhanced student achievement matching grant funds is not provided on this state aid notice.
• The calculated amount of declining enrollment funding is provided on the state aid notice. However, sufficient data is not currently available to calculate special needs (isolated/small district/transportation) funding and student growth funding. Pursuant to state law, a district cannot receive both declining enrollment funding and either student growth or special needs (isolated/small district/transportation) funding. A district that is eligible to receive declining enrollment and student growth funding or declining enrollment and special needs (isolated/small district/transportation) funding will receive the category or categories that yield the most funding.
• As data becomes available, other funding categories will be calculated and provided on subsequent state aid notices.
Arkansas Department of Education Rules pertaining to state aid are found at http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/legal/rules. Emergency Rules governing the school district educational excellence trust fund, effective July 20, 2019, are available for viewing on the above link. Please review the state aid notice carefully. A comparison of the most recent state aid notice to prior state aid notices may prove helpful in detecting errors and variances.