Planning and Billing Process
The District 287 Planning and Billing Processes are unlike other school districts in Minnesota. We have prepared this step-by-step guide to assist Member Districts. If you click on the timelines, you will automatically go to the section of the page where we have prepared an explanation.
On the right side of this page you will find the PDF versions of this information.
Planning and Billing Timelines
Pre-Bills Sent to Districts – for current fiscal year
Separate Billings Throughout the School Year:
|September||Final Bills Sent to Districts – for previous fiscal year|
Final Bills based upon Actual Usage include invoices for:
Care and Treatment: Omegon and Epsilon
District 287 Planning and Billing Cycle: Start to Finish
Program Planning and Review Process
Advisory Committee meetings are a forum for discussion of potential programs or significant changes to current programs. Typically this occurs between the 3rd week of November and the 3rd week of January each year. Follow up discussions may take place at the request of a district to elicit or refine ideas that will be designed for that district in particular but also will be made available to others in the planning process. Discussions are usually between the District 287 contact and Member District counterpart, but may include others.
District Planning Information Shared
Special Education planning meetings are typically scheduled during the third week of January each year to plan for the subsequent year’s programs and services. Teaching and Learning program-level contacts are notified separately for District 287 planning numbers: World Language, Career and Technical Education, Area Learning Center, and Gifted Education. Planned Student numbers suggested by District 287 are based on usage history.
Planning Meetings Held Upon Request
At the end of January each year, District 287 contacts meet either in person or by WebEx® with superintendents and cabinet members from Member Districts that request assistance to determine levels of participation, or time to discuss any aspect of planning for the subsequent year.
Program and Service Planning Forms Sent to Superintendents
At the end of January each year planning forms are sent to member district superintendents to complete and sign. It is the member district superintendent who appoints participants who will verify their district’s plan.
The final planning forms are due back (with member district superintendent’s signature) at the end of the second week in February each year.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statute §123A.33., Member Districts are provided an opportunity to withdraw students from District 287 prior to the Board of District 287 taking action to place staff on unrequested leave of absence or ULA. Member District superintendents are sent a letter in early January each year. In it they are asked if they plan to withdraw any students from District 287 programs or services. This information could have implications for implementing the provision of Minnesota Statute §123A.33 which dictates timelines and procedures for laying-off tenured teachers. Program Withdrawal Letters are due back to District 287 at the end of the second week of February each year.
Career and Technical, World Language & Mentor Connection: Revised Planning Forms Due
Because these programs require students to register, it is difficult for districts to predict planned enrollment. Therefore, on March 1 each year Member Districts have an opportunity to revise their planning numbers for these three programs based on student registration numbers.
District 287 Board Unrequested Leave of Absence Resolution
The District 287 Board approves the Unrequested Leave of Absence for licensed tenured staff during a March Board meeting each year, if necessary. Member District planning data and withdrawal information is essential to this process.
Cash Flow Invoices
In late March or early April, District 287 sends a cash flow invoice to Member Districts. The revenue from this bill supports District 287 cash flow for the remainder of the current fiscal year and the early portion of the next fiscal year. The Cash Flow Invoice is calculated based on each Member District’s estimated AMPCU, as provided on the MDE General Education Revenue Report, times $67. This is not an additional fee for Member Districts. July pre-bills are credited the amount paid in the Spring so that in the end, tuition costs are based on actual usage of District 287 programs and services for its students.
District 287 Pre-billing Process
Pre-bill invoices cover the majority of programs and services Member Districts use at District 287 that are NOT handled by uniform special education tuition billing through MDE. Pre-bill invoices are sent to Member Districts during July each year. The purpose of the invoice is to provide an even cash flow for both District 287 and Member Districts. The invoice is for 95% of the estimated amount that District 287 will bill in any given year. Member Districts make 12 monthly payments on this invoice (see Metered Monthly Payments). The rates used are estimates and based on planning ADMs and anticipated expenses for the year.
The Planning Forms attached to the pre-bill invoices show the planned enrollment ADMs and service hours received by District 287 during January from Member Districts. Except as noted, Member Districts provide the ADM numbers or service hours used on the pre-bill invoice. Throughout the year, monitoring reports are posted on the www.district287.org/about287 for Member Districts to verify student enrollment data.
District 287 receives state payments based upon MDE’s calculations of tuition billing for many of our Special Education Programs, including Federal Setting 4 Programs at Sandburg Ed Center, Bren Road Ed Center, South Ed Center, North West Tech Center and Edgewood Ed Center. The areas on the pre-bill invoices from District 287 for Special Education are Transition Disabled, Itinerant Services (purchase of service) and Transportation.
- Transition Disabled: One component of our Setting 4 Programs that is not part of MDE’s tuition billing calculations is Transition Disabled Services. Special Education Transition Disabled Services will continue to be part of this pre-bill. Transition Disabled funds come from the state to the student’s resident district. These funds support District 287 Work Experience Coordinators that are not eligible for State Special Education reimbursement (finance 740) through the EDRS system. The amount is based upon district planned ADMs attending programs that include these services, and District 287’s budgeted costs for the Transition Disabled services.
- Itinerant Services (Purchase of Service): Itinerant Services of Special Education is not covered in the MDE tuition billing. District 287 follows the Purchase of Service procedures as required by MDE. In the pre-billing packet sent out in July, District 287 provides Member Districts cost information based upon planned days of service and an average budgeted cost across all Itinerant Services. The state tuition billing system requires District 287 to send Purchase of Services information that is to be entered into EDRS by the Member Districts. In the fall, District 287 provides Member Districts, who purchase Itinerant Services, preliminary staff data for EDRS input. The final Purchase of Service data is based upon the actual cost of District 287 Itinerant staff and services that are purchased by districts during the year. The final billing packet will include Itinerant costs that are non-reimburseable on EDRS. (example: staff benefits)
Teaching and Learning
- Transportation: A Member District’s 3 -year average transportation cost is used to calculate a pre-bill amount. The final bill will reflect actual cost of transportation for mid-day transportation to programs and services for Special Education.
Teaching and Learning pre-bills invoices include programs that are billed based on student average daily membership (ADM) as well as services that are billed on estimated course cost. The pre-bills are based on planned ADMs and estimated costs.
- ADM Programs: The Teaching and Learning ADM programs include Honors Mentor Connection and the Hennepin Technical Pathways Programs. Back-up information for each program includes the General Education and Special Education hourly rates, and Hennepin Technical Pathways course information.
Also on the planning sheet is a breakdown of the Member District’s anticipated General and Special Education planned ADMs. The Northern Star Online Independent Study program (766) is included in the Area Learning Centers section of the pre-bill. The Northern Star Online (203) state supplemental will not be invoiced on the pre-bill. District 287 will be reimbursed from MDE through General Education Supplemental Aid for Online Learning and the course completion process.
- Area Learning Center Programs: The ALC final bill covers the following three program categories:
◊ Resident students attending ALCs run by District287: The rate is based upon the average of the thirteen Member’s General Education Aid revenue per ADM as reflected on MDE’s ALC worksheet. This rate also includes an ALC Resource Services fee and an amount for Staff Severance.
◊ Member District resident students attending other District 287 Member District run ALC’s: This rate includes General Education Aid and Resource Fees. The General Education Aid is reimbursed to the Member District operating the ALC.
◊ Member District resident students attending their own ALCs: This rate will only include the Resource Fee. The ALC Resource Services Fee is applied to all three types of ALC billing categories. The resource fee provides revenue to District 287 to cover its expenses for ALC specific curriculum and administrative support provided by District 287 as allowed in MN Statute 123A.07.
- Northern Star On-line (NSO): The amount for School 766 NSO-ALC-IS is on the Teaching and Learning ADM sheet, Area Learning Centers. That is for students exceeding 1.0 ADM and is billed at the ALC category 1 rate. NSO (on the ADM sheet) will include an estimate for student ADMs that District 287 will be reimbursed from MDE through the General Education Supplemental Aid for Online Learning course completion process. If a district is contracting with District 287 on a per credit basis, that rate is under Teaching and Learning Services.
- Teaching & Learning Services: Programs include Career and Technical Education Level III courses which are Hennepin Technical College courses taught by college staff, World Language Services, and Northern Star Online (NSO) contracted services. Back-up planning sheets include the estimated cost per credit associated with Hennepin Technical College courses and NSO contracted services. Back-up planning sheets for World Language courses include the estimated annual cost for each section based on the previous year’s rate (with an estimated inflation factor) and the planned enrollment data for each district.
- Safe Schools Levy: Safe Schools funding (Minnesota Statutes 126C.44) for District 287 is generated through member district property tax levies that are calculated using a $10.00 per adjusted marginal cost pupil unit (AMCPU), per annum formula. The funding may be used for the following purposes:
1) Salaries, benefits, and transportation for peace officers;
2) Drug abuse prevention programs;
3) Gang resistance curricula;
4) Security devices on school property;
5) Crime prevention, drug abuse, student and staff safety, initiatives and suicide prevention tools, and violence prevention measures taken by the district; and
6) Licensed school counselors, nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, and alcohol and chemical dependency counselors. District 287 Safe Schools’ expenditures are used for the approved purposes outlined in the legislation.
- Lease Levy: Member Districts have $43.00 per AMCPU levy authority to cover District 287’s lease costs. The main types of leviable costs are principal and interest on lease purchase arrangements and base lease payments for instructional facilities. Custodial or other maintenance services are not leviable. The amount on the pre-bill covers District 287’s anticipated lease costs for the coming fiscal year for all of its instructional facilities. If District 287 is leasing space from a Member district, including ALC host leases, then the amount on that Member District’s levy certification will be lower than the amount billed.
- Health and Safety Levy: Health and Safety levy funds are based on the results of an MDE approval process. All districts, including District 287, submit an application to MDE requesting funds to purchase specific items, or for projects, that are directly related to health issues and injury prevention. The approved costs related to that fiscal year are included on the pre-bill.
The Core Fee has been a long standing component of District 287’s fiscal structure. It is based on $25 per adjusted marginal cost pupil unit (AMCPU) for each district. The Core Fee is used to fund District 287 administrative and overhead costs that are not reimbursable, or have no other revenue source. The pre-bill invoice reflects 95% of the Core Fee charge.
The pre-bill process establishes the amount of the monthly metered payments for the fiscal year. The pre-billing process which utilizes estimated rates based on planning enrollment ADMs and anticipated expense. Pre-bill invoices are issued to Member and Minneapolis School Districts in July with 1/12 due each month through June.
Separate Billings throughout the Year
Care and Treatment:
District 287 provides educational programming for students placed in Omegon or Epsilon programs. These two programs are located in the Hopkins School District. The Hopkins School District and District 287 have a joint agreement for District 287 to provide the educational programming and to bill the resident districts on Hopkins’ behalf. Students in these programs may or may not have Special Education needs. District 287 will send mid-year and final bills for expenses for regular education students only. The MDE uniform Special Education tuition billing system processes invoices for the Special Education students placed in these programs.
Mid-Year bills are sent to Member Districts in January or February. Tuition rates for these programs are estimated, based on each program’s budget for the year and current enrollment data. Mid-Year invoices reflect 50% of the estimated total costs for the fiscal year. Back-up data includes student enrollment information. Students who were placed and have already withdrawn from a program, will have a withdrawal date on the invoice. For those students the invoice reflects 100% of the tuition cost based on days enrolled and actual costs. A separate invoice will be generated for Extended School Year (ESY).
PCG Easy IEP:
District 287 bills districts that have signed an agreement with District 287 to share a contract with PCG for the electronic Easy IEP System. This system is compliant with MN special education Statutes related to due process. This invoice is sent to districts once each year at year end.
Conference and PREP Center:
District 287 offers fully equipped meeting rooms and professional development opportunities. The invoices for the PREP Center and the Conference Center (located on 3rd floor at District 287) are sent to Member Districts as needed throughout the year.
The final billing packets cover Special Education (including transportation), Teaching and Learning, Care and Treatment, and general administration including levy areas. These invoices cover the same programs and services that the pre-bills cover, plus assessment costs for non-member districts.
Final invoices are sent to districts in September. Districts receive credit for payment of any item that was pre-billed including the cash flow amount. Final invoices cover the balance of 5 to 10% from the pre-bill invoices that were paid by the monthly metered payments over the course of the fiscal year. The rates are final and based on actual ADMs and expenses for the fiscal year.
The usage forms attached to the final invoices show the actual enrollment ADM through June 30. Because the costs have been adjusted to reflect actual enrollment and expense data, the final invoice can result in a credit to a district. Member Districts may use a credit amount from one invoice to offset a balance due on another invoice received from District 287.
District 287 receives state payments based upon MDE’s calculations of tuition billing for our Special Education Programs, including Federal Setting 4 Programs at Sandburg Ed Center, Bren Road Ed Center, South Ed Center, NorthWest Tech Center and Edgewood Ed Center. There are three areas on the final-bill invoices for Special Education that are not covered by MDE’s Tuition Billing: Transition Disabled; Itinerant Services (regular and extended school year); and Transportation.
Transition Disabled: Transition Disabled funds support District 287 Work Experience Coordinators that are not eligible for special education reimbursement. The final amount billed is based upon total actual ADMs in those programs and District 287’s actual costs for Transition Disabled services. Transition Disabled are for expenditures reported under finance 835. District 287 reports these expenditures to MDE. The revenue generated is sent directly to Member Districts as a part of State Aid for Special Education, Source 360.
Itinerant Services (Purchase of Service): Another component of Special Education that is not covered in the MDE tuition billing is Itinerant Services. In the final billing packet sent out in September, District 287 provides districts detailed usage information about staff assigned to districts so that they can do the data entry into EDRS and/or SERVS. MDE requires Member Districts information for Purchase of Services will be entered into EDRS by the serving districts. The final Purchase of Service data is based upon the actual cost of staff and services purchased by districts. The final billing packet also includes Itinerant services that are non-reimburseable on EDRS, such as staff benefits. A separate bill will be sent for Extended School Year (ESY) Purchase of Service.
Reminder: District 287 provides, to Member Districts, partially completed One-to-One Professional forms.
Those forms need to be completed by the Member District and sent to MDE.
Transportation Services: Students in several District 287 Special Education programs receive instruction in the community as part of their IEP goals. Member Districts help determine these goals during IEP meetings. Transition aged students participate in work experience activities as well. The costs associated with transportation of students to work and community instruction sites can be found on the District 287 final bill. Back-up information includes the student’s name, District 287 Program and miles transported. The transportation expenditures, using finance code Special Education 723, are allocated based on miles. The billing rate is calculated as an average of total cost divided by total miles across all students who attend or are provided with District 287 mid-day transportation services.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning final bills include invoices for its ADM programs and for services provided. All of the final bills are based on actual ADM or service hour enrollment and actual program costs.
- ADM Programs: The T&L ADM programs include Honors Mentor Connection, the Hennepin Technical Pathways Programs and Northern Star Online. Back-up information for the final bills for each ADM program includes the General Education and Special Education hourly rates and each Member District’s general and Special Education actual ADMs and total costs based on actual usage.
- Teaching & Learning Services: These programs include Career and Technical Education Level III programs at Hennepin Technical College, Northern Star Online contracted services and World Language Services. Back-up sheets for the final billing include both the planned estimated cost and actual cost per credit based on usage associated with the courses for Hennepin Technical College Courses and NSO contracted services. Similarly, the backup information for the World Language courses includes the actual annual costs based on the actual ADM data and cost for each section.
- Area Learning Center Programs: The ALC final bill includes the total costs associated with District 287 and Member District managed programs. The backup documentation includes the school (and site number) for each program, the membership days, membership hours, billing amount and ADMs by ALC program. The final invoice includes information and billing total based on actual usage by program and includes the three program categories. The breakdown of categories and fees is listed under the pre-bill area for ALC’s. Any previous payments are subtracted from the amount invoiced.
Final bills reflect fiscal year actual costs. The allocation is adjusted for actual enrollments in District 287 programs. The following three items are levied each year by Member Districts on behalf of District 287. There may be legislative changes or special circumstances that require additional levy authority. (Recent examples are a judgment levy and the LCTS payback levy.)
- Safe Schools Levy: This amount comes directly from Member District’s Levy Limitation and Certification document. It represents $10 per AMCPU for Safe Schools initiatives in the Intermediates as provided in Minnesota Statute 126c.44.
- Lease Levy: Lease costs that a district can include on its annual levy certification are considered to be leviable. The main types of leviable costs are lease purchase payments and base lease payments for instructional facilities. Custodial or other maintenance services are not leviable. The amount on the final bill covers District 287’s actual lease costs for the coming fiscal year for all of its programs. If District 287 is leasing space from a Member District, including ALC Host Leases, the amount on Member District levy certification will be lower than the amount billed.
- Health & Safety Levy: Health and Safety levy funds are dollars that school districts receive directly from MDE based on the results of an application process. Districts, including District 287, submit an application to MDE requesting funds to purchase specific items, or for projects, that are directly related to health issues and injury prevention. These items can include such things as AEDs (automated external defibrillators), PPE (personal protective equipment, vinyl gloves), HVAC modifications to improve air quality, etc. The amount on the final bill is the amount that was approved and provided to MDE as part of the payable levy cycle that is available on the MDE Website. Adjustments are made on the final bill invoice based upon District 287’s final approved Health & Safety application.
Care & Treatment Programs
District 287 provides educational programming for students sent to Omegon or Epsilon Programs by Hennepin County. These two programs are located in Hopkins School District. District 287 and the Hopkins School District have a joint agreement for District 287 to provide the educational programming, and to bill the resident districts on Hopkins’s behalf. Students may or may not have Special Education needs. Both the pre- and final bills cover expenses for regular education students only. The MDE tuition billing system processes expenses and aid for the Special Education students enrolled in these programs.
Core Fee (Member Districts only)
The Core Fee is applied to Member District tuition bills. It is based on $25 per AMCPU for each district. The Core Fee is used to fund administrative and overhead costs for District 287 that are not reimbursable or have no other revenue source. The pre-bill invoice reflects 95% of the Core Fee. The final bill reflects a credit for this amount and the 100% charge.
Access Fee (non-member only)
This fee is applied to non-member district tuition invoices for center-based and Itinerant bills when the non-member district refers the student to District 287. The amount is based upon non-Member Districts’ resident students who have been placed by the district into a District 287 Special Education program. Non-member resident students referred to District 287 by a Member District are not charged the access fee. Revenue generated by the non-member access fee is used to fund District 287’s administrative and operations costs such as program supervisors and administrators; utilities expenses; and costs associated with technology, human resources, student accounting, finance staff, etc. It is not used to pay for Special Education costs.