This guide is intended for ISD business officials (ISDBOs) and explains how to complete the Excess Cost Threshold Setting activity in Catamaran. The Excess Cost Threshold Setting activity allows ISDs and their member districts to enter expenditure data, which is used to calculate excess cost thresholds for elementary and secondary education. The activity also provides an ISD Aggregate Threshold Calculator, which calculates the excess cost thresholds at the aggregate ISD level.


  1. Log into Catamaran using your username and password.
  2. Locate the Excess Cost Threshold Setting activity on your Task Overview and click on the Activity link.
Tasks Overview menu
Note: If this activity has been completed, it will not show in the Task Overview. In this case, access the Excess Cost Threshold Setting activity from the Search page instead. After logging into Catamaran, click Search in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Select Finance as your primary filter. Then, select Excess Cost ISD Threshold 2019-20 as your secondary filter. Click Search to receive applicable results.

Review Member District List

  1. ISD business officials must begin by reviewing and confirming their list of member districts. To do this, open the District Exclusion Request Form from the activity menu.
Excess Cost ISD Threshold Menu
  1. To include all districts, click Proceed with All Districts. Most ISDs will select this option.
  2. Review the list of member districts. All member districts should be included in the excess cost activity by default. However, certain districts, such as those which have recently closed, many need to be excluded from the excess cost calculation. To request exclusions, check the appropriate member districts, provide a reason in the space provided, and click Request Exclusions.
Note: The MDE will review the requested exclusions, and ISDBOs will be notified when the review is complete.
District exclusion request form

Getting Started

  1. Once the member district list is finalized, the ISD and included member districts From the activity menu, click on the Getting Started page. This page provides tips and guidance for the District Data Form.
Excess Cost Threshold Menu

Complete the District Data Form

  1. Click Next to proceed to the District Data Form. Alternatively, return to the menu and click District Data Form.
  2. The District Data Form is made up of 12 question pages. Complete each page.
  3. Use the Notes section to record notes and upload attachments that might assist in the completion of this activity next year.
  4. Use the Feedback section help the Catamaran Team improve this activity for future users.
Note: Navigate quickly between pages of the District Data Form by using the navigation bar on the left. Page number icons will fill in red when the page is complete.
District Data Form
  1. When the District Data Form is complete, open the District Threshold Calculator.
  2. The District Threshold Calculator shows excess cost thresholds for the ISD at the non-aggregate level. These thresholds are displayed for informational purposes only, as MDE OSE will only conduct compliance testing at the aggregate ISD level.

Review Member District Submissions

  1. ISDBOs must review district data as it is submitted. From the menu, open the Member District Review Tool.
  2. Note the status of member district submissions. ISDBOs can use this tool to ensure all member district work is completed in a timely fashion.
member district review tool
Note: District business officials (DBOs) are responsible for submitting this work to ISDs. ISDBOs are responsible for ensuring each member district, including public school academies, has at least one DBO user registered in Catamaran. To learn more about user approval, visit ISD Finance Resources. ISDBO’s can also access a report of their member district DBOs, including contact information; to learn about this and other reports, visit ISD Finance Reports and Resources.
  1. When member district data is ready for review, click Review Submission. To view a submission that has already been accepted, click View.
member district review tool
  1. To accept a member district submission for inclusion in the ISD Aggregate Threshold Calculator, click Accept District Data. To return a member district submission for modifications, write comments in the box provided (required), and click Return for Modifications.
Member district review page

Review and Submit ISD Aggregate Threshold Calculator

  1. To review the excess cost thresholds established at the ISD aggregate level, open the ISD Aggregate Threshold Calculator from the menu.
  2. The ISD Aggregate Threshold Calculator shows the excess cost thresholds for elementary and secondary students. To download a printable version this page, click Download.
  3. When the ISDBO has completed the District Data Form (steps 7-10 above) and all member district submissions have been accepted (steps 13-16 above), click Submit to MDE to submit the threshold calculator to MDE. This will establish excess cost thresholds for elementary and secondary students.
ISD Aggregate Threshold Calculator
Next Steps: Excess cost compliance testing for the 2019-20 school year will take place in the fall of 2020. Compliance testing for excess cost will be conducted at the ISD aggregate level.