posted September 6, 2017

Clarification on High School ADM/FTE

by Eugene Park, CPA, Audit Manager


Thank you, Arizona State Legislature!

With the recent passing of Senate Bill 1156 which went into effect in August 2017, the confusion related to whether or not a high school student should be considered as a full time student should end. The key change was the addition of the following statement in to ARS 15-901 A1(a)ii and A1(b)ii:

“The hours in which a student is scheduled to attend a high school during the regular school day shall be included in the calculation of average daily membership for that student.”

Additionally, the Senate Bill further clarified the definition of what should be included in a “regular school day” in ARS 15-901 A1(c) as follows:

“Regular School Day means the regularly scheduled class periods intended for instructional purposes. Instructional purposes may include core subjects, elective subjects, LUNCH, STUDY HALLS, music instruction, and other classes that advance the academic instruction of pupils, except that instructional purposes shall not include athletic practices or extracurricular clubs and activities.” (Emphasis added.)

Previously, lunch and study halls were excluded from instructional hours when determining a student’s hours of instruction received for the year. This legislation enables those districts that had issues with meeting the 720 hours of instruction requirement to include periods such as lunch and study halls in the calculation. With the inclusion of the “periods” described above, it is anticipated that most students ADM would meet the 720 hours of instruction, when the student is taking at least four classes.

Please note that students should still be enrolled in four subjects that count towards graduation as defined by the State Board of Education.These four subjects also should each meet for at least 123 hours for the year and the student must receive 720 hours of instruction. This requirement has not changed, it is what can be included as “instruction” that has changed.

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