Some schools leave a lot of money on the table, because they don’t code STARS correctly to maximize funds. On October 31st, the DOE take a hard roster count and makes budget adjustments based on the difference between the initial register projection and the actual. It is the first round of budget adjustment.

The second round of adjustment occurs on December 31st.  The DOE counts the number of special education students, but it doesn’t just look at the number of special education students. Instead, it is based on mandated services for each student with an Individual Educational Plan, as reported in STARS.

Some schools don’t correctly identify these activities and it could mean losing a lot. I remember a colleague two years ago got $95,000 in additional funding by updating STARS.

At the school level, run the USPE report, to make sure the ACT (actual) matches the REC (recommended) services. More money is given to the school for ICT program, then self-contained program and finally SETTS.  These three services are to be coded in different places in STARS. It behooves the school to correctly code STARS and get the money it deserves.