School Business Affairs September 2020 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | SEPTEMBER 2020 19 Dismantling fiscal and programmatic silos provides new opportunities to serve students and to coordinate funding sources to proportionately pay for staff time, potentially creating new cost efficiencies. State and local funds that are braided and blended to support students with disabilities in schoolwide programs still count toward an LEA’s MOE threshold. As students return to learning after the COVID-19 school closures, LEAs can consider strategies to prevent an inappropriate increase in the number of students identified with disabilities. 3. Ensure that student needs are addressed through core programs to avoid misidentification of disability. As students return to learning after the COVID-19 school closures, LEAs can consider strategies to prevent an inappropriate increase in the number of students identified with disabilities. Students who do not other- wise qualify for special education and related services cannot be found eligible because of the lack of appropri- ate instruction (34 CFR §300.306[b]). LEAs can develop systems for progress monitoring in the upcoming school year that will enable teachers to accurately differentiate struggles due to lack of instruc- tion from struggles due to a disability. Failure to make this distinction and to ensure that student needs are met may inadvertently increase special-education costs and the LEA’s MOE threshold. LEAs can prevent increased costs from the misidentifi- cation for special education by providing guidelines and support to teachers on differentiating instruction and providing supplemental services before referring students to special education. Clear guidance and a system of supports coordinated by general- and special-education leadership at the LEA and school levels can ensure that needs are identified and addressed through core programs. Concluding Thoughts The time is now for school districts to implement new strategies that transform educational programs and create new cost efficiencies. LEAs can use the three strat- egies introduced here to leverage existing special-educa- tion funding in ways that allow districts to meet MOE requirements while minimizing the impact on state and local education revenues. Realizing these opportunities will require increased coordination between LEA and fiscal and program lead- ership across special and general education. LEAs can influence budget decisions to better serve all students in a more cohesive system of supports. References Code of Federal Regulations, as cited. ED (U.S. Department of Education). 2020a. English language learners in public schools. cator_cgf.asp. ———. 2020b. State maintenance of financial support waivers under part B . smfs-partb-waivers.html. Sailor, W., and B. Roger. 2005. Rethinking Inclusion: School- wide Applications. Phi Delta Kappan 86(7):503–9. https://doi. org/10.1177/003172170508600707. Sara Menlove Doutre is education program specialist for WestEd in San Francisco, California. Email: sdoutre@wested. org Tammy Kolbe is associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Vermont. Email: Tammy. Jason Willis is director of strategy and performance at WestEd in San Francisco, California. Email: INDE X OF ADVERT I SERS American Fidelity Assurance Company . back cover ASBO Board Election. page 11 ASBO Corporate Partners. pages 32–33 ASBO Webinars. page 36 Certified Administrator of School Finance  and Operations (SFO) . page 1 Executive Leadership Forum . page 4 Equitable. inside back cover KPN/PEPPM CSIU Cooperative Purchasing. page 12 Parent Booster USA . page 38 Public Trust Advisors. page 24 Ricoh USA. page 3 School Business Champions. page 40 School Nutrition Foundation. pages 20–21 School Outfitters. pages 28–29 United HealthCare Services, Inc. . inside front cover U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners. page 39