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
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School Improvement Grants, Sec. 1003(g)