– Or is it alternative school grabbed $100,000 too much each year???
According to the State Journal, the Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children (KECSAC) was created in 1992 to provide extra funding for, “children who had been placed in day treatment facilities, group homes and residential programs by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Youth in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or its facilities also qualify.”
The key is that the funding only is to flow to children who are specifically placed in special schooling situations by a state agency or by the justice system.
But, that didn’t stop some special schools who serve agency children and who also admit other kids with problems from claiming the money for all of their enrolled students regardless of whether those students met the legal requirement of statute to receive KECSAC funds.
Now, the State Journal reports that the KECSAC will no longer pay the extra, undeserved money. For one single school in Frankfort that enrolls only 50 kids total, but where only about 10 are true state agency children, the error ran up payments by $100,000 a year.
Statewide, the Journal article indicates about one in four special schools got similar overpayments because students were not properly identified according to the statute. Clearly, the total amount of misdirected money is considerable.
One of the really sad things here is that the overpayments for too many kids diluted the support that the true state agency kids actually received. This also shortchanged those special schools that played the game honestly and didn’t over-claim their state agency student population.
Now, finally, almost 20 years after the KECSAC was started, the money will only go to the state agency children that deserve it, which will notably increase the support to these children.
Sadly, the State Journal’s headline couldn’t get it more incorrect. Schools like the one in Frankfort are not “losing” anything. They provided inflated data that resulted in their being illegally overpaid. It was the kids who were really supposed to get support, the other schools that reported honestly, and the taxpayer, as always, that turned out to be the losers here.
The truth is that Frankfort, and its newspaper, owe those true state agency kids and the honest schools that serve them an apology.