This spring, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced a new pilot to afford local educational agencies (LEAs) flexibility to create equitable, student-centered funding systems. The purpose of this pilot is to provide an LEA with the flexibility to combine State, local, and eligible federal funds that it will allocate to schools using a formula that provides additional funding for students from low-income families, English learners, and other disadvantaged students. In exchange for meeting the requirements of the pilot and using such a student-centered funding formula, the LEA receives freedom from many of the federal requirements for the funds included in the system (e.g., tracking time and attendance; creating schoolwide needs assessments and schoolwide plans for operating a schoolwide program under Title I, Part A; spending funds on particular allowable uses). The Department first accepted applications in March and will accept a second round of applications by July 15, 2018. Please note that the Department recently updated the application, which is available on our website. To support LEAs interested in applying this summer, the Department is hosting a series of two webinars, each of which will be repeated. (Click on the links below to register.)
· The first webinars focus on describing how student-centered funding systems function and how to complete the application. These will take place on Wednesday, May 30 from 2-3:30 pm and Thursday May, 31 from 12:30 – 2 pm ET.
· The second webinars will go into more detail about the requirements of the pilot, provide plenty of time for Q&A, and address lessons learned during the spring 2018 submission cycle. These will take place on Wednesday, June 20 from 2-3:30 pm and Thursday, June 21 from 12-1:30 pm ET.
The intended audience is LEA staff, though other interested parties are also welcome. To join a webinar, please click the link for the relevant session. The webinars will be recorded and the recordings as well as the slides will be posted with related resources at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/scfp/studentcentered.html. Please share this message as broadly as possible, especially to your LEA contacts.
An LEA applying by July 15, 2018, will be proposing a system that would be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year, which provides time for transition to implementing an approved plan. We’re eager to receive applications from interested LEAs who share our enthusiasm about the program, the flexibility it gives local leaders, and its potential impact on equity and transparency in resource allocation. If you have questions about the webinars or the application, please contactWeightedFundingPilot@ed.gov.
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