The most important NYSED reimbursement program for nonpublic schools is the Comprehensive Attendance Policy (CAP) and Mandated Services Reimbursement (MSR). These two programs combined net nonpublic schools close to a total of $200 million in reimbursements for fulfilling State mandates, including taking attendance, having attendance policies and procedures, administering State assessments, and more. The online portal has now opened and will accept claims until April 1st. All claims will be paid in full by May 31st.
If your school has any “holds” or requires other audit documentation, NYSED will notify you and request explanations and documentation, but that will not delay your payment. Please note that if you have outstanding holds from last year’s claim period, you will not be able to file a new claim this year until they are resolved. We are currently advocating that schools should be able to file after April 1st, as well as be able to amend prior claims, but we strongly suggest that you do not rely on any changes to current NYSED guidance and file on time.
There have been some important updates to MSR reimbursements due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides the new deadlines and payment schedule above, there is also a hold-harmless provision in place for State assessments. This means that schools that were preparing to administer State assessments but did not because the assessments were canceled, or because the school deemed administering the tests to be a health and safety issue, can still claim the mandate. Schools should enter the number of students that would have taken the tests and base the mandates on teachers, administrators, and support staff that would have proctored the exams. Even if a school administered tests but some students did not test due to health and safety concerns, those students can be included on the claims as if they took the assessments. Reimbursements for test kits, scoring costs, and test pickups can still be claimed as well.
The hold-harmless provision is one of many examples of the details you must understand well to file a claim and maximize the return for the school. Teach NYS has a terrific CAP-MSR Division led by Mrs. Leah Grossman. In future newsletters, we will highlight Mrs. Grossman’s and her team’s incredible work!