Monday, March 09, 2009

Title I threshold pushed up to 55%

I heard today at AS#1's BLT meeting that the threshold for Title 1 has change from 40% FRL to 55% FRL. Has anyone else heard this? Did it happen at the Federal, State, or District level? I'm not sure how many schools will be affected by this but we have lost over $47,000 as a result. The good news (I hope) is that the district will continue to pay for implementation of our restructuring plan that we are no longer required to have since NCLB sanctions no longer apply.

20 comments:

beansa said...

Oh, the irony...

emeraldkity said...

I heard today at AS#1's BLT meeting that the threshold for Title 1 has change from 40% FRL to 55% FRL. Has anyone else heard this?

what source were they quoting?
While Federal funds are targeted to high poverty districts first, I don't believe that states are clear just exactly when and where the money is going.

this is from the fed gov ed site.
ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/index.html

Title I is designed to support State and local school reform efforts tied to challenging State academic standards in order to reinforce and amplify efforts to improve teaching and learning for students farthest from meeting State standards.
Individual public schools with poverty rates above 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other Federal, State, and local funds, to operate a "schoolwide program" to upgrade the instructional program for the whole school.
Schools with poverty rates below 40 percent, or those choosing not to operate a schoolwide program, offer a "targeted assistance program" in which the school identifies students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's challenging performance standards, then designs, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must be based on effective means of improving student achievement and include strategies to support parental involvement.

Sahila said...

Ruth Medsger (Sp?) confirmed to me at the last Board meeting that AS#1 was losing its title one funding because the threshold had risen...

I had heard about the threshold change from our principal at our BLT meeting two days prior and I had confirmed with him that day the extent of the funding we would be losing. I had asked the Board/District how we as a school were supposed to keep doing what we are doing with our kids with a $40K+ hole in our budget... Ruth blamed "the feds" - her words...

emeraldkity said...

I see that the threshold for high schools in Portland is 75%, but for K-8 schools the guidelines are still 40%.
That seems to me that the threshold is being applied unevenly. ( but then I didn't even realize that high schools were eligible)

Perhaps Ms Medsker should read some articles to update her information before the district once again "misreads" federal guidelines.


She could go to recovery.gov and look around, it is fairly easy to find the info herself, rather than rely on hearsay ( or on assuming district administration got something right)

I believe for school wide programs the formula is different than for targeted programs.
But for the main Title 1 funding, the threshold appears to be 40%

old salt said...

The Title I funds & LAP funds will be distributed differently next year. Principals should have the following information regarding district changes to Title I & LAP for next year's budget.

Title I
Federal regulations around No Child Left Behind require that buildings in step 2 and
above of school improvement offer supplemental service to eligible students. This service
is in the form of tutoring by state approved outside agencies. Two years ago the total cost
for this was approximately $175,000. For the current year, due to more buildings being
eligible and increased marketing to parents by the service agencies, contracts totaling
$1,200,000 were let. For the coming year, it is projected that $2.1M of our total allocation
will go to supplemental service. These are mandatory expenses that the district has no
option in budgeting.
By budgeting the $2.1M and holding schools constant, the Title I budget was
approximately $1.4M in the red. Reductions in central offices have yielded
approximately $500k towards this shortfall. To address the remaining deficit, the
allocation formula for Title I funds to buildings has been modified. For next year, only
buildings that are 55% or greater eligible for FRL will receive Title I funding. In the past,
40% FRL was the cutoff for this funding. It is projected that this change will yield $922k
which will be programmed for supplemental service.


LAP
Currently LAP funds are distributed across all grades and to all schools regardless of FRL
percentage. By making the changes to Title I eligibility outlined above, those buildings
between 40% and 54.9% FRL are significantly impacted by loss of Title I funds. To
partially offset this, the LAP allocation process has been changed so that for next year,
buildings that receive Title I funds will no longer be eligible to receive LAP funding as
well. Buildings between 40% and 54.9% FRL will receive LAP funds at a significantly
enhance per pupil ratio than in the past. While this will not completely offset the loss of
Title I funds, it will help to mitigate the loss. The remaining LAP funds (approximately
$237k) not reallocated to buildings will be placed into an intervention reserve. These
funds will be distributed to buildings on a case by case basis to fund district prescribed
intervention strategies.

Megan Mc said...

Old Salt. Thanks for posting this. I have a question about the statement:

Reductions in central offices have yielded approximately $500k towards this shortfall. To address the remaining deficit, the allocation formula for Title I funds to buildings has been modified.

Are you saying that the district changed the threshold rather than make further reductions at the central office? If so, how do they justify closing schools to improve education for all but then take away a huge source of revenue for schools in need?

old salt said...

Megan,

I am not arguing that it was a good decision. Frankly, I do not know enough about it.

It seems that the district believes that they are mitigating the loss of Title I funds by increasing LAP funds. There is also the possibility of applying for some of the unallocated LAP funds.

I would have your BLT look your LAP funds to see if there is an increase & if you can use that address any of the programs you are currently using Tittle I funds for.

You can also try to get a waiver to cover staff losses due to the change. Your ed director may be able to help you.

Good Luck

emeraldkity said...

old salt - the Federal ed site doesn't use the term LAP- it also restates that if the %is at least 2%, then the district is eligible.

Perhaps either Washington state or the Seattle public district has reconfigured qualifiers- that is since the Federal ed gov site states pretty clearly that as long as there are 2% poor students- the school qualifies to receive aid.

Either way- direct links are appreciated.

JWING said...

I just spoke with OSPI and they haven't heard of any change to Title I.

http://www.k12.wa.us/TitleI/default.aspx

Sahila said...

Our principal told us (AS#1 BLT) that the district was in the red with the tutoring offer that had been put out ... it had budgeted $300K, but the cost came in at $1.5M... and so the District had raised the title one threshold to 55% FRL, up from 40%...

I asked Ruth about this cos I was mad that for AS#1 (I was only speaking for our school - dont have the knowledge and right to speak for others), the District was giving a little with one hand and taking a huge amount away ($47K) with another... and how did they expect us to grow and produce better academic results - restructuring/survival requirement - when they are blowing a bloody big hole in our budget, and we are not Olympic View's PTA raising $70K for a new playground...


That's when she told me that it wasnt a district decision but that 'the feds did it', which runs contrary to the words from our principal, which have been confirmed by Old Salt's contribution...

Gee I hate it when people lie and try to spin it to avoid responsibility...

North-end Mom said...

Old Salt,
What is the source of the information you posted?

Thank you!

cas said...

Our k-5 budget is decided by the BLT. Yet parents are not allowed in BLT meetings and no parent reps are on the BLT.
Please tell me (k-5) how your BLT works? How do they communicate with parents? Do they include you in the budget? Are parents on the BLT?

beansa said...

If we no longer get Title I funding, then are we released from the NCLB sanctions?

old salt said...

It came from a BLT member & was part of their district budgeting information.

Megan Mc said...

Beansa, my understanding is that the district is still on the hook to support AS#1's academic improvement and they plan on holding us accountable to their own performance measures that will be released soon.

If our FRL percentage does reach the 55% (not hard to do in this economy), then we will go right back to our previous NCLB status and have to continue with the restructuring plan.

The bummer is that we loose control over how the money is spent since the district will be doling out services and not adding it to our budget so we can spend it as we see fit.

emeraldkity said...

When I was @ Summit- we had a parent group-a BLT & a budget commitee. A few BLT members who could give time were on the budget committee ( Inc parents)- they had voting priviledges. ( I think- it's been a long time)

Also on the committee were heads of depts- and a few other hardy souls who were employed in the school. I was on the commitee, but as advisory, not voting.

I often attended BLT meetings, students could as well and were encouraged to do so.

seattle parent said...

to cas-
Each school in Seattle is supposed to have a BLT, and parent representatives are supposed to be members. This is actually written into the teacher's contract. If you go to the SPS website and search BLT, the BLT manual comes up. Here is it in a nutshell:

Definition of the Building Leadership Team
WHAT IS THE BUILDING LEADERSHIP TEAM?
The Building Leadership Team’s primary role is to:
1. Lead the school’s effort to achieve the goals in the Transformation Plan
2. Make decisions about the professional development needed to support the instructional program necessary to successfully implement the plan.
3. Make budget decisions related to the plan
WHO IS ON THE BLT?
A BLT consists of:
• The principal
• A minimum of five SEA members
• Other members of the school community
Schools should be sure to include representation from parents, students, classified staff, bilingual, special education and specialists on the team as well. Many schools include their instructional services school coach. This person can provide planning support and meeting facilitation. The goal is to create a team that reflects the diversity of the larger school community and to give a voice to every aspect of that community.

Josh Hayes said...

Cas,

Seattle parent has it exactly right: if "parents are not allowed" in BLT meetings at your school, you are being flim-flammed. Whoever is responsible for that policy is in direct violation of the SEA union contract, and you should contact the union to apprise them of this situation. They have investigators on staff who can apply friendly pressure to bring people into compliance with signed contracts.

Probably what this means is that your principal doesn't want parent input, but I can't speak to your particular situation. Principals are trained to expect a great deal of autonomy in the decisions which are, on paper, BLT decisions. They dislike having to even pretend to allow input from lay folk. This is something we've worked hard to prevent at our school, and I think that you, armed with the actual BLT documentation, can insist that your school's administration provide a voice for families at the school. Good luck!

Keepin'On said...

To CAS:

If your school is Whittier, you are incorrect in your information about the budget. The school budget committee has parent members and always has, and your advisory committee to the BLT, which also oversees the school budget, also has parent members.

So you may not have parent reps on yur BLT (Which needs to change!), but you do have parent reps on your budget comittees and always have.

Just wanted to set the record straight. On the budget side of things.

beansa said...

Yet another case of public money getting funneled out to private agencies - this time the "supplemental service providers" aka the tutoring services offered to kids under NCLB.

Some of these "tutoring agencies" are scam outfits and there's little oversight. They charge a hefty fee and many of the classes are scripted group tutoring done with worksheets. One company in GA was bribing students to forge their parents names on undone assignments. Others are out of compliance with background checks. Still more overbill or double bill the districts they work for. Some cheat the tutors they employ - charging the district $50 - 70$ an hour for tutoring, and then paying the contracted tutors $15-$18/hr.

And are we getting our money's worth out of this tutoring? Has anyone researched the effectiveness of said tutoring services? Are the tutors trained and experienced educators? I've read that only a few states have done any research about the effects of the SES tutoring program and the results were mixed. And 2.9 billion was spent nationwide in 2005 for this program. Where's the accountability?

http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/whatsnu_tutoring-nclb.html

http://harpers.org/archive/2008/09/0082166.

http://www.susanohanian.org/show_nclb_outrages.html?id=2555

http://transformeducation.blogspot.com/2006/05/more-evidence-of-tutoring-fraud.html