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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2015 01:20 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Tuition Payments to Private Residential Facilities for Adjudicated Youth
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation introduced as Senate Bill 951 in the 2013-2014 legislative session. The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Fontana, Yudichak, Schwank, and Browne.

The legislation amends the Public School Code to authorize adequate reimbursement for educational services and boarding provided by Private Residential Facilities for adjudicated youth. These facilities are not Private Residential Rehabilitation Facilities (PRRI’s) that receive up to 150% of the host district tuition for the education and boarding of adjudicated youth. Private Residential Facilities, known as non-PRRI entities, are only reimbursed up to 100% of the host district's tuition rate. This reimbursement issue was the subject of a Legislative Budget and Finance Committee Report issued in March, 2006 that detailed the procedures that are utilized by the Department of Education and school districts.

Because of ambiguity in the statutes governing these payments, not all school districts send sufficient tuition payments for their students. In addition, the school districts are only mandated to send payments equal to the tuition rate at the host school district. The actual costs to provide educational services to these students at a residential facility are higher than the costs to provide these services in a school district.

As a result of previous work with the Department of Education on this reimbursement issue we learned that the Department does not currently have the statutory authority to resolve the problem. This legislation will address this problem by doing the following:
  • Provide clear standards to determine the residency of the child being sent to a Private Residential Facility.
  • Provide clear formulaic standards to determine the reimbursement rate for adjudicated youth who are sent to Private Residential Facilities.
  • Provide for the monitoring of standards at Private Residential Facilities.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB499