LRS Large Print School Books California     

for California-based users of Large Print
Reimbursement Program

The Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Translations (CSMT) is no longer offering the following programs:

Braille Reimbursement Program
Low Vision Reimbursement Program
Reader Services for Legally Blind Teachers Reimbursement Program

The reimbursement programs are included in the flexibility stimulus package of
Senate Bill 4 of the 2009-10 Third Extraordinary Session (SBX3 4), Chapter 12, Statutes of 2009. Districts may now use their funds to directly purchase Braille books, large print books, video magnifiers (closed circuit televisions), nonprescription optical aids, or pay for reader services without applying to the California Department of Education (CDE).

A letter dated April 17, 2009, by Scott Hannan, Director, School Fiscal Services Division, was mailed to school administrators providing fiscal and accounting guidance on budget reductions and flexibility provisions relative to the reimbursement programs as well as other programs in the CDE that have restricted funds for designated purposes. The funding source for implementing the reimbursement programs is from the Instructional Materials Funding Realignment (IMFRP) with resource code 7156, and therefore, subject to the flexibility package. The letter may be accessed at

For fiscal year 2008-09 through 2012-13, funds may be used for any educational purpose; however, there may be limitations based upon local level restrictions. Your district may choose to continue to use these funds to off set the cost of purchasing instructional materials in specialized media formats and accessibility devices for students with disabilities to access the general curriculum, or employing a qualified reader for your legally blind certificated classroom teacher.

The CSMT will continue to offer adopted materials for grades kindergarten through grade eight through IMODS at in the following specialized media formats:
        APH Products
        ASL Videos
        Digital Talking Books
        Recorded Books
        Large Print
For program questions regarding this notice, please contact Olga Cid, Education Programs Consultant, at 916-319-0959 or by e-mail at or
Jonn Paris-Salb, Education Administrator I, at 916-323-2202, or by e-mail at

Jonn Paris-Salb was kind enough to respond to our questions about the impact of the above, thus:

"It is all a bit confusing, especially since the issue dates back retroactively to July I, 2008. The funds were not actually cut, but instead lumped into one large fund without separate budgets. The money for reimbursements is part of the money given to the district to use flexibly in any way they feel helpful at the local level. In order for that to happen, they had to remove special funds like the reimbursements and the instructional materials funds. You can still pay for materials, or salaries, or whatever the local board requests, but CSMT can no longer provide the funds to reimburse, as those funds were taken from us to distribute to all schools in the flexible manner the bill provides.

Money from all categorical funds are being lumped into one flexible fund. These are state funds, not to be confused with federal dollars (Title 1, Title III or Special Education). The instructional materials fund and many others are now one fund that can be used in the same manner as you have in the past, or have the money move to other district priorities, with local board decisions on how to spend the money. The mandate to provide materials and services are still in place for students with disabilities."
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