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Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal

January 18, 1995

Mr. George A. Precourt
Executive Director
Board of Education and Services for the Blind
170 Ridge Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109

Dear Mr. Precourt:

You have asked for an opinion regarding the Board of Education and Services for the Blind's ("BESB") reimbursement to towns, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-295, for certain special education instructional and service costs for special education students who are blind or visually impaired. In particular, you have indicated that while the statute places yearly monetary limits on the amount BESB may reimburse towns per student for such costs, due to billing and paperwork delays, reimbursements owed to towns have gone into arrears in recent years. Further, you have indicated that in dealing with this statutory reimbursement scheme, BESB has switched from a cash to an accrual basis of accounting, and you now wish to know whether, consistent with the statutory amount limitations, actual reimbursement payments to towns in a given year may exceed the statutory limits, provided the costs being reimbursed accrued within the yearly statutory limits per child.

As you know, on June 5, 1962, this office, addressing this same question, albeit when the statute contained lower monetary amounts, opined that "bills for prior years but paid in the current fiscal year should not be included in computing the amount which may be spent in the current fiscal year," as the intent of the statute is only to limit the amount of actual expenditure incurred by towns on a per pupil basis that can be ultimately reimbursed by BESB.

We agree this continues to be an accurate interpretation of the law. Provided BESB is not ultimately reimbursing towns in excess of the statutory limits for any such expenditures in a given year, BESB may, consistent with the statute and BESB's accrual method of accounting, make to towns reimbursement payments which may exceed in the aggregate the annual limits set in §10-295.

Very truly yours,

Richard Blumenthal
Attorney General

Ralph E. Urban
Assistant Attorney General

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