Consolidating Funds: Creating Possibilities for Innovation, Flexibility and Improvement
The sky is the limit for imagining the possibilities Consolidation of Funds has to offer. With this ESEA encouraged approach, multiple funding sources are leveraged efficiently to support innovation and flexibility with a focus on continuous improvement and raising student achievement. In Georgia, a pilot that began in 2016 with four LEAs has expanded to 49 LEAs and 435 schools choosing to consolidate federal, state, and local funds. Georgia’s state leaders share an overview of Consolidation of Funds, the logistics of implementation, and success stories from Title I schools across the state to illustrate why Consolidation of Funds is not only worth exploring but worth embracing.
Brittan Ayers was the Federal Programs Director and Secondary Curriculum Director for the Madison County School District and Federal Programs Coordinator for Foothills Education State Charter until she retired in 2021. Both Madison and Foothills were two of the original LEAs in Georgia to consolidate federal, state and local funds. Brittan now serves as a Title I Education Program Specialist for the Georgia Department of Education. Having first-hand experience with Title I schoolwide schools consolidating federal, state, and local funds as a district leader, she is a promoter and supporter of this flexibility option and works directly with district leaders across the state.
Dr. Sunita Holloway, was formerly a Federal Programs Director for the Pickens County School District, who moved Title I schoolwide schools from traditional programming to consolidating federal, state, and local funds and was excited about the flexibility consolidation offered her schools. Since 2021, Sunita has been serving as a state-level Title I Education Program Specialist, promoting and supporting districts with consolidating schools. As a promoter of this flexibility option, she enjoys working with district leaders as a “thinking partner” to support the work they do as they strive to meet the needs of their students, teachers, parents, and leaders.
Kelli Kendrick was the Chief Academic Officer for Calhoun City Schools until she retired in 2021. Calhoun City Schools was one of the original LEAs in Georgia to consolidate federal, state and local funds. Kelli now serves as a Program Specialist for the Georgia Department of Education working with the Consolidation of Funds Initiative. As a member of the Consolidation of Funds team, Kelli is involved in recruiting, onboarding, and supporting school districts across Georgia.
Shaun Owen became the Deputy Superintendent of Federal Programs on March 1st, 2020. Prior to becoming Deputy Superintendent, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Consolidated Federal Initiatives and State Ombudsman at the Georgia Department of Education. She led the Consolidation of Funds Initiative, which grew from 4 LEAS to over 30 LEAs, and gained national recognition culminating in a presentation with the U.S. Dept. of Education at the National ESEA Conference. Shaun created the Collaborative of State Ombudsmen, a national collaborative of Ombudsmen across the U.S., in the Spring of 2017, which gained national recognition resulting in presentations at the Office of Nonpublic Education. Shaun has worked at the GaDOE since 2008 where she led several statewide initiatives including the Governor’s Directive for Resource Development and previously was a decorated classroom teacher and business owner. She served as the president of the National Council of State Social Studies Specialists when she was over Social Studies for the state of Georgia. Shaun earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. Shaun’s passion is improving education for all students.