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Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 1 School Improvement Grants: Requirements and Monitoring Tiffany Winters, Esq. Steven Spillan, Esq.

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Presentation on theme: "Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 1 School Improvement Grants: Requirements and Monitoring Tiffany Winters, Esq. Steven Spillan, Esq."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 1 School Improvement Grants: Requirements and Monitoring Tiffany Winters, Esq. Steven Spillan, Esq. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC Fall Forum 2012

2 Topic List SIG Resources Background on the SIG Program Monitoring the SIG Program Application Process Implementation Fiscal Technical Assistance Monitoring Data Collection SIG, Whats Next? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 2

3 School Improvement Grant 1003(g) (SIG) Resources Latest updates: Final requirements for School Improvement Grants authorized under section 1003(g) of Title I of the ESEA, 75 Fed. Reg (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: March 1, 2012). Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 3

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5 SIG Funding FY 2009 ARRA: $3 billion FY 2010: $546 million FY 2011: $535 million FY 2012: $534 million FY13: Level Funding vs. Sequestration Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 5

6 SIG Awards Priority to the LEAs with the lowest-achieving schools that demonstrate (A) greatest need; and (B) strongest commitment Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 6

7 Continuation Awards 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 7

8 SIG Updates? SIG funds authorized for use in priority schools through ESEA Waiver Package Guidance addendum in March 2012 Congressional Plans? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 8

9 SASA Monitoring of SIG Areas Reviewed by SASA Application Process Implementation Fiscal Technical Assistance Monitoring Data Collection Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 9

10 Monitoring Schedule Current Published Schedule is Obsolete No Monitoring Scheduled Past September Behind Schedule Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 10

11 SASA On-Site General 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 Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 11

12 Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 12

13 Application SEAs application process compliant with both the State application, requirements. SEA RFP must ensure funds serve persistently lowest achieving schools Serving schools identified in the Tier System. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 13

14 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 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 14

15 PLAS: Identification To identify the PLAS, SEA must take into account both: (a) Academic achievement of the all students group in a school in terms of proficiency on the States assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and (b) The schools lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the all students group Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 15

16 PLAS: Listing results Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 16

17 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 17

18 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 18

19 PLAS: Newly Eligible Tier I Schools 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 States lowest quintile [20%] in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and Is no higher achieving than the highest-achieving Tier I school Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 19

20 Newly Eligible Tier II Schools Secondary 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 States lowest quintile [20%] in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and Is no higher achieving than the highest-achieving Tier I school; or A secondary school that has had a graduation rate less than 60% over a number of years. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 20

21 Newly Eligible Tier III Schools A school that is eligible for Title I, Part A funds: Has not made AYP for at least two years; or Is in the States lowest quintile [20%] of performance in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and Does not meet the requirements to be a Tier I or Tier II school. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 21

22 Annual Lists? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 22 Does your State have 5 or more Tier I schools not being served by a SIG grant? Yes 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. No: Required to generate a new list with most recent data.

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24 Implementation SASA monitoring will look at how each LEA is implementing its SIG grant, focusing on each of the 4 turnaround models. Focus is on LEAs, but SEAs will bear the burden of noncompliance. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 24

25 SIG 4 Models: Restart Closure Transformation Turnaround Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 25

26 SIG 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 Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 26

27 SIG 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 schools. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 27

28 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 28

29 SIG 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 29

30 SIG Models: Transformation 5 Required Activities 1.Replace the principal 2.Teacher/Principal evaluations 3.Identify and reward school leaders, teachers, and other staff 4.Professional Development 5.Implement strategies to recruit, place, and retain staff Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 30

31 Guidance - Transformation Model LEAs implementing a transformation model must: Provide sufficient operational flexibility. Ensure ongoing, intensive technical assistance and related support. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 31

32 2011 Transformation Waiver: Teacher Evaluations August 12, 2011 – ED letter to Chiefs Invites those LEAs implementing a transformation model extra time to develop and implement teacher evaluation systems. Proposed waiver would allow LEAs to: Develop the evaluation systems in the school year, Pilot them next year ( ), and Have them up and running by the school year. Asked for application by August 26 th, but expecting later submissions. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 32

33 Transformation: Replace Principals CEP Report: 15 out of 45 States using the transformation model saw removing the principals as a key element of the turnaround. 16 States said that the results varied from school to school. One State said it didn't make a difference, while three others thought it was too soon to say. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 33

34 SIG 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 Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 34

35 SIG Models: Turnaround 6.Use data to identify and implement an instructional program 7.Promote the continuous use of student data 8.Establish schedules and implement strategies that provide increased learning time 9.Provide appropriate social-emotional and community- oriented services and supports for students Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 35

36 Turnaround: Replace Teachers CEP Report Highly unpopular with unions 8 of the 46 States implementing the turnaround model said the process helped pinpoint and enlist effective teachers. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 36

37 Increased Learning Time Reports show that LEAs are struggling with this requirement. No uniformity among districts in implementing increased learning time. What counts as increased learning time? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 37

38 Increased Learning Time CEP Report: Maryland schools were spending the extra time primarily on the students who are struggling the most academically. Michigan schools were pushing to extend the school day for all students, with mixed results. Idaho State and local officials did not see it as an essential piece of their school improvement formula. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 38

39 Increased Learning Time Definition: increasing the length of the school day, week, or year to significantly increase the total number of school hours so as to include additional time for: Instruction in core academic subjects; Instruction in other subjects and provision of enrichment activities; and Teachers to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development within and across grades and subjects. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 39

40 Increased Learning Time March 2012 Guidance: LEA must use a longer school day, week, or year to provide additional time for all three types of activities. Focus should be on instruction of core academic subjects, and time for teacher collaboration & planning. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 40

41 Increased Learning Time Can include before- or after- school activities. Activities must be available to all students. March 2012 Guidance: All students must have the opportunity to participate. School must have the capacity to serve any and all students. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 41

42 SIG Models: Criticisms Models do not address school climate and culture. Ignores non-academic challenges, such as attendance and behavior. Any focus on non-academic concerns often get in the way of SIG compliance. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 42

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44 Fiscal Final Requirements Guidance OMB Circular A-87 EDGAR Section Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 44

45 SIG Fiscal SEAs: Ensuring proper LEA use of funds? Only taking 5% for State admin? Ensuring adequate funds for three year grants? LEAs: How are you spending funds? Ensuring funds are supporting SIG activities? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 45

46 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 46

47 SIG District-wide Activities An LEA may use SIG funds to pay for district-level 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 47

48 SIG Guidance - Supplanting SIG funds must supplement, and not supplant, non-Federal funds a school would otherwise receive SNS applied to increased learning time 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 48

49 SIG Guidance - Comparability LEA is obligated to ensure that all of its Title I schools are comparable to its non-Title I schools. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 49

50 Guidance – Improvement Timeline Receiving a SIG award restarts improvement timeline. Regardless of where a school is in the improvement timeline, the clock restarts. A grantee could enter the first year of improvement (ESEA 1116(b)) --would be Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 50

51 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 next school year. May not use the funds to pay for needs assessment. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 51

52 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? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 52

53 Pre-Implementation Allowable Activities Family and Community Engagement Rigorous Review of External Providers Staffing Instructional Programs Professional Development and Support Preparation for Accountability Measures Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 53

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55 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? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 55

56 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? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 56

57 LEA Monitoring An LEA must establish SEA approved annual goals for student achievement on the States assessments in both reading/language arts and mathematics that it will use. to monitor each Tier I and Tier II school that receives SIG funds. 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 57

58 LEA Monitoring The following metrics constitute key indicators for the SIG program, collected by SEA: Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 58 (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 LEAs teacher evaluation system; and (9) Teacher attendance rate.

59 SEA Renewal 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 LEAs SIG grant with respect to that school? An SEA has discretion to examine factors, such as Schools progress on the leading indicators in section III of the final requirements, or Fidelity with which it is implementing the model See section II.C(a)(ii) of the final requirements (I-16) Renewal based on ALL factors Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 59

60 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 60

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62 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? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 62

63 Data Collection SEA may add additional leading indicators SEA may not deny LEA renewal request based on failure to make progress on SEA-added indicator, providing LEA has made progress federally-mandated indicators Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 63

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65 SIG: Whats Next? FY 2013 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 offering more models Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 65

66 SIG: Whats 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 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 66

67 SIG: Whats Next ESEA Waiver Package: Priority School Among the lowest 5% of Title I schools in the State; A Title I-participating or Title I-eligible high school with a graduation rate less than 60% 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. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 67

68 SIG: Whats 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 Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 68

69 QUESTIONS? Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 69

70 Disclaimer This presentation is intended solely to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice. Attendance at the presentation or later review of these printed materials 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 circumstances. Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC 70

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