Who is responsible for the educational services when a student is on an Institutional Voucher?
With the passage of HB 2863 during the Spring 2021 legislative session, the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) is now considered a local education agency (LEA) for the provision of free and appropriate public education (FAPE). ASDB is responsible for the education and reporting of all data for students attending its Phoenix and Tucson campuses or leased space programs. ASDB shares operational space including, but not limited to the Foundation for Blind Children (private school locations), Simonton Elementary (public school) in the J.O. Combs Unified School District, and at Desert Voices Oral Learning Center (private school location). PEAs will continue to report and be responsible for FAPE for students that attend their public schools and are receiving services from ASDB through a regional cooperative. The list of ASDB's sites is located on the State Institutions webpage.
What is the difference between vouchered vs. fee-for-service?
Students are identified as either vouchered (institutional) or fee-for-service, depending on where and how they are receiving services. If a student is vouchered, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) pays for the educational services for students placed at an ASDB campus or an ASDB program (which includes the regional cooperatives) through the Special Education Fund (A.R.S § 15-1202). For a fee-for-service student, parties usually use this option in instances where the student is receiving only a small portion of services from ASDB. All fee-for-service arrangements are contractual agreements between the district or charter and ASDB.
Which tuition payer codes should PEAs report for vouchered and fee-for-service?
PEAs should use tuition payer code 7 for students on Institutional Vouchers, and tuition payer code 1 is used for fee-for-service students. For reporting questions please contact ESS Data Management.
Why is my PEA receiving an Institutional Voucher Application?
Students are placed through the IEP process in alignment with ASDB's admissions statute (A.R.S. § 15-1342), which is the responsibility of the home school district (HSD) and ASDB. ASDB then applies for an institutional voucher listing the HSD. The HSD continues to function as a resource for ASDB to allow a student to transition back to the public school if the least restrictive environment (LRE) changes. Please reach out to ASDB for questions regarding the submission of applications.
What is an ASDB regional cooperative?
ASDB maintains multiple cooperatives throughout the state in which an ASDB staff will go to the district or charter to provide services. This determination occurs through the IEP process with an ASDB and PEA representative present per A.R.S. § 15-1342.
Who submits calendars for students on an Institutional Voucher?
ASDB is the only entity able to submit calendars for their campus or leased space sites as they are the only ones that can report these students. The district or charter will submit calendars for students attending their public schools. For reporting questions please contact ESS Data Management.
What are the statutes regarding Institutional Vouchers and ASDB?
The State Institution/Institutional Voucher statutes and administrative code are A.R.S. § 15-1201 to 15-1205 and A.A.C. R7-2-404. ASDB’s statutes are A.R.S. § 15-1301 to 15-1346.
For a student who is turning or has just turned 3 years old, should the district or charter be registering the student?
The PEA/HSD should be registering the children in their systems (despite not technically admitting them to their campus). Prior to placement within ASDB's locations, the IEP team would require a PEA to determine the capacity of their facilities and placements. As such, the PEA/HSD would need to generate a student ID (if one does not exist) because eventually this information may be used for future requirements of special education (ex: Child Find).
What happens when an application is rejected?
When an application is rejected it goes back to the entity that created the application (ASDB), the Approval History will show the reason for the rejection. Both ASDB and the HSD can edit applications and upload documents, but the HSD can only make changes when the application is "Pending with HSD."
What if the PEA contacts on the application are incorrect?
ASDB maintains its own contact list and sends the Institutional applications. At the bottom of the application in the Approval History, you can see who from ASDB sent the application, please notify them of the correct contacts at your PEA.