SSBA: Nonpublic School Information
Q: What is a school district's obligation under the Smart Schools Bond Act to serve nonpublic students?
A: The SSBA statute only requires the sharing of educational technology purchases. Device loans are allowable up to $250/student, but the total loan amount depends upon the district’s budget for classroom devices. A district that does not plan any expenditures on devices need not loan any amounts to the nonpublic schools. However, if the public school district budgets for devices in its SSIP, it must share these devices with the nonpublic schools located within its boundaries, up to the $250/child maximum. For example, if a school district budgets $100,000 for devices, and it has 1800 students who attend the public school and 200 students that attend a local nonpublic school, it would need to loan the nonpublic school $10,000 worth of devices. $100,000/(1800+200) = $100,000/2000 = $50/child * 200 nonpublic school pupils = $10,000 in loaned devices.
Q: Regarding the SSIP Overview section, question #4: what do you mean by “engaged with those required stakeholders?” What would you consider appropriate engagement for each of the four stakeholder groups (parents, teachers, students, community members, non-public schools) listed?
A: The districts should reach out specifically to the non-public schools in their districts if they are budgeting funds for classroom educational technology to ensure their students’ specific needs are met. They must also set aside time to consult with the other stakeholders regarding their SSIP. This can take place during a regularly scheduled public board meeting. In addition, the district must put information regarding their SSIP on their website and keep it posted for at least 30 days, so that stakeholders have time to comment and provide suggestions
Q: How should nonpublic enrollment be counted?
A: Nonpublic school students should be counted as the number of kindergarten and above (school-age) students reported as attending the school on the BEDS enrollment report for 2014-15. This is similar to the counts used for instructional materials aids and mirrors the eligibility for services such as transportation.
Q: Do non-public schools have to request the same equipment that the school district is purchasing for their schools?
A: No. Non-public schools can request any of the eligible devices listed in the Smart Schools Bond Act Guidance.
Q: The SSBA guidance lists several technologies as being “classroom technologies” such as interactive whiteboards. Interactive whiteboards are typically an installed technology and are not easily “loanable.” Considering this example, can you clarify which specific types of technologies will have to be loaned to non-public schools upon request?
A: Interactive whiteboards are listed as a device in the statute. You can loan them. You don’t need to pay for installation or removal.
Q: Can nonpublic schools buy servers and connectivity equipment with their funds, or are they limited to devices such as laptops etc.?
A: Nonpublic schools may borrow a server or other easily transportable equipment from their school district of location if the school district of location is going to purchase similar devices for its own use. Since the loaned devices remain the property of the district of location, nonpublic schools may not borrow devices that cannot be easily removed and returned to the school district. Hence, no wiring or other more capital-intensive work may be supported with Smart Schools Bond Act funds in nonpublic schools.