This email continues a series of consultation tips and techniques designed to help you make the most of your opportunity for timely and meaningful consultation with your public school counterparts.
Today’s consultation focus is on the determination of funds under Title I that came about through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The changes for the Title IIA program will be the subject of the next consultation tips email. Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Title I funds flowed from the federal government to the states and from the states to the local education agencies (LEAs, or public school districts). Once the funds were determined for the LEAs, each LEA made decisions about the use of those funds. Some of those decisions were mandated by NCLB. For example, the LEA was required to set aside 5% for professional development if all of its teachers did not meet the definition of “highly qualified teacher” under NCLB. Similarly, 1% had to be set aside for parental involvement activities. In both of these cases, the funds set aside had to be equitably shared with the private school program.
Additionally under NCLB, the LEA was required to set aside 20% for public school choice transportation and supplemental educational services. In these cases, the funds were used only for public school purposes and were not equitably share with the private school program. For most states, the NCLB requirements were replaced with education flexibility waivers in which each state determined their own purposes for some of the Title I funds. In these instances, states might direct their districts to set aside certain percentages of funds to assist “priority” or “focus” schools. These set asides were not equitably shared. Districts had further flexibility, such as funds for early childhood education or special professional development programs and these funds were not equitably shared.
The result of the rules for NCLB was that a significant amount of funds was set aside or reserved for public school purposes before equitable services were determined from the remaining funds. In many districts, this set aside amounted to close to or even more than 50% of the funds allocated for Title I. That meant that private school students were receiving equitable services from only half of the total funds allocated to the district.
Under ESSA, this has changed. Now the funds for equitable services are determined prior to any other uses of the funds by the public school district. This can mean a significant increase in the funds allocated to serve private school students. You can find this information in the U.S. Department of Education’s Non-Regulatory Guidance, Section O, Equitable Services Under Title I.
Let’s look at an example:
- Title I allocation: $100,000,000
- Title I set asides under NCLB: $52,000,000
- Title I funds for equitable participation: $48,000,000
If private school low-income Title I students are 7% of the total number of Title I students, then 7% of $48,000,000 was allocated to serve them, or $3,360,000.
If the private school allocation was determined from the total allocation, their proportional share would be $7,000,000, an increase of $3,640,000.
Here is an example for a smaller NCLB set aside:
- Title I allocation: $100,000,000
- Title I set aside under NCLB: $25,000,000
- Title I funds for equitable participation: $75,000,000
If private school low-income Title I students are 7% of the total of Title I students, then 7% of $75,000,000 was allocated to serve them, or $5,250,000.
If the private school allocation was determined form the total allocation, their proportional share would be $7,000,000, an increase of $1,750,000.
From these examples, you can see that even a small set aside under NCLB can result in a significant increase in Title I funds for the 2017-18 school year.
Can you complete the numbers for each line above for your school or group of schools under NCLB and for ESSA in 2017-18? These are important numbers to ask for in the consultation meeting with your public school district. Under the consultation requirements, it is necessary for the district to discuss the funds available and how they were determined. Now YOU know the questions to ask!