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«Joel D. Montero Chief Executive Officer Fiscal crisis & ManageMent assistance teaM February 12, 2014 Jim Cloney, Superintendent Shasta Union High ...»

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FCMAT’s analysis indicates that Shasta County schools would benefit from having one special education transportation provider coordinate efforts for all districts. This would be best accomplished if districts that took back some special education transportation instead served their students through the transportation cooperative and proportionately shared in the expenses.

This transition would not eliminate charge-backs to districts, but would reduce them and make the system more efficient. The county office’s special education transportation program would presumably be the most capable of providing this service since it has the experience and expertise in routing, scheduling, and working with the most disabled students. If the districts determined to resume their own special eduction transportation, they should negotiate with the county office for a reasonable distribution of funding and fixed assets.

Unlike special education program revenue, which follows the student, special education transportation revenue is based on the county office’s reported operational costs in the 1982-83 school year. School districts or county offices are not legally required to transfer the related revenue if the other entity takes responsibility for transporting students; however, there is a process to permit this transfer. Form J-141T form can be submitted to the California Department of Education for this purpose. If the county office is not designated as the single provider of special education transportation as suggested above, the districts should request a proportion distribution of the revenue it receives for special education transportation. Shasta County districts providing their own special education transportation should request from the county office an equitable transfer of their special education transportation funding and complete state Form J-141T.

Local educational agencies (LEAs) can transfer their state revenue from one agency to another by mutual agreement using the state TRAN transfer form. Because the California Education Code does not provide a specific formula to calculate the transfer of pupil transportation revenue, agencies throughout the state have devised individual formulas for accomplishing this. Some formulas that have been utilized successfully have used the percentage of the requesting agencies’ students to correlate the percentage of total state revenue being transferred to the current providing LEA performing the pupil transportation. In other examples, mileage has been used as the divisor for transferring a portion of the requesting agency’s revenue from the current service provider. If the three districts discussed in this report determine that it is in their best interest to provide their own special education transportation, they should meet and confer with the county office to

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develop a fair and equitable formula for transferring their relative portions of the pupil transportation funding being provided to the county office.

Recommendation

The districts should:

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Appendix A - Fiscal, Management and Operational Considerations of the Formation of a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) Lead Time to Form Agency Most Joint Powers Agreements for school transportation are formed as of July 1 of any school year. Although Joint Powers Agreements can be formed rather quickly, it would be most beneficial to have some time to address some administrative and logistical issues.

The most critical aspect; however, is that there should be enough time to determine staffing, consolidate routing and get buses and drivers on the road to provide the service.

Prior to Education Code section 45103.1 districts would lay off their staff and the JPA would simultaneously offer employment. This still happens in some areas; however the JPA would need to explore the issues involved here.

Most of the existing JPAs did some initial planning with board members (administrators from participating school districts) sharing the planning functions. Most of the directors were hired to begin by or after July 1 with an expected school start date of late August or early September. This can be done, but it must be recognized that most of the administrative practices will not be in place right away, and may take a year or more to adopt and put in place.

Development of Board Policies Board policies can be developed in advance of hiring an administrator, but this does require a significant investment in time of some individual. If a short time-line to establish the JPA is utilized, it may be as many as two years before board policies are in place.

There are model policies that can be used to assist in the development.

Filing with the Secretary of State There are two filings that will need to be made with the Secretary of State of California.

One is entitled “Statement of Facts, Roster of Public Agencies Filing”.

This filing must be submitted within seventy (70) days after the date of commencement of the legal existence of a new public Agency. Government Code 53050 and 53051 describes this requirement. It must be updated annually when board members change.

The second form is the “Notice of a Joint Powers Agreement”. This form shall be filed within 30 days of the creation of the Agency and also whenever there is a change in membership the “Amendment of a Joint Powers Agreement” must be filed.

The Agency must also adopt a Conflict of Interest Policy, file it with the appropriate entity (usually the County Board of Supervisors), and annually members must complete the Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests for the California Fair Political Practices Commission, just as your school district must.

ShaSta Union high School DiStrict36 D RP E N D I C E S AP AFT

Contracting with CalPERS for Retirement Benefits In order to have the JPA contract with CalPERS in place for the first payroll, the Agency will need to contact CalPERS a minimum of six months in advance to initiate the process. This will take some dedicated time to accomplish, but will save a great deal of grief.

If it is not accomplished, one of the districts or the county office will need to act as the lead agency and employer until the contract is in place, and this can be a significant inconvenience for the Agency and the lead agency. As explained above, if the Agency is a stand-alone and separate from the school districts that formed it, it cannot be a part of the schools contract for CalPERS and would be considered a “Miscellaneous Other” agency.

Future Employees’ Salaries, Benefits, Working Conditions and Possible Collective Bargaining As noted above, the discussion of the formation of a JPA creates a high level of anxiety among the existing employees. This feasibility study can determine the fiscal and operational benefits and the possibility of forming a JPA. If there is benefit, most likely the highest salary schedule and the best health and welfare benefits of the component districts would be utilized. More than likely, most employees are represented by CSEA. They will be most comfortable if they are given assurance that they will be able to elect representation.

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ShaSta Union high School DiStrict



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