September 21, 2021

Special education MOE and one-time money

From SSC on September 14, 2021.

The 2021–22 State Budget provided two pots of special education resources: $100 million for dispute prevention and resolution and $450 million for learning recovery services. When districts use these one-time funds, they affect the ongoing maintenance of effort (MOE).

Every year, LEAs must assure they have used the same amount of total local and state resources as the year before for special education services. There are a few exceptions that allow an LEA to decrease their MOE in subsequent years to maintain compliance, but one-time programs or one-time funding resources is not one of them.

The 2021–22 State Budget uses state funds for these two programs, therefore triggering an MOE increase when the funds are used locally. Education Code changes appear to call for matching funds from LEAs, theoretically doubling the amount being added to the MOE. However, the CDE says that the intention is to not require a cash match, but instead clarified that the funds allocated for these purposes should be “matched” (i.e., connected to expenditures) to services and supports provided under the Learning Recovery Plans that Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) are currently developing with their member LEAs, thereby limiting the impact to the MOE.