UPK Half-Day Conversion Overage
In New York State, prekindergarten funding is meant to be used for the provision of full-day programming for three and/or four-year old students. To discourage districts from converting full-day slots to half-day slots for either three-year old or four-year old students, NYSED institutes a half-day conversion overage penalty. This penalty is only applicable to districts who receive UPK allocations designated specifically for the provision of full-day prekindergarten for three and/or four-year old students but elect to provide half-day programming.
How it Works:
If a district serves more than 30 percent (30%) of its base eligible three-year-old or four-year-old full-day slots 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% threshold. Districts may download and use the Half-Day Conversion Overage Calculator to project the amount of the reduction. This loss of funding will not impact the maximum grant payable or base eligible pupil count for the following year.
When this is the case, districts may apply to the Commissioner for a hardship waiver that would allow a district to convert more than 30% of full-day slots to half-day slots and receive funding for such pupils served. Districts apply by submitting a signed letter on district letterhead to the Office of Early Learning.
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.
Possible applicable conditions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- insufficient space,
- lack of available staff,
- families expressing a preference for half-day prekindergarten, or
- funding deficiencies.
After the first UPK 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.