SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GRANTS: REQUIREMENTS AND MONITORING Leigh Manasevit, Esq. Steven Spillan Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC Fall Forum 2011 SIG FUNDING FY 2009 ARRA - $3 billion FY 2010 - $546 million FY11 – $534 million FY12: Proposed $600 million Senate: $534 million House: $0 2 SIG POLITICS SIG remains a key component of Administration’s reform agenda SIG funds authorized for use in priority schools through ESEA Waiver Package House GOP aiming at SIG funds to create offset for increase to ESEA Title I and IDEA Part B Senate HELP Committee looking to reorganize turnaround model options 3 SIG RESOURCES Latest updates: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/legislation.html #guidance “Final requirements for School Improvement Grants authorized under section 1003(g) of Title I of the ESEA,” 75 Fed. Reg. 66363 (Oct. 28, 2010). Guidance on Fiscal year 2010 School Improvement Grants under 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: February 23, 2011). 4 FEBRUARY 2011 ADDENDUM Which are available which years? 5 SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GRANT (SIG) 1003(G) An SEA must subgrant at least 95% of the funds it receives to its LEAs for school improvement activities. In awarding such subgrants, an SEA must give priority to the LEAs with the lowest-achieving schools that demonstrate — (A) greatest need for such funds; and ◦ (B) strongest commitment to ensuring that such funds are used to provide adequate resources to enable the lowest-achieving schools to meet the goals under school and local educational improvement, corrective action, and restructuring plans under section 1116. ◦ 6 SASA MONITORING Application Process Implementation Fiscal Technical Assistance Monitoring Data Collection 7 2011-2012 MONITORING SCHEDULE State On-Site Week Hawaii Illinois Georgia Texas New York Oregon Puerto Rico Missouri Rhode Island BIE Wisconsin District of Columbia December 5-9 2011 December 12-16 2011 January 9-13 2021 January 30- February 3 2012 February 13-17 2012 March 5-9 2012 March 26-30 2012 April 16-20 2012 April 30-May 4 2012 May 7-11 2012 May 7-11 2012 September 10-14 2012 8 SASA ON-SITE SCHEDULE Day 1: School #1 Site Visit School Leadership Team Interview Teacher/Parent Interview Guided Classroom Observations/Conversations with students Day 2: LEA #1 Interview Day 3: School #2 Site Visit Same as Day 1 Day 4: LEA #2 Interview Day 5: SEA Interview 9 APPLICATION When SASA monitors come in, they will look at the SEA’s application process to make sure it is compliant with both the application the SEA submitted to ED, as well as the SIG requirements. SEA must show that it will work with LEAs to serve persistently lowest achieving schools, and award funds based on LEAs serving schools identified in the Tier System. 10 “PERSISTENTLY LOWEST-ACHIEVING SCHOOLS” (PLAS) Lowest-achieving 5% (or lowest 5 schools, which ever is greater) of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring; or a high school that has had a graduation rate less than 60%; and Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that meets the same requirements as above 11 PLAS: IDENTIFICATION To identify the PLAS in the State, an SEA must take into account both: ◦ ◦ (a) The academic achievement of the “all students” group in a school in terms of proficiency on the State’s assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and (b) The school’s “lack of progress” on those assessments over a number of years in the “all students” group 12 PLAS: LISTING RESULTS 13 PLAS: TIER III - CATCHALL Tier III would include every Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that is not a Tier I or Tier II school. 14 CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010 Expands the group of schools that an SEA “may” identify as Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III schools. Does not affect the schools an SEA must identify as Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III schools. Raised the maximum amount from $500,000 to $2,000,000. 15 PLAS: NEWLY ELIGIBLE TIER I SCHOOLS SEA may identify as a Tier I school an elementary school that is eligible for Title I, Part A funds and has not made AYP for at least 2 consecutive years; OR Is in the State’s lowest quintile [20%] in reading/language arts and mathematics combined and is no higher achieving than the highest-achieving Tier I school identified by the SEA definition of PLAS 16 NEWLY ELIGIBLE TIER II & III SCHOOLS Tier II: ◦ Same as Tier I, but also includes option for a secondary school that has had a graduation rate less than 60% over a number of years. Tier III: ◦ Has not made AYP for at least two years ◦ Is in the State’s lowest quintile of performance in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; ◦ OR AND Does not meet the requirements to be a Tier I or Tier II school. 17 IMPLEMENTATION SASA monitoring will look at how each LEA is implementing its SIG grant, focusing on each of the 4 turnaround models. 18 SIG 4 MODELS: Turnaround Restart Closure Transformation 19 SIG 4 MODELS: TURNAROUND 9 required elements 1. Replace the principal 2. Use locally adopted competencies to measure the turnaround staff effectiveness (50% rule) 3. Implement strategies designed to recruit, place, and retain the appropriate staff 4. Provide ongoing, high-quality job-embedded professional development 5. Adopt new governance structure 20 SIG 4 MODELS: TURNAROUND 6. 7. 8. 9. Use data to identify and implement an instructional program Promote the continuous use of student data Establish schedules and implement strategies that provide increased learning time Provide appropriate social-emotional and community-oriented services and supports for students 21 SIG 4 MODELS: RESTART School converts or closes and reopens under a CMO or EMO Considerable flexibility Must enroll any former student who wishes to attend the school May require agreements covering behavior, attendance, or other commitments related to academic performance May not require students to meet academic standards prior to enrolling 22 SIG 4 MODELS: CLOSURE LEA closes a school and enrolls students in “higher achieving” schools in the LEA. Guidance: Critical to engage families and community early, selecting the appropriate improvement model to assure a smooth transition for students and their families at the receiving 23 schools. SIG 4 MODELS: TRANSFORMATION IMPORTANT: ◦ An LEA with 9 or more Tier I and Tier II schools may NOT implement the transformation model in more than 50% of those schools. ◦ Guidance: If an LEA is already exceeding the cap, it may not implement the transformation model in any additional schools. 24 SIG 4 MODELS: TRANSFORMATION 5 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Required Activities Replace the principal Teacher/Principal evaluations Identify and reward school leaders, teachers, and other staff Professional Development Implement strategies to recruit, place, and retain staff 25 GUIDANCE - TRANSFORMATION MODEL LEAs implementing a transformation model must: Provide sufficient operational flexibility. ◦ Ensure ongoing, intensive technical assistance and related support. ◦ 26 2011 TRANSFORMATION WAIVER: TEACHER EVALUATIONS August 12, 2011 – ED letter to Chiefs Proposed waiver would allow LEAs to: Invites those LEAs implementing a transformation model “extra time to develop and implement teacher evaluation systems.” Develop the evaluation systems this 2011-2012 school year, Pilot them next year, and Have them up and running by the 2013-2014 school year. Asked for application by August 26th, but expecting later submissions. 27 FISCAL The final requirements apply to FY 09 ARRA funds, FY 2010 funds, as well as FY09 carryover Final Requirements Guidance EDGAR Section 76.710 28 SIG CROSS CUTTING ISSUES If not every Tier I school in a State was served with FY 2009 SIG funds in the 2010–2011 school year, an SEA must carry over 25% of those funds, combine them with FY 2010 SIG funds, and award those funds to LEAs in the same manner as FY 2009 SIG funds are awarded. If a State does not serve every Tier I school, but needs more than 75% to fund all LEAs that it committed to serve – contact ED prior to issuing grants. 29 SIG “DISTRICT-WIDE” ACTIVITIES An LEA may use SIG funds to pay for districtlevel activities: Support implementation of one of the four school intervention models in each Tier I and Tier II school it commits to serve, and Support other school improvement strategies in the Tier III schools it commits to serve. An LEA may not use SIG funds to support district-level activities for schools that are not receiving SIG funds. 30 SIG GUIDANCE - SUPPLANTING SIG funds must supplement, and not supplant, non-Federal funds a school would otherwise receive SNS applied to increased learning time (A-32a, et seq.). ◦ Costs must: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Be directly attributable to the implementation of the model, Be reasonable and necessary, and Exceed the cost the district would have incurred in the absence of its implementation model. This all requires documentation. 31 SIG GUIDANCE - COMPARABILITY LEA is obligated to ensure that all of its Title I schools are comparable to its non-Title I schools. 32 GUIDANCE – AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS Absent a waiver, the period of availability for FY 2010 funds expires September 30, 2012. Funds are available for preimplementation activities in the 2010 - 2011 school year and one year of full implementation in the 20112012 school year. 33 GUIDANCE - PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY SEA may request a waiver to extend the availability of FY 2010 funds until September 30, 2014. ED requests that SEA calculates how carryover and current funds work together to serve the maximum number of schools. 34 GUIDANCE - PRE-IMPLEMENTATION LEA may use carryover/current funds prior to full implementation. Enables an LEA to prepare for full implementation of a school intervention model at the start of the 2011-2012 school year. May not use the funds to pay for needs assessment. 35 SIG GUIDANCE – PRE-IMPLEMENTATION SEA Evaluation Criteria: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Directly related to the selected model? Reasonable and necessary? Designed to address a specific need? Represent meaningful change to improve student achievement? Research-based? Represent a significant reform that goes beyond the basic educational program? 36 GUIDANCE – UNAUTHORIZED CLOSURE If an LEA closes a Tier I or II school after implementing any model other than Closure? SEA has the discretion to terminate and rescind. If SEA accepts new applications, LEA must meet all Closure model requirements. ED allows for this circumstance, but notes that such an event should be VERY rare. 37 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE SASA monitors will look at what types of TA the SEA is providing, particularly with respect to: Conducting the needs-assessment ◦ Preparing and amending LEA applications ◦ Preparing and amending budgets ◦ Selecting the intervention model for each school ◦ Also how the SEA is determining what types of TA to provide and to whom? How frequently is the SEA providing technical assistance? 38 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AT LEA LEVEL Has SEA been providing adequate TA? How has the LEA supported, how does it currently support, and how does it plan to support schools in implementing the SIG program? 39 LEA MONITORING o An LEA must establish SEA approved annual goals for student achievement on the State’s assessments in both reading/language arts and mathematics that it will use. o to monitor each Tier I and Tier II school that receives SIG funds. o o The determination of whether a school meets the student achievement goals established by the LEA is in addition to the determination of whether the school makes AYP as required by section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA. 40 LEA MONITORING The following metrics constitute key indicators for the SIG program, collected by SEA: (1) Number of minutes within the school year; (2) Student participation rate on State assessments in reading/language arts and in mathematics, by student subgroup; (3) Dropout rate; (4) Student attendance rate; (5) Number and percentage of students completing advanced coursework (e.g., AP/IB), early-college high schools, or dual enrollment classes; (6) Discipline incidents; (7) Truants; (8) Distribution of teachers by performance level on an LEA’s teacher evaluation system; and (9) Teacher attendance rate. 41 SEA RENEWAL o o If a Tier I or Tier II school does not meet the annual student achievement goals established by the LEA, may an SEA renew the LEA’s SIG grant with respect to that school? An SEA has discretion to examine factors such as School’s progress on the leading indicators in section III of the final requirements or o Fidelity with which it is implementing the model o See section II.C(a)(ii) of the final requirements (I-16) o o Renewal based on ALL factors 42 ONGOING ACTIVITIES An SEA may award SIG funds to an LEA for a Tier I or Tier II school that has implemented, in whole or in part, one of the models within the last two years so that the LEA and school can continue or complete the intervention being implemented. 43 SIG GUIDANCE - NEW LISTS? Does your State have 5 or more Tier I schools not being served by a SIG grant? Yes No: Required to generate a new list with most recent data. Does the State wish to generate a new list? No: SEA applies for a “New List” Waiver. Submits FY09 PLA list. Yes: State submits a new PLA list with most recent data. 44 GUIDANCE – FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT LEA Unable to Implement Model LEA must notify SEA IMMEDIATELY. LEA must cease obligating SIG funds in that school. If the LEA does NOT want to try a different model, SEA rescinds remaining funds and combines with carryover. If the LEA does want to try another model, SEA has discretion to end the award, or ask LEA to reapply. 45 DATA COLLECTION What process is the SEA/LEA using to collect data on the leading indicators? How is the SEA/LEA keeping track of or managing this data? Is the SEA/LEA collecting any additional data beyond that required by the SIG program? Any plans for using data aside from reporting requirements? Have LEAs begun collecting any benchmark or interim data on the leading indicators? If so, what does the data show thus far? 46 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA has not ensured that LEAs implementing the turnaround model are using locally adopted competencies to screen and rehire no more than 50% of its existing staff or select new staff. Further Action Required: SEA must develop and submit a plan to ensure that the LEAs implement the turnaround model, develop and use locally adopted competencies in its hiring process, and that the 50% rule is adhered to. SEA must provide evidence of the development and use of these locally adopted competencies by LEAs funded in the FY 2010 competition. 47 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA has not ensured that LEAs implementing the turnaround model are establishing schedules and implementing strategies that increase learning time. Further Action Required: SEA must work with its LEAs to ensure that all schools implementing the turnaround or transformation models have significantly increased the number of school hours and that the additional time is consistently used for instructional purposes, or for teachers to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development by the start of the next school year. SEA must submit documentation for each school using the model, demonstrating the increase in learning time and evidence that the time is consistently used in accordance with the definition of “increased learning time” in the final requirements. 48 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA did not ensure that the proposed uses of SIG funds proposed by LEAs and schools in their SIG plans are based on each school’s needs analysis. Further Action Required: SEA must develop a rubric for the next SIG competition to review LEA and school budget requests and to inform conversations with LEAs and schools about uses of SIG funds to address the unique needs of individual schools in model implementation. SEA must disseminate this rubric to all its LEAs eligible to apply for SIG funds and submit a copy to ED. 49 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS ED monitoring team could not make a determination about whether LEA was using SIG funds to supplement, and not supplant, State and local funds. Further Action Required SEA must conduct a review of LEA’s 2009 SIG expenditures to determine if the LEAs use of SIG funds was consistent with the supplement, not supplant requirements. SEA must report its findings to ED upon completion of this review. 50 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS At the time of ED’s monitoring visit, two schools in an LEA implementing the transformation model had yet to hire a permanent principal. Further Action Required SEA must work with LEAs to ensure that schools have a permanent principal in place. 51 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA has not ensured that SIG funds are awarded and allocated to LEAs in a timely manner to support the full and effective implementation of the each school’s SIG plan. Further Action Required: SEA must review, approve, and provide funding to its LEAs in a timely manner after an LEA’s SIG plan is received, reviewed, and approved. SEA must submit to ED evidence that its LEAs have received their most recent SIG allocations. SEA must develop procedures to ensure the timely distribution of SIG funds to LEAs for the next school year and beyond. SEA must submit these procedures to ED, along with documentation that its revised process will ensure timely funding of its LEAs for the next school year. 52 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS LEA’s approved SIG application included SIG funds for a program that is not an allowable use of funds under SIG. Further Action Required LEA must amend its SIG application to reallocate the SIG funds for allowable activities that support the implementation of the transformation model. SEA must provide evidence that LEA has an approved amendment to make the required adjustment to its plan and budget. 53 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS The SEA did not ensure that its application process was carried out consistent with its approved SIG application, or that award amounts were made consistent with SIG requirements. Further Action Required: SEA must provide to ED evidence that it administered its competition consistent with its approved FY 2010 SIG application, and that award amounts were consistent with SIG requirements. Evidence must include the number of reviews conducted and the specific criteria used to determine individual school budgets. 54 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA did not ensure that LEA replaced the principal in a school implementing the turnaround model consistent with the SIG final requirements. Further Action Required SEA must submit to ED evidence that it has reviewed the progress of all schools that received SIG funds to implement the transformation and turnaround model to ensure that any principal hired within the last 2 years who was retained, was retained consistent with the SIG requirement. SEA must submit to ED the results of that review and the steps the SEA will take to ensure these schools are either in compliance with the SIG requirements or indicate how it will take this into account in determining whether to continue the grant 55 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA is not monitoring SIG implementation as outlined in its approved application. Further Action Required: SEA must submit to ED a timeline and monitoring protocol for onsite and offsite monitoring for SIG recipients. SEA must also submit to ED evidence that the timeline is being implemented. 56 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA does not have all the required documentation posted on its website. Further Action Required: SEA must post on its website within 30 days of receipt of monitoring report all final LEA applications, including all attachments and appendices. 57 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS The SEA has not ensured that the system of rewards at LEA is based in part on student achievement. Further Action Required SEA must work with LEA to develop and implement a tool or rubric to identify and reward school leaders, teachers, and other staff who, in implementing the transformation model, have increased student achievement. The tool or rubric must be based in part on student performance and include other indicators such as observations of classroom instruction, attendance, etc. SEA must submit this tool to ED prior to the next school year and implement it in that school year. 58 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS SEA has not consistently ensured that it has communicated clear guidance for LEAs to submit substantive programmatic and fiscal amendments to the SEA, and the process the SEA will use to review and approve such amendments. Further Action Required – SEA must: Develop and post on its website: Written guidance in a standard format that LEAs must use to propose substantive programmatic and fiscal changes to their SIG applications. A checklist the SEA staff will use to review and make determinations on substantive programmatic and fiscal amendments to approved SIG plans. Develop a plan and timeline to train LEA and SEA staff responsible for SIG implementation about the standard format and checklist the SEA will use to review and approve SIG amendments. 59 SASA MONITORING FINDINGS The SEA did not ensure that the LEAs monitor the schools consistent with the final requirements of the SIG program. Further Action Required: SEA must submit to ED the process and timeline that LEAs must implement to monitor schools in the SIG program, as well as how these are communicated to the LEAs. 60 SIG: WHAT’S NEXT? FY 2012 Funding Fight SIG remains top Administration priority House GOP wants to eliminate funding Skeptical of the turnaround models Senate Democrats willing to keep funding, but not at the $600 million requested by the President 61 SIG: WHAT’S NEXT ESEA Waiver Package Flexibility to Support School Improvement: An SEA would have flexibility to allocate ESEA section 1003(a) funds to an LEA in order to serve any priority or focus school, if the SEA determines such schools are most in need of additional support. Flexibility to Use School Improvement Grant (SIG) Funds to Support Priority Schools: An SEA would have flexibility to award SIG funds available under ESEA section 1003(g) to an LEA to implement one of the four SIG models in any priority school. 62 SIG: WHAT’S NEXT ESEA Waiver Package: Priority School Among the lowest five percent of Title I schools in the State; A Title I-participating or Title I-eligible high school with a graduation rate less than 60 percent over a number of years; or A Tier I or Tier II school under the SIG program that is using SIG funds to implement a school intervention model. 63 SIG: WHAT’S NEXT Senate ESEA Reauthorization Two Additional Turnaround Models Strategic Staffing Strategy – LEA must: (I) replace the principal if he/she has served more than 2 years; (II) allow the principal to staff the school with a turnaround team of his/her choosing; (III) provide teacher and principal incentives. Whole School Reform Strategy - must include a partnership with a strategy developer offering a school reform program Based on at least a moderate level of evidence that the program will have a statistically significant effect on student outcomes 64 QUESTIONS? 65 DISCLAIMER This presentation is intended solely to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice or a legal service. This presentation does not create a client-lawyer relationship with Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC and, therefore, carries none of the protections under the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct. Attendance at this presentation, a later review of any printed or electronic materials, or any follow-up questions or communications arising out of this presentation with any attorney at Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC does not create an attorney-client relationship with Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC. You should not take any action based upon any information in this presentation without first consulting legal counsel familiar with your particular 66 circumstances.