Why was funding expected to change for Shelby Hills to continue educating preschoolers in the Sidney City School District?
Due to the phase out of Tangible Personal Property Tax for all of Ohio’s county boards of developmental disabilities, the Shelby County Board of DD needed to change its funding structure in order to maintain operations. Below is a detailed summary of what Sidney City Schools (SCS) has been billed by the Shelby County Board of DD from 2012-2018. The costs since 2012 fluctuated depending on the number of SCS students served, the needs of these students, and other costs that the SCS agreed to assist with because of our great partnership.
Year: Cost to SCS:
The following are projected costs we shared with SCS moving forward if Sidney children were to continue attending Shelby Hills.
Year: Projected Cost to SCS:
Is it true that the Shelby County Board of DD planned to charge Sidney City Schools somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per year to continue educating Sidney preschoolers at Shelby Hills?
No. The cost projections starting in 2019 increase in percentage each year until the full amount would be charged beginning in 2022. Based on current enrollment, the cost was estimated to be $432,781 in 2022.
Why does the change in preschool have to start in Fall of 2019?
This decision was made by SCS. Initially, SCS informed us that they wanted to bring preschooler’s in their district back beginning in Fall of 2020. Since Individual Educations Plans(IEP’s) authorize specific services that the preschool must provide, the Shelby County Board of DD requested that SCS have a representative at all IEP meeting’s next year for continuity of services. This is when SCS decided to begin serving preschoolers in Fall of 2019.
What is the Shelby County Board of DD?
The Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) is a local government organization that ensures support for people who have a qualifying diagnosis of a developmental disability. The Shelby County Board of DD supports 777 people in our community, which includes the 418 preschoolers we currently serve. The support each person or family receives through the Shelby County Board of DD differs depending on their needs. The Shelby County Board of DD receives most of its funding through local tax levies, with some funding from state agencies, federal funds and grants. All counties in the state of Ohio have a County Board of DD.
How are the Shelby County Board of DD and Shelby Hills connected?
Shelby Hills is one of three departments within the Shelby County Board of DD. The other two departments are Early Intervention (Birth to three-year-olds) and Service and Support Administration (four-year-olds through lifetime).
How does Shelby Hills differ from a general education preschool?
Districts contract with the Shelby County Board of DD to be the provider of special education preschool services (Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-11).
Shelby Hills does not specifically provide general education preschool, but does educate many students who are not on Individualized Education Plans (IEP) through the peer model that is used.
How can Sidney City Schools decide to remove their students from Shelby Hills?
School districts in Ohio are mandated to provide special education services for students residing in their district. General education preschool, however, is not mandated or funded. Historically, Sidney City Schools has chosen to contract with the Shelby County Board of DD to provide special education services to students living in the Sidney City Schools district. Sidney is responsible for providing special education and may choose to provide it themselves versus contracting with the Shelby County Board or another entity.
Why did Shelby County Board of DD start charging the school districts for preschool services?
Over time, more and more of the Shelby County Board of DD’s levy dollars have been used to support 3- to 5-year-olds. The Shelby County Board of DD is responsible for serving every eligible person in the county from birth to the end of their lives. Funding has changed over the past years, including the loss of Tangible Personal Property Tax which will amount to close to $1.3 million dollars.
In order to be financially sustainable over the long-term and to be fiscally responsible, the Shelby County Board of DD’s Board of Directors approved a funding model in order for school districts to share in the costs. Districts have been paying for additional classrooms and one-on-one aide services for several years, but the new model increased the amount districts paid. The funding model was reviewed with each district in the spring of 2018.
The Shelby County Board of DD has been fiscally conservative over these years in order to reduce costs as well. Shared administrative positions with neighboring Champaign County save the Board over $300,000 and the pay scales for Shelby Hills employees remain one of the lowest in Shelby County.
Will Shelby Hills still provide special education preschool to school districts besides Sidney?
Yes, Shelby Hills still plans to serve all other school districts in Shelby County (except Sidney City Schools).
Why can’t typical students (students not on IEPs) who live in the Sidney City Schools district choose Shelby Hills as their preschool?
Since there is no law that general education students must receive preschool services, the district cannot mandate where these students are served. However, since Shelby Hills’ primary purpose is to provide special education to preschoolers, there will be limited space for general education preschoolers at Shelby Hills.
We at the Shelby County Board of DD thank you for your support as we approach this transition. If we can answer additional questions, please contact the Board office and ask to speak with Superintendent Leigh Anne Wenning or Community Education and Opportunities Director, Jeff Coaty.