The following are my personal notes from the ESA Webinar held on July 26th by Aiden Fleming from the Arizona Deptartment of Education.
- ESA members are responsible for the education of their child
- ESA members are responsible for the administration and record keeping of all purchases, obtaining certifications from professionals, turning in Expenditure reports on times indicated on the ESA website – http://www.azed.gov/esa/.
ESA funds can be used for :
Tuition – private school, University, college, public or charter school classes, summer school class or other classes (may require special arrangement between you and the school for payment – they must require payment) swimming, karate, etc may be listed as tuition.
Curriculum– as defined on the ESA Website – http://www.azed.gov/esa/
You may purchase whole curriculum, or subject curriculum. Curriculum may be sold in kit form with needed materials included in the kit. For single items purchased separately think “single use” only. It sounded like they would prefer if materials were included in the curriculum kit, or bundle. If materials or teaching guides are part of the bundle, that’s accepted. No hardware, or consumables or field trips may be purchased. Buying software is okay. Buying from educational companies is preferred and may be easier due to the coding switches on the card. If an educational company denies the card you can fill out a form at the ESA website: http://www.azed.gov/esa/ to submit site for approval. You may purchase more than one curriculum per subject. You may purchase books from reading lists called for by the curriculum (Be sure to make copies of any “required lists). If in doubt call or email for verification. You may NOT order from EBAY or Craigslist, and apps from itunes can not yet be purchased. It was suggested to check other Educational type sites to purchase apps at this time.
*Payments can be made by Paypal or Swipe or online.
Tutoring– Tutors or the Center they work for must have National or Regional certifications as indicated on the ESA Website – http://www.azed.gov/esa/.
Educational therapies – (not Medical) Speech, OT, Vision, Behavioral, aquatic, equestrian, etc… Certifications are required. You may pay for as many or as much therapy with your funds as you deem necessary. Using funds for copay for these therapies may be okay.
Non approved expenditures will be removed from future disbursements. (Gross misuse of funds will be reported to the Attorney Generals Office for investigation).
ParaPros – These individuals need to have the certifications as listed on the ESA website – http://www.azed.gov/esa/, and must be paid by swipe or paypal.
Renewal of IEP (not MET- this is still the responsibility of your district school)- the expense for the IEP may be paid for with ESA funds.
Expenditure Reports – All expense reports must have
- REPORT FORM itemized and filled out (found on ESA website – http://www.azed.gov/esa/ to print)
- MERCHANT RECEIPTS, PAYPAL RECEIPTS
- ESA CARD BANK STATEMENT (To verify money removed)
- INCLUDE – COPIES OF CURRICULUM LISTS (copies of ex. reading lists or approved material lists)
- TURN IN ON TIME BY 5pm on the dates listed on the http://www.azed.gov/esa/
- Receipts MUST be clear not smudged or faded (keep copies for yourself of documents turned in)
- Turn in early enough that if there are corrections to be made you can make them before the deadline and still receive your next disbursement on time.
If you miss the deadline your disbursement will not be available at it’s designated time. If you are more than 30 days late you may be removed from the program. IF NO MONEY WAS SPENT SUBMIT REPORT ANYWAY.
Other bits of information that were discussed:
There are currently 300 enrolled everyone will be audited do not let that worry you if you get a call. Non approved expenditures will be removed from future disbursements as long as it is not a gross misuse of funds
- Your MET must be up to date to renew enrollment (your home district or private school district is responsible to evaluate be sure to send a letter requesting re-evaluation for MET update, to start the 60 day compliance requirement. Call ESA if there is a problem with refusal, you may have to go through due process if refusal continues.
Transition plans – If IEP indicates a need till 22 yrs old ESA funding will continue, but if not indicated funding will stop at 12th grade. Note: I’m personally a little confused about this 12th grade issue and need more clarification myself on Transitional phase. I do know that Aiden said that it must be indicated on the IEP that services are needed until 22 years of age.
DDD is not a conflict with funds received through ESA and would not affect services there.
Application for Enrollment is currently once a year (at designated time) but it was indicated that it may change in the future years.
Money that is still in your account rolls over each quarter as long as you are enrolled. Money can be moved into 529 account for Community College or University for the previously enrolled child to be spent on their college courses. Money can not be removed by the State after it is in the 529. Moneys that are in your account will not be touched for 4 years after child in no longer in program (12th Grade).
Program was recently expanded to include Military children, those attending D or F graded schools, Foster Care or Adopted children that were previously wards of the state. Children without primary (as listed on Funding Chart available on the ESA Website http://www.azed.gov/esa/) could receive $3200-$3700 per year (dispersed quarterly) when enrolled.
ESA phone number 602-364-1969 If in doubt call or email with questions, AZ ESA website- http://www.azed.gov/esa/
I hope this is helpful to anyone that visits my blog. If you notice mistakes please email corrections to me or leave it in the comments. This information is strictly from my personal notes and is not a copy of what was presented.