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Schoolwide Programs

 

 School districts and charter schools that receive Title I, Part A funds have the flexibility to administer their campus programs in different ways. In order to meet the educational needs of their students, they can choose to implement either a targeted assistance program or a schoolwide program. The Title I, Part A schoolwide program model allows your campus to use its funds to improve its entire educational program to improve the academic performance of all of its students, particularly the lowest-achieving students.

While your campus must still comply with applicable federal fiscal and programmatic guidelines, and maintain accountability in using federal funds, the schoolwide program model can give your campus great flexibility in terms of several statutory and regulatory requirements. This flexibility allows your campus to serve all of its students instead of only providing separate services to specific target populations.

TEA would like to help you take advantage of the flexibility offered by federal law. This page is designed to provide you with the information you need to implement a schoolwide program on your campus, and answer any questions you may have about accounting requirements and other details. TEA is committed to helping you by focusing on the following principles:

  •  Allowing more discretion at the local level.
  •  Providing clear guidance with examples and models.
  •  Removing barriers that are unnecessary and burdensome.
  •  Improving performance and program outcomes.
  •  Ensuring that grant funds are spent in accordance with program statute and regulations.
  •  Strengthening accountability for federal dollars; minimizing waste, fraud, and abuse; and providing more transparency.

Consolidation of Funds

Campuses that choose to adopt a schoolwide program model can consolidate their Title I, Part A grant funds, or their Title I, Part A funds and other funds, into a single budget “pool.” Funds in the pool belong to the schoolwide program budget instead of many individual budgets, and the campus can use the pool to pay for any activity that improves its entire educational program. This consolidation eases the usual requirement to account for funds from each specific federal program separately.

To be eligible for consolidation, federal funds must come from programs administered by the US Department of Education and must be used to carry out activities in a public elementary or secondary school. Your campus can consolidate most federal formula funds, including funds from the following programs:

  • Title III, Part A—English Language Acquisition
  • Title I, Part C—Migrant Education Program
  • Perkins Career and Technical Education
  • Title II, Part A—Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers and Principals

Please note that the Head Start and National School Lunch programs are not administered by the US Department of Education so their funds cannot be consolidated in a schoolwide program.

Many competitive grant programs (discretionary funds) are also eligible for consolidation, including the 21st Century Learning Centers program. 

If your campus consolidates federal formula funds, you are required to address the intents and purposes of the consolidated federal programs and the needs of the intended beneficiaries of the consolidated programs. You do not need to meet most of the individual statutory and regulatory requirements of each federal program. 

If your campus consolidates federal discretionary funds, the requirements are slightly more stringent. Instead of simply addressing the intents and purposes of the federal discretionary program, you must also carry out all of the activities described in the application for each consolidated federal discretionary program. 

Consolidating funds into a single budget "pool" does not mean that your campus puts all of its funds into one account with its own accounting code. Instead, the pool concept means that you can use the consolidated funds for one purpose, which is to operate the schoolwide program.

Your campus does not need to maintain separate records for each program, but it does need to maintain some documentation. In each grant year, you must be able to show TEA monitors or your own independent auditor the amount of funds you put into the pool from each federal program and state and local source of funds. To satisfy cash management, availability of funds, and federal reporting requirements, you must also be able to show that funds awarded by a particular program were actually expended. One of the ways you can do this is by allocating the federal funds to the schoolwide pool in proportion to the funds awarded to your campus.

Additional Guidance from TEA

Other TEA web pages are available that focus on specific issues. TEA provides more detailed guidance about the schoolwide program model, specific options for consolidating funds, how to maintain adequate documentation, and other requirements, such as supplement not supplant.

Basic Decisions for Local Educational Agencies

Title I, Part A–eligible local educational agencies (school districts and charter schools) must make basic decisions about how to use Title I, Part A funds to meet their campus and program goals. These decisions ultimately determine if your campus can and should operate a schoolwide program. The following sections describe all of the decisions that local educational agencies (LEAs) need to make.

Eligibility

LEAs must determine which of their campuses are eligible to operate schoolwide programs. In order to be eligible, a campus must be eligible to receive Title I, Part A funds in general, and must also meet the following criteria:

  • 40 percent or more of its students are from low-income families

However, LEAs with ineligible campuses can pursue several exceptions to the 40 percent poverty threshold.

  1. Waivers. The US Department of Education has given several states, including Texas, the authority to waive many requirements under ESEA. LEAs can apply to TEA for an Ed-Flex waiver to waive the poverty threshold for campuses that would like to operate schoolwide programs. They do this through Schedule WV4004 of the NCLB Consolidated Application. Please note, however, that a campus must be eligible for Title I funds, and must spend at least a year working with an outside technical assistance provider to plan the schoolwide program before the LEA can apply for a TEA Ed-Flex waiver. Secretarial waivers, which are requested from the Secretary of Education, are also available to LEAs with individual campuses that would like to operate schoolwide programs but do not meet the 40 percent poverty threshold.
  2. School Improvement Grants (SIG). If LEAs receive SIG funds, all of its Tier I and Tier II schools must operate schoolwide programs in order to use the SIG funds. If any of these campuses do not meet the poverty threshold, the US Department of Education encourages the LEA to apply for an Ed-Flex or secretarial waiver.
  3. ESEA Flexibility. Texas participates in the federal government’s ESEA Flexibility initiative, which allows TEA to designate certain campuses as “priority schools” or “focus schools.” A campus with this designation may operate a schoolwide program as long as the campus’s LEA is implementing the appropriate interventions under the initiative.
  4. Duration of eligibility. Once a campus meets the 40 percent poverty threshold, it does not lose its eligibility for operating a schoolwide program if its poverty level drops below 40 percent. The eligibility remains in place as long as the campus remains eligible for Title I, Part A funds in general.

Schoolwide Programs vs. Targeted Assistance Programs

Once the LEA determines which campuses are eligible, it must then decide which campuses actually should operate a schoolwide program. The LEA can choose that campuses use Title I, Part A funds in one of two ways:

  1. A targeted assistance program, in which funds may be used only for supplementary educational services for children identified as being most at risk of not meeting state standards.
  2. A schoolwide program, in which funds may be used to upgrade the entire educational program in the campus to improve the academic performance of all students.

Each LEA must work with the individual campuses to decide which option is best. The basic difference between the two options is that targeted assistance programs only provide educational services to eligible students identified as most in need, while schoolwide programs allow campuses with high concentrations of students from low-income families to redesign their entire educational programs to serve all students. More information about targeted assistance programs is available online.

Consolidation of Funds

Once the LEA knows which campuses will operate schoolwide programs, it must work with the campus to determine how the campus should take advantage of the opportunity to consolidate funds. There are three possible consolidation options:

  1. Full consolidation. This option involves pooling some or all of the campus’s federal funds with state and local funds, and provides the most flexibility in terms of operating programs.
  2.  Federal consolidation. This option involves pooling some or all of the campus’s federal funds, but does not involve state or local funds.
  3. Title I, Part A. This option does not pool any funds, but allows the campus to use its Title I, Part A allocation on a schoolwide basis.

TEA has created a detailed chart to help you decide which consolidation option would be best for your campus. The chart contains specific requirements under each option.

Accounting Systems

Each LEA is responsible for ensuring that campuses operating schoolwide programs have appropriate accounting systems in place. These accounting systems must be able to accommodate the flexibility of fund consolidation, yet also maintain accurate records regarding the percentages and amounts allocated from each program.

NCLB Consolidated Application

The next step for the LEA is to complete the NCLB Consolidated Application. The LEA should use the pulldown menu on Schedule SC5000—Title I, Part A Campus Selection to indicate which of its campuses will operate a schoolwide program, and also select how each campus will consolidate its funds.

Campus Requirements for Operating a Schoolwide Program

Campuses must complete several important requirements before they can operate a schoolwide program. These requirements are the key to improving the campus’s entire educational program.

Please note that these requirements are intended to be completed during a planning year before you begin to operate a schoolwide program. Follow the links to get more detailed information.

  •  Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment (CNA). This assessment should identify your campus’s specific academic needs so that you can address those needs in your schoolwide program. Your CNA should focus on information about all students in the campus, including economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, and migrant students. The assessment must be conducted annually so that you can adjust your programs as the needs of your campus change.
  • Submit a schoolwide campus improvement plan (CIP) to your LEA for review and approval. The plan is your blueprint for improving your instructional programs based upon the needs you have identified in the CNA, and must contain certain program components. The CIP also serves another important purpose. In the event that your campus is selected for fiscal monitoring, TEA monitors will review the CIP, or excerpts from the CIP, for the following:
    • A description of how your campus will use Title I, Part A funds and other resources to implement the CIP.
    • A list of the federal, state, and local programs that will be consolidated (if applicable), with the amount that each program will contribute to the schoolwide pool.
  • Develop an evaluation plan to assess your CIP on an annual basis. You must evaluate the strategies and activities in the CIP each year to determine if they are working and achieving the desired outcomes. You must also revise the CIP as necessary based on the results of the annual evaluation.

Continuation of Your Schoolwide Program

To continue to operate your schoolwide program from one year to the next, your campus must:

  • Follow the CIP.
  • Evaluate and update the CIP annually.
  • Refine the schoolwide program each year based on the results of the evaluation of student performance.

Additional Guidance from TEA

Additional guidance about Title I, Part A schoolwide programs is available at the following web pages:

Additional Guidance from USDE

This page summarizes the information and requirements given by the US Department of Education. The source documents are available at the links below:

Section 1114 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Designing Schoolwide Programs, Non-Regulatory Guidance, March 2006

Title I, Part A Fiscal Issues, Non-Regulatory Guidance, February, 2008

Federal Register, July 2, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 127)

Contact Information

Thomas Howe

Office for Grants and Federal Fiscal Compliance

thomas.howe@tea.state.tx.us

 

Page last modified on 7/25/2014 05:33:09 PM.