Rural Education Achievement Program(REAP) and Rural and Low-Income Schools Grant(RLIS)
What is the purpose of the Rural Education Achievement Program? To assist rural school districts in using Federal funds more effectively to improve the quality of instruction and student academic achievement. REAP consists of two separate programs – the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Program (Project 588) and the Rural and Low- Income Schools (RLIS) Program (Project 587).
What is the legislative authority for REAP? REAP is authorized under Title VI, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
What is the Small Rural School Achievement Program (SRSA)? The SRSA program is a rural school initiative with two components – 1) The SRSA Grant Program Eligibility is determined by the US Department of Education and funds are allocated directly to eligible LEAs. (Project 588) (See Section 6212 of the ESEA.) 2) REAP-Flex – the Alternative Uses of Funds Authority REAP-Flex (Project 586) provides eligible LEAs with greater flexibility in using the formula grant funds that they receive under certain State-administered Federal programs. REAP Flex is not a grant program; it does not provide LEAs with funding. Rather, it gives them greater latitude in spending funds that they receive under other Federal programs so that they can better address their particular needs. (See Section 6211 of the ESEA.)
To be eligible for an SRSA grant and to make use of the REAP-Flex authority, an LEA must be both “Small and Rural” 1.To be SMALL, an LEA must: a.Have a total average daily attendance (ADA) of less than 600 students, or b.Serve only schools that are located in counties that have a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile 2.To be RURAL, an LEA must: a.Serve only schools that have an NCES school locale code of 7 or 8 (assigned by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics) or b.Be located in an area of the State defined as rural by a governmental agency of the State.
Updated Census Data: Impact on REAP Locale Codes Following each Decennial Census, the Census Bureau recalibrates population estimates that are used to determine the metro-centric locale codes used for REAP eligibility. Items that would affect REAP locale codes include changes in: Population estimates Metropolitan area and principal city boundaries Urban and rural boundaries As a result, there may be some shifts in locale codes.
SRSA Locale Code 7 Rural, Outside Any incorporated place, Census-designated place, or non-place territory not within a metropolitan Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) or within a micropolitan CBSA and defined as rural by the Census Bureau. Metropolitan CBSA Area Rural LEA Outside CBSA Area
SRSA Locale Code 8, Rural Inside Any incorporated place, Census-designated place, or non-place territory within a metropolitan CBSA and defined as rural by the Census Bureau. Metropolitan CBSA Area Rural LEA Inside CSBA Area
State Approved Definition of Rural A rural local education agency is one which is located within an incorporated or unincorporated place which has a district resident population of less than 2,500, or has a population center less than 1,000 persons, and is characterized by sparse, widespread populations.
When is the State’s Rural Designation Applied? If an LEA with a locale code other than 7 or 8 (and otherwise meets the ADA or population density requirement), it is eligible for the SRSA program only if it is located in an area of the State that is defined as rural by a governmental agency of the State and the US Department of Education accepts the State’s rural designation.
Applicable Funding An LEA may use applicable funding to exercise its REAP Flex authority. This includes all funds allocated by formula to an eligible LEA under the following programs: 1.Title II, Part A of (Improving Teacher Quality); 2.Title II, Part D of (Educational Technology); 3.Title IV, Part A of (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities); and 4.Title V, Part A of (Innovative Programs).
For what purposes may an LEA with REAP Flex Authority use its applicable funding? An LEA may use its applicable funding for activities authorized under one or more of the following programs: 1.Title I, Part A of (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged), Project 511, 2.Title II, Part A of (Improving Teacher Quality), Project 541, 3.Title II, Part D of (Educational Technology), Project 548 & 548, 4.Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students), Project 571 and 572, 5.Title IV, Part A of (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities), Project 551, 6.Title IV, Part B of (21st Century Community Learning Centers), Project 550, and 7.Title V, Part A of (Innovative Programs), Project 556.
REAP-Flex vs Transferability An LEA that is REAP-Flex eligible cannot transfer funds to Title I, Part A. Why? Transferability increases the allocation of the receiving program and is subject to all of the rules and set-aside requirements of the receiving program.
What is the Rural and Low-Income Schools Program? The Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS) program is an initiative that provides grant funds to rural LEAs that serve concentrations of children from low- income families. An LEA may use RLIS funds to support a range of authorized activities in order to assist the LEA in meeting its State’s definition of Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs).
What LEAs are eligible to receive funds under the RLIS program? An LEA is eligible for an allocation under the RLIS program if – 1.20 percent or more of the children age 5 to 17 served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line; 2.all schools served by the LEA have a school locale code of 6, 7, or 8 (assigned by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics) and 3.the LEA is not eligible to participate in the SRSA program.
RLIS Locale Codes LEA Locale Code - 6 Small Town An incorporated place or Census-designated place with a population less than 25,000 and greater than or equal to 2,500 and located outside a metropolitan Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) or inside a micropolitan CBSA. LEA Locale Code - 7 Rural, Outside Any incorporated place, Census-designated place, or non-place territory not within a metropolitan CBSA or within a micropolitan CBSA and defined as rural by the Census Bureau. LEA Locale Code – 8 Rural, Inside Any incorporated place, Census-designated place, or non-place territory within a metropolitan CBSA and defined as rural by the Census Bureau.
How does the US Department of Education allocate RLIS funds to States? The US Department of Education allocates RLIS funds to States by formula. The amount of funding a State receives is based on the total average daily attendance of all LEAs eligible to participate in the RLIS program. In FY2014, $3,165,586 was allocated to 134 eligible LEAs. Allocation amounts ranged from $9,386 to $71,487.
For what purposes may an LEA use its RLIS funds? An LEA may use RLIS funds for: 1.Title I, Part A, activities including Parental involvement, 2.Title II, Part A, Teacher recruitment and retention, including the use of signing bonuses and other financial incentives; teacher professional development, including programs that train teachers to use technology to improve teaching and to train teachers of students with special needs, 3.Title II, Part D, Educational technology activities, including software and hardware, 4.Title III, Part A, (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Children and Youth) activities, and 5.Title IV, Part A, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants program Activities.
Set-Aside Requirements The set-aside requirement of equitable participation of private school students and teachers does not apply to funds allocated under the RLIS grant program.
Take Away Notes Purpose REAP/RLIS is to Assist Rural and Small Schools Eligibility Requirements o SRSA/REAP-Must be Small and Rural o SRSA/REAP- Has set-aside for an equitable share for private school students and teachers o RLIS-Must have 20 percent or more children that are from families with incomes below the poverty line o RLIS – Does not require an equitable share for private school students and teachers Uses of Funds o Allow greater latitude for LEAs to better address their particular needs
RESOURCES A list of all LEAs that are eligible for the Small Rural School Achievement Program (SRSA) for Fiscal Year 2015 by state can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligibili ty.html http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligibili ty.html Guidance on the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) can be found on the overview tab of the NCLB Consolidated Application link in the Grants Management System.
CONTACTS For technical assistance, contact your assigned Program Specialist or Grant Associate in the Federal Programs office at (405) 521-2846.