FY18 Puerto Rico USVI Hurricane Relief
On June 28, 2018, DESE issued the second of two fiscal year 2018 payments to assist districts serving students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands displaced by last fall's hurricanes. This second payment distributes $8,257,230 out of the total $15 million supplemental appropriation. DESE released the first payment of $6,742,770 on April 19, 2018.
These funds are allocated based on each qualifying district's fiscal year 2018 foundation budget per pupil amount. This rate is adjusted by each district's Chapter 70 aid as a percent of foundation so that the supplemental funding reflects the same level of state support that districts are receiving. The adjusted rate is converted to a daily rate by dividing by 180 days and multiplied by the total number of days that displaced students were enrolled in the district.
DESE conducted separate data collectionsto determine each payment. The first collection covered students who were enrolled between October 2, 2017 and March 1, 2018, while the second collection covered students who were enrolled between October 2 and the end of the 2017-18 school year. DESE calculated the second payment based on the total days that displaced students were enrolled in the district, netting out any days covered in the first data collection period and capping the total number of days at 160. Since the second payment calculation exceeded the $15 million appropriation by $379,980, payments were prorated to determine the final distribution.
Fundingwas distributed to districts using the same system that DESE uses to issue grant payments. Once districts receive their second payment, it must be deposited in a separate account and may be spent by the school committee without further action on the part of the local appropriating authority through June 30, 2019. Any unspent funds from the first or second payments can carryforward to fiscal year 2019.