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THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Early Learning

New York State Education Department Seal
P-12 Education
Office of Early Learning
89 Washington Avenue, Room 319 EB, Albany, NY 12234
(518) 474-5807
To: 
Superintendents of Schools with Universal Pre-K Grants
Superintendents with UPK Federally Funded Expansion Grants
UPK Program Contacts
UPK Fiscal Contacts
From: 
Jason Breslin, Director of the Office of Early Learning
Subject: 
Understanding Your 2021-2022 Universal Prekindergarten Allocation & Universal Prekindergarten Expansions Grant Allocation
Date: 
May 14, 2021
This memo provides information to help district understand allocations for those currently funded to receive state-administered funds to operate a Universal Prekindergarten Program (UPK) and/or for those districts eligible to receive funds for the 2020-2021 program year and subsequent years through the UPK Federal Expansion Grant funds.
 
There are two parts to this memo. The first part applies to those districts who already receive UPK funds and the second part to districts who will receive funds through the UPK Federal Expansion Grant.
 

Memo Part I: For districts with 2021-2022 UPK Funds

Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) grant funds are allocated to school districts in accordance with a formula set forth in Section 3602-e (10) of Education Law. The 2021-2022 UPK Allocations List can be accessed on the NYSED Office of Early Learning website.
 
Allocations and the number of children to be served for districts that received only UPK funding during the 2020-2021 school year are unchanged.
 
The chart on the following page defines the contents of each column of the UPK Allocations List.
 
Column Column Heading Description of Contents
A Code The first six digits of the district’s BEDS Code
B District Name Name of school district
C 2021-22 Total Max UPK Aid The maximum UPK funding that the district is eligible to receive for the 2021-2022 school year
D Base Eligible Half-Day 3-Year Old Pupils The maximum number of 3-year-old half-day pupils for which the district can receive funding for in 2021-2022.
E Base Eligible 3-Year Old Full-Day Pupils The maximum number of 3-year old full-day pupils for which the district can receive funding for in 2021-2022.
F UPK 3-Year Old Base (FTE Pupils to Serve) (D X 0.5) + E The number of 3-year-old pupils that must be served for a district to access its full UPK allocation This number is expressed as full time equivalent pupils. For this calculation, full- day pupils are counted as 1.0 and half-day pupils are counted as 0.5. The formula for this calculation is the product of the base eligible half-day 3-year-old pupils (Column D) multiplied by one half (0.5) plus the base eligible full-day 3-year old pupils (Column E).
G Total Allocation for 3-Year Old Pupils Total allocation the district will receive for three-year-old pupils
H Base Eligible Half-Day 4-Year Old Pupils The maximum number of 4-year-old half-day pupils for which the district can receive funding for in 2021-2022.
I Base Eligible 4-Year Old Full-Day Pupils The maximum number of 4-year old full-day pupils for which the district can receive funding for in 2021-2022.
J UPK 4-Year Old Base (FTE Pupils to Serve) (G X 0.5) + H The number of 4-year old pupils that must be served for a district to access its full UPK allocation This number is expressed as full time equivalent pupils. For this calculation, full- day pupils are counted as 1.0 and half-day pupils are counted as 0.5. The formula for this calculation is the product of the base eligible half-day 4-year old pupils (Column G) multiplied by one half (0.5) plus the base eligible full-day 4-year old pupils (Column H).
K   Total allocation the district will receive for four year old pupils

 

Half-Day Conversion Overage

The half-day conversion overage only applies to districts that receive UPK funding designated for the provision of full-day Pre-K to three- and/or four-year old pupils; that is districts with numbers in Column F and/or Column I of the UPK Allocations List. It does not apply to districts that receive funding designated for half-day programming but have elected to provide full-day services.

The half-day conversion overage is intended to discourage districts from converting either 3-year old or 4-year old full-day Pre-K slots to half-day. If a district serves more than 30 percent of its base eligible 3-year old (Column F) or 4-year old full-day slots (Column I) in half-day slots, the district is subject to a reduction in its grant payable. This reduction is equal to the funding allocated for the number of full-day slots served as half-day slots in excess of the 30 percent threshold. This loss of funding will not impact the maximum grant payable or base eligible pupil count for the following year.

Districts may apply to the commissioner for a hardship waiver that would allow a district to convert more than 30 percent of full-day slots to half-day slots and receive funding for such pupils served. This waiver will be granted upon a demonstration by the school district that due to a significant change in the resources available to the school district and absent this hardship waiver, the school district would be unable to serve such pupils in prekindergarten programs, without causing significant disruption to other district programming. After the first Universal Pre-K output reports are available in the State Aid Management System (SAMS), the Department will identify districts that are at risk of being assessed the half-day conversion overage. Such districts will be contacted with specific instructions for determining whether a waiver request is appropriate and submitting a request.

Example:
 
District A has an allocation of $100,000 to serve 26 four-year olds in half-day slots and 10 four- year olds in full-day slots (26 * 0.5 + 10 = 23 FTEs). Due to fiscal constraints, the district decides to eliminate the full-day classroom and serve 36 pupils in half-day slots; two half-day sessions of 18 students (18 FTEs). Under this plan, District A will lose funding for two reasons: (A) the district is serving fewer FTEs under this plan than the allocation requires, and (B) the district will incur an overage penalty.
 
The overage penalty is calculated as follows. District A is funded for 10 full-day slots but converted all 10 to half-day slots. The law says if a district converts more than 30% of the full- day slots (3 slots) to half-day, the FTEs served must be reduced by the number of slots in excess of the 30% (7 slots). Therefore, District A would lose funding for an additional 7 FTEs. Stated differently, because District A is converting to all half-day Pre-K, it would receive the UPK funds allocated for half-day slots, plus half of 30% of funds allocated for full-day slots.
 
As a result of serving fewer FTEs under this plan than the allocation requires (18 / 23 FTEs is 78.26%), District A would lose $21,739. The overage penalty would impose an additional reduction of $30,435 (7 of 23 FTEs is 30.43%) for serving more than 30% of the full-day seats in half-day programs. This is the calculation:
Step 1: 18 FTE pupils served
Step 2: Overage reduction of 7 pupils reduces 18 FTE pupils served to 11.
Step 3: 11 / 23 FTE pupils to serve (from Column I of UPK Allocations List) = 47.826% Step 4: $100,000 X 0.47826 = $47,826 (maximum grant payable)
 
District A applies for a hardship waiver, which is approved. The maximum UPK grant payable would be $78,260, calculated as follows:
Step 1: 18 FTE pupils served
Step 2: No overage reduction due to waiver
Step 3: 18 / 23 FTE pupil to serve (from Column I of UPK Allocations List) = 78.26%
Step 4: $100,000 X 0.78260 = $78,260 (maximum grant payable)
 
Maximum Grant Payable
 
The maximum grant payable will be calculated by dividing the current year 3-year old prekindergarten pupils served (the actual full time equivalent students served based on the UPK BEDS Day child count extracted from the Student Information Repository) by the Pre-K 3-year old Base (Column F) to get a percentage of eligible pupils served. The portion of the 2021-2022 Maximum UPK Aid (Column C) attributable to 3-year old pupils is then multiplied by this percentage. The same calculation is performed for 4-year old pupils. No district may receive more than 100% of the 2021-2022 Maximum UPK Aid.
 

Memo Part II: For Districts with UPK Expansion Federal Grant Funding

Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) expansion grant funds are allocated to school districts in accordance with a formula set forth in Section 3602-e (10) of Education Law. The 2021-2022 UPK Expansion Grant Allocations List can be accessed on the NYSED Office of Early Learning website.
 
Districts who are receiving prekindergarten funding for the first time will use the attached allocation chart to determine the number of eligible full day four year old students the district may receive funding for during the 2021-2022 program year. Districts who already receive UPK or Statewide Universal Full-Day Prekindergarten funding in the 2020-2021 program year may use funds to supplement their current programs for full-day four year old students.
 
The below chart defines the contents of each column of the UPK Expansion Allocations List.
 
Column Column Heading Description of Contents
A Code The first six digits of the district’s BEDS Code
B District Name Name of school district
C 2021-22 Maximum UPK Aid The maximum UPK expansion grant funding that the district is eligible to receive for the 2021-2022 school year
D Base Eligible Half-Day 3-Year Old Pupils N/A
E Base Eligible 3-Year Old Full-Day Pupils N/A
F UPK 3-Year Old Base (FTE Pupils to Serve) (D X 0.5) + E N/A
G Base Eligible Half-Day 4-Year Old Pupils N/A
H Base Eligible 4-Year Old Full-Day Pupils The maximum number of 4-year old full-day students for which the district can receive funding for in 2021-2022 through expansion grant funds.
I UPK 4-Year Old Base (FTE Pupils to Serve) (G X 0.5) + H The number of 4-year old students that must be served for a district to access its full UPK expansion grant allocation.

 

Questions
 
Questions regarding this memo or any aspect of your Pre-K program may be directed to the Office of Early Learning at OEL@nysed.gov or by telephone at (518) 474-5807.