Mandated Services Aid
Mandated Services Aid (MSA) is a New York State funded reimbursement program for nonpublic schools. The schools receive reimbursement for the state mandates that they have met in the prior school year (July 1 to June 30). In order to receive reimbursement, the school must have met the requirements of the mandate and have documentation to support it. The reimbursement request, or claim, must be processed via our online system. A full listing of the mandates and a brief explanation of each one follows this introduction.
Many of the mandates are met by reporting information in a timely fashion to the Department itself. For example, the Basic Educational Data Systems (BEDS) report, which is due every October, has a twofold purpose for nonpublic schools: it fulfills the requirement of mandate number three and enables a school’s claim to be entered into the processing system for Mandated Services. Other mandates, such as Pupil Attendance Reporting (PAR) rely on the school providing the state information relative to the time and effort attributed to complying with the regulation.
Filing for Mandated Services is a voluntary process, requiring schools to keep abreast of the changes and notices so that they can properly comply. This can easily be done by having the Chief Financial Officer and MSA Contact keep a current email address on file in the State Education Data Reference File (SEDREF), and to check for updates weekly at the Nonpublic Schools web site.
Guidelines, Announcement of Aid and forms for a particular school year are generally released in June or July of that year, but are not due to the State until the following January. The opening of the MSA online system is dependent on the compilation of testing data and typically does not occur until mid November. Schools are encouraged to download the guidelines and forms as early as possible to review any changes that may have occurred from the prior year and to have their data ready to enter into the system. While paper claims are still accepted, we encourage schools to learn and use the online system for faster processing and monitoring. Please note that paper claims will need to be processed by Department staff and can not be entered until such time that the online system is open. Schools are expected to monitor the progress of their own claims once entered in the system.
Schools with questions on completing their claim are encouraged to first read the guidelines and then call the Office of Grants Management for assistance. Our goal is for all schools to file correctly and timely. When visiting the Mandated Services web page, venture on to the Recordkeeping section. It has a complete listing of material that a school should keep on hand for every claim, and it will help prepare a school in the event of a claim review.
If a school’s claim is flagged for a review, Department staff may ask for additional documentation to substantiate the claim. These reviews are based upon a risk based management approach that the office staff must conduct in response to an audit of the mandated services program by the New York State Comptroller. The goal of the review is not meant to be intrusive or to tell the administration how to run their school, but to ensure claims are filed accurately. A review may result in a loss, a gain, or no change at all in the expected reimbursement. Schools are expected to respond within a reasonable time frame to questions from staff, and are encouraged to ask follow-up questions if there is any confusion on what is being requested. Refusals or ignoring attempts by reviewers to ask questions will result in little progress; resolving issues promptly will result in more timely payments.
The Mandated Services Program currently has seventeen mandates available for reimbursement. After this introduction, we will be explaining these currently available mandates. As New York State revises its academic program with the Common Core Standards, this number may change. The Announcement of Aid document, normally released in June with the new Mandated Services Aid claim forms, always highlights any such changes. In turn, any additions, deletions or modifications will be updated here as well.
Questions regarding eligibility for Mandated Services or a particular mandate can be directed to the Office of Grants Management at 518-474-3936 or by email. A listing of the mandates which are currently available, as well as a brief summary of the mandate follows. By clicking on the underlined title of each mandate, more information concerning the reporting requirement, staff roles, and claim reimbursement can be found.
Mandates Currently Included in Mandated Services Reimbursement are:
1. Pupil Attendance Reporting (PAR): The daily recording of attendance for children in Kindergarten through twelfth grade.
2. English Language Arts and Math Assessments (ELA): State sponsored tests of students in grades 3-8 in the areas of language arts and mathematics. Schools contract with Regional Information Centers, or RICs, to have their student tests scanned, scored and results reported to SED. Schools must contract with a RIC to obtain the answer sheets, tests, and reporting services. Nonpublic schools must adhere to the required deadlines and follow the RIC’s conditions for acceptance of material in order to have their scores reported and reimbursed under the Mandated Services Program. Proof of mailing should be maintained by the school, as well as a record from the RIC of the students’ scores. Additional information about this and other elementary tests can be found at the Office of State Assessment.
3. Basic Educational Data Systems (BEDS): An annual report filed in October that details the K-12 enrollment, the composition of the faculty and staff, the encompassing public school districts of residence, and profiles of the student body in terms of economic levels, ethnicity, disability, and English speaking ability.
4. Regents Exams (RE): New York State high school level summative assessments in mathematics, language, English, history, science, and global studies. All Regents exams are given in June, and a limited number of Regents exams are given in August and January. All exams are approximately three hours, and require strict adherence to the protocol of ordering, storage, administration, proctoring, correction and submission of exams protocols. Schools must contract with a RIC for scoring and reporting services. High schools may only report the scores of those students who are enrolled in their particular school during the school year; all other principals must report their own students test results regardless of where the students take the test. More information regarding these tests can be found at the Office of State Assessment.
5. Regents Competency Tests (RCT): Achievement tests designed to assess basic proficiency in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies for high school students with disabilities who entered grade 9 prior to 2011 – 2012 school year. These exams are offered in January, June and August. Additional information for these tests can be found at the Office of State Assessment.
6. Calculators (CE): The flat rate remuneration for either graphic or scientific calculators for students when purchased for use on the state assessments. Receipts and inventory records are required for payment.
7. Registration of High School (RHS): A one time mandate whereby a nonpublic high school meets the established criteria and successfully completes the review of the Office of Nonpublic School Services; once registered, a high school is allowed to confer Regents diplomas.
8. State School Immunization Program (SSIP): (For New York City, Rochester and Buffalo nonpublic schools only) In a school developed and enforced immunization program, pupil immunization records are collected, verified, completed and then sent on to a governing body (NYC Department of Health, or New York State Department of Health) by a required deadline. Remuneration is based upon the total number of participating students.
9. Documentation of Integration of Required Instruction in 7th and 8th Grade (DIRI): According to Section 100.4(2) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, nonpublic schools have the option to teach technology education, home and career skills, and library and information skills by integrating the standards for these subjects into other subject areas. Nonpublics must keep readily accessible documentation on hand to demonstrate how the blending of these three academic areas into core subjects has been accomplished for the students in these grades. A complete discussion of Section 100.4(2) can be found under the Program Requirement (Models for middle-level education programs) pages for grades five through eight.
10. Graduation Report for Nonpublic Schools (HSGR): Previously called the High School Graduation Report, this report now requires all nonpublic high school principals to report all students earning a credential (diploma) in either January or June of the school year. Reports are generally due in July of the immediately following school year. August graduates for the prior school year are reported on the Summer Graduation Report, and the reports are due in September of the school year then in force.
11. Grade Four Science Test (GFST): This elementary level test is given in the spring of every school year, and reported to the New York State Education Department via the Regional Information Center (RIC). Schools must contract with a RIC to obtain the answer sheets, tests, scanning and reporting services. Nonpublic schools must adhere to the required deadlines and follow the RIC’s conditions for acceptance of material in order to have their scores reported and reimbursed under the Mandated Services Program. Proof of mailing should be maintained by the school, as well as a record from the RIC of the students’ scores. Reimbursement covers the costs of administering, correcting and scanning the exams. Additional information about this and other elementary tests can be found at the Office of State Assessment.
12. Expenditure for Travel Costs to Examination Storage Sites (TSS): If a school is unable to store exams in a secure, safe location within its institution, it will be required to pick up the secure exams being stored at a neutral site. All examinations included in the mandates are secure examinations. Schools should consult the NYSED website under the Office of Assessment Policy, Development and Administration in order to file an Approved Program of Test Storage Plan, and to obtain more information about the storage site their school would use.
13. New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence Application (SAE): This mandate pertains to the necessary components of the submission process for the state funded award program available to graduating high school seniors. The Office of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs establish the timelines and requirements for the award. The criteria that the school uses to select its nominees must be uniform, consistent and applicable to all students; published and made available to all seniors at the beginning of the school year. More information is available for schools about pre- collegiate funding from the Division of Higher Education.
14. Grade Eight Science Test (GEST): An intermediate level science test given in the spring which must be administered and reported to the New York State Education Department via the Regional Information Center (RIC). Schools must contract with a RIC to obtain the answer sheets, tests, scanning and reporting services. Nonpublic schools must adhere to the required deadlines and follow the RIC’s conditions for acceptance of material in order to have their scores reported and reimbursed under the Mandated Services Program. Proof of mailing should be maintained by the school, as well as a record from the RIC of the students’ scores. Reimbursement covers the costs of administering, correcting, and scanning the exams. Additional information about intermediate tests can be found at the Office of State Assessment.
Mandate 15: Currently unavailable.
Mandate 16: Currently unavailable.
17. Pesticide Neighbor Notification (PNN): The School Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law requires all schools to notify parents, faculty and interested parties prior to pesticide applications in instructional areas, administrative buildings and grounds, playgrounds and athletic fields. In addition to having a school employee act as the school pesticide representative, schools must establish written pesticide notification procedures as outlined in Section 155.24 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
18. New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT): This exam is the only approved exam to determine proficiency in the English language when testing limited English proficient (LEP) students. It must be administered according to the rules, regulations and guidelines issued by the State Education Department, and all required documentation must be kept by the school. Schools must contract with a RIC to obtain answer sheets, scanning and scoring services; therefore, nonpublics must adhere to the required deadlines and follow the RIC’s conditions for acceptance of materials. Proof of mailing should be maintained. If teachers from the public school district perform the teacher functions for the NYSESLAT exam, schools may only claim the Administrative and Support functions for reimbursement. More information about NYSESLAT testing can be found under English as a Second Language Testing web pages.
19. RIC and Scoring Center: All elementary, intermediate, and high school level exams reimbursed through the Mandated Services Program must be scanned and scored at a Regional Information Center. Mandatory costs are reimbursable. Schools must retain receipts and have them available upon request.