Q&R Title I Directors Frequently Asked Questions about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
Will the 09 ARRA funds be utilized only for currently participating schools? Local education agencies (LEAs) decide on an annual basis which schools will receive Title I school allotments. The LEA should include input from all stakeholders when deciding which schools to continue serving and/or schools to begin serving for the first time.
Can a school operate as a schoolwide program the first year it is served as a Title I school? The comprehensive plan shall be (i) developed during a one-year period, unless (I) the local educational agency, after considering the recommendation of the technical assistance providers under section 1117, determines that less time is needed to develop and implement the schoolwide program [Section 1114(b)(2)(B)(i)(I) of Title I of ESEA]. In NC, the School Improvement Planning process may accomplish this requirement.
Can LEAs request a waiver to serve as a SWP, schools with less than 40% poverty? Yes. This is an allowable waiver request for which NC has Ed-Flex authority.
Are there guidelines regarding minimum school level (per pupil) allocations? Guidance issued in 2003 states that for schools the, allocation amount must be large enough to provide a reasonable assurance that a school can operate a Title I program of sufficient quality to achieve that purpose.
If the LEA chooses to serve additional schools, will the paraprofessionals in those schools be required to meet the definition of being highly- qualified? Yes. Title I funds under ARRA must follow all statutory requirements under ESEA.
Can stimulus monies be used to expand preschool programs? Yes. ARRA funds provided under Title I, Part A may be used for any activities allowable with regular Title I, Part A funds.
Can instructional facilitators be a district-wide initiative for Title I Schools? Yes. ARRA funds provided under Title I, Part A may be used for any activities allowable with regular Title I, Part A funds.
With state budget cuts affecting teachers, will there be any waivers regarding supplement vs. supplant? No waivers will be allowed for the supplement vs. supplant provision of Title I funds. However, cases of extreme budget shortfall often provide a rebuttal for the presumption of supplanting.
Will the state be able to hold the ARRA funds until July 1 to avoid exceeding the 15% carryover? Although 50% of ARRA funds that will be made available in April, ARRA funds for Title I, A are considered part of the total Title I allocation. Carryover provisions do not apply until September 30, 2010.
Should regular Title I funds and ARRA funds be used simultaneously (at the school level), or should PRC 050 be used first to avoid carry-over issues? The ARRA funds are considered part of the total Title I allocation. The carryover cap will be considered on the total of the two fund streams.
Will LEAs be able to request a waiver to exceed 15% carry-over limit for SY ? 09-10? NC has Ed-Flex authority and may grant carryover waivers to LEAs more than once in three years (as outlined in the regulations) if sufficient justification is provided.
Can positions supported by ARRA funds (other than LEA Improvement) serve the district at large, or would services be limited to Title I schools? Again, ARRA funds are part of the total Title I allocation and the use of funds must adhere to all applicable statutory Requirements under Title I, A.
With the reductions in state and local funding, can all qualifying students in the district attend summer programs funded by stimulus money? Again, ARRA funds are part of the total Title I allocation and the use of funds must adhere to all applicable statutory requirements under Title I, Part A. Qualifying students are considered those students attending Title I schools.
Will the homeless set-aside increase regardless of whether the present set-aside is used? Title I staff should collaborate with Homeless Education staff on an annual basis to determine the reservation amount from Title I, Part A funds.