Dear member schools,
Please use the template below to create a personalized letter you can send to the district requesting IDEA mediation. The Florida Charter School Alliance is working diligently to help our member schools resolve the situation with the district and secure full IDEA funding for the next school year. You can help our efforts by using this template to create and send a personalized letter to the Palm Beach school board and superintendent.
On April 20, our Director of Governmental Affairs, Ralph Arza, will be in Washington D.C. with a group of charter school leaders from Palm Beach County meeting with members of Congress and Senator Marco Rubio to discuss the new IDEA funding formula the Palm Beach County public school district has specifically developed for charter school students. We are hoping to bring attention to the situation in Palm Beach and helped get this matter resolved quickly. We will continue to work on behalf of you and the ESE students you serve until an amicable resolution is found.
The School District of Palm Beach County, FL
Mr. Kevin McCormick
Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
3300 Forest Hill Blvd., A-203
West Palm Beach, FL 33406-5813
Dear Mr. McCormick,
Thank you for the meeting that was held on March 2, 2016 to present the proposed 2016-2017 IDEA allocation formula for charter schools. I am following up on your offer to consult with us to discuss how to meet the needs of our special education students given the reduction in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds for the 2016-2017 school year.
Using our 2015-2016 numbers, our school will receive $_________ (as per the letter your school received in March 2016 from Palm Beach County Public Schools) towards covering annual contracted services expenses of $__________.
The new allocation created by Palm Beach Schools cuts our students’ IDEA funding and will only cover an estimated ___% of the federally mandated contracted services our most needy students require in order to access a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Separate from IDEA funds, the ESE funds received through FEFP cover the bulk of our staffing needs, but not all, for example, benefits. As a result, the withdrawal of these IDEA funds will have a negative impact on our school’s operating budget. We will be forced to tap into general fund dollars to cover ESE Contracted Services. This will result in a loss of services and resources for our general education students. As the make-up of charter school general funds is already 20% less than district schools, how will we be able to serve our students in the same manner as district schools do?
The revised allocation is far beyond equitable and does not comply with 20 U.S.C. 1413 (a)(5) and 34 CFR 300.209.
We look forward to meeting with you in the coming weeks to mediate this concern.
Thank you for your attention and concern.
cc: Adam.Emerson, firstname.lastname@example.org