[cd] FW: School choice and supplemental services

Lacy, Laurie LLACY@usoe.k12.ut.us
Fri, 12 Jul 2002 15:21:11 -0600


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Hello out there, 
 I want to be a bit more clear than I was in the message I sent earlier.
The memo makes it clear that districts do not have to use local funds to
cover the cost of choice related transportation once the "amount equal to
15% of their Title 1 funds" is exhausted.  The memo does not excuse the
district from its responsibility to provide choice related transportation up
to the 15% of Title 1 amount for schools in program improvement.  Also,
please read the memo carefully for clarification on the percentage of funds
to be set-aside, and the possible combinations, for supplemental service and
transportation requirements.  

Laurie

>  -----Original Message-----
> From: 	Lacy, Laurie  
> Sent:	Thursday, July 11, 2002 6:02 PM
> To:	'cd@uen.org'
> Subject:	School choice and supplemental services
> 
>  <<NCLBSupServletter.htm>> 
> The attached letter from Secretary Rod Paige contains essential
> information regarding schools identified for program improvement.  Most
> importantly, the previous belief that a district is or will be responsible
> to cover the cost of school choice related transportation is undone.
> Additional valuable information regarding school choice and supplemental
> services is also covered.  Districts should read the information
> carefully. 
> 
> This letter is not formal regulation but should be treated as policy in
> the absence of final regulations being issued.  There is no reason to
> believe that guidance to be issued by the USDOE will contradict this
> letter.  
> 
> Best wishes,
> Laurie Lacy
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<BODY link=3D#336699 bgColor=3D#ffffff><FONT size=3D2><I>Key Policy =
Letters Signed by=20
the Education Secretary or Deputy Secretary</I></FONT>=20
<HR>

<CENTER>
<TABLE cellPadding=3D20 width=3D"95%" border=3D1>
  <TBODY>
  <TR>
    <TD>
      <TABLE width=3D"100%" border=3D0>
        <TBODY>
        <TR>
          <TD width=3D"25%"><IMG height=3D72 alt=3D""=20
            src=3D"NCLBSupServletter_files/edseal.jpg" width=3D72 =
border=3D0></TD>
          <TD vAlign=3Dtop align=3Dmiddle width=3D"55%"><FONT =
color=3D#336699=20
            size=3D2><STRONG>THE SECRETARY OF =
EDUCATION</STRONG><BR>WASHINGTON,=20
            D.C. 20202</FONT></TD>
          <TD width=3D"25%"><BR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
      <P align=3Dcenter>June 14, 2002</P>
      <P>Dear Colleague:</P>
      <P>As you know, on January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into =
law the=20
      <I>No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 </I>(NCLBA). I am excited =
about this=20
      landmark legislation, as I believe it provides a critical road =
map for=20
      bringing about real improvement in student achievement. </P>
      <P>The NCLBA will substantially affect the 2002-2003 school year, =
and=20
      given our short timeline for implementation, I wanted to provide =
you with=20
      preliminary guidance on public school choice, supplemental =
education=20
      services, and collective bargaining agreements--three key issues =
that will=20
      affect your planning processes for this fall. This guidance is =
not=20
      exhaustive and does not cover every possible nuance of the law. =
Rather, it=20
      is intended to give initial direction to you as you proceed this =
summer=20
      with implementing these programs for the start of the school =
year, with=20
      the understanding that additional guidance and/or draft =
regulations on=20
      these matters, as well as on other matters, will be provided in =
the near=20
      future. Once again, because the law requires implementation of =
these=20
      programs to begin this coming school year, I want to reiterate =
that your=20
      planning processes for this should be underway.</P>
      <P>The context for public school choice, supplemental education =
services,=20
      and collective bargaining agreements is the accountability =
provisions in=20
      the Title I program. Under the NCLBA, each state must establish a =

      definition of "adequate yearly progress" to use each year to =
determine the=20
      achievement of each school district and school. School districts =
must=20
      identify for improvement any Title I school that fails to meet =
the state's=20
      definition of adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years. =
Such=20
      schools, with technical assistance from their school districts, =
must=20
      develop and implement improvement plans incorporating various =
strategies=20
      to strengthen instruction in the core academic subjects in the =
school and=20
      addressing the specific issues that caused the school to fail. As =

      discussed below, these schools must also provide public school =
choice and=20
      supplemental education services. </P>
      <P align=3Dcenter><B>I. Public School Choice</B></P>
      <P><B>In General.</B> In the case of any Title I elementary or =
secondary=20
      school identified for school improvement, the school district is =
required=20
      to provide all students enrolled in the school with the option to =
transfer=20
      to another public school in the school district--which may =
include a=20
      public charter school--that has not been identified for =
improvement. This=20
      choice requirement applies unless state law specifically =
prohibits choice.=20
      </P>
      <P>I recognize that some states and school districts have already =
begun=20
      planning for choice for the 2002-2003 school year. Indeed, =
<I><B>the new=20
      choice requirements must be implemented beginning this =
fall</B></I>. As=20
      you continue your planning, I strongly encourage you to provide =
several=20
      choice options for parents. Parents should be provided a =
reasonable amount=20
      of time to consider their</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter><I><FONT color=3D#336699 size=3D1>Our mission =
is to ensure=20
      equal access to education and to promote educational excellence =
throughout=20
      the Nation.</FONT></I></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></CENTER>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<CENTER>
<TABLE cellPadding=3D20 width=3D"95%" border=3D1>
  <TBODY>
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    <TD vAlign=3Dtop>
      <P>Page 2</P>
      <P>options, be given concise but detailed information on the =
performance=20
      and overall quality of the receiving schools, and be provided an=20
      opportunity to visit potential schools of choice. </P>
      <P><B>Schools Identified for Improvement Prior to Enactment.</B> =
The NCLBA=20
      includes specific transition provisions governing schools that =
were=20
      identified for improvement under the prior law. With one =
exception stated=20
      under the law, choice must be provided at the beginning of the =
2002-2003=20
      school year to all students in schools that have been identified =
for=20
      improvement (based on adequate yearly progress under the =
pre-NCLBA) as of=20
      January 7, 2002. The exception is if a school that is in school=20
      improvement on January 7 makes its second year of adequate yearly =
progress=20
      based on its 2002 assessment results, the district is not =
required to=20
      provide choice to the students in that school. <I><B>School =
districts=20
      should begin planning now, if they have not begun already, to =
make choice=20
      available for students in any school that was in school =
improvement status=20
      as of January 7, 2002. </B></I></P>
      <P><B>Capacity.</B> A school district is obligated to provide =
choice to=20
      all eligible students, subject to health and safety code =
requirements=20
      (regarding facility capacity). Transferring students should be =
treated as=20
      students who have moved into the receiving school's attendance =
zone and=20
      allowed to enroll in class and other activities on the same basis =
as other=20
      children in the school. </P>
      <P><B>Priority for Low-Achieving Students in Low-Income =
Families.</B>=20
      Among students exercising choice, school districts must give =
priority to=20
      the lowest-achieving students from low-income families. In other =
words,=20
      these students have priority among school options offered under =
the NCLBA=20
      and priority for transportation if funds for transportation are =
inadequate=20
      for that purpose. However, it would be inappropriate to remove =
students=20
      already accepted at a school to make room for those students =
exercising=20
      choice. </P>
      <P><B>Magnet and Special Focus Schools.</B> School districts need =
not=20
      disregard entrance requirements based on academic or other skills =
for=20
      schools for the gifted and talented, math or science schools, or =
other=20
      similar schools. </P>
      <P><B>Transportation.</B> If a student exercises the option to =
transfer to=20
      another public school, the school district has certain =
obligations to=20
      provide or pay for with federal funds the student's =
transportation to the=20
      new school. The school district's obligation for choice-related=20
      transportation and supplemental education services is equal to 20 =
percent=20
      of its Title I, Part A allocation. Within the 20 percent, a =
district must=20
      spend: (1) an amount equal to 5 percent for choice-related =
transportation;=20
      (2) an amount equal to 5 percent for supplemental education =
services; and=20
      (3) an amount equal to 10 percent for transportation or =
supplemental=20
      education services, or both, as the district determines. This =
obligation=20
      may be satisfied through use of regular Title I, Part A funds, =
school=20
      improvement funds under Section 1003, or Title V, Part A funds.=20
      Additionally, school districts may use funds transferred to Title =
I from=20
      other federal education programs under Section 6123 to pay such =
costs.=20
      Programs eligible for such transfers include Title II, Part A =
Improving=20
      Teacher Quality State Grants; Title II, Part D Educational =
Technology=20
      State Grants; Title IV, Part A Safe and Drug-Free Schools and =
Communities=20
      State Grants; and Title V, Part A State Grants for Innovative =
Programs.=20
      Nothing in the NCLBA prohibits a district from spending more for=20
      transportation. Furthermore, a school district is not prohibited =
from=20
      spending state or local funds, if it wishes, to assist in paying =
for=20
      transportation.</P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></CENTER>
<P> </P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<CENTER>
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      <P>Page 3</P>
      <P>The school district's obligation to provide transportation for =
the=20
      student ends at the end of the school year if the school from =
which the=20
      student transferred is no longer identified by the school =
district for=20
      school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. </P>
      <P><B>Desegregation.</B> A school district that is subject to a=20
      desegregation plan--whether voluntary, court ordered, or under an =

      agreement with a federal or state administrative agency--is not =
exempt=20
      from the public school choice requirements. In determining how to =
provide=20
      students with the option to transfer to another school, the =
school=20
      district may take into account the requirements of the =
desegregation plan.=20
      If a desegregation plan forbids the school district from offering =
any=20
      transfer option, the school district should secure appropriate =
changes to=20
      the plan to permit compliance with the public school choice =
requirements.=20
      </P>
      <P><B>Cooperative Agreements with Other School Districts.</B> =
There may be=20
      very limited circumstances under which public school choice may =
not be=20
      possible, particularly in some sparsely populated areas. For =
example,=20
      school districts with only one school at a particular grade =
level, or=20
      districts in which all schools at a grade level are identified =
for=20
      improvement, will not be able to offer choice. In such cases, =
districts=20
      are encouraged to establish cooperative agreements with other =
nearby=20
      school districts to permit transfers. Furthermore, in the very =
limited=20
      circumstances where choice is not possible and in accordance with =
the=20
      spirit of the NCLBA, I strongly encourage school districts to =
consider=20
      offering supplemental education services or other choices in =
curriculum or=20
      instruction such as distance learning. </P>
      <P align=3Dcenter><B>II. Supplemental Education Services</B></P>
      <P><B>In General.</B> In the case of a Title I school in the =
second year=20
      of school improvement, the school district is required to arrange =
for the=20
      provision of supplemental education services for eligible =
students=20
      enrolled in the school. The provider of the services must have a=20
      demonstrated record of effectiveness and be selected by parents =
from a=20
      list of providers approved by the state. These supplemental =
services must=20
      be provided beginning in the 2002-2003 school year. Supplemental =
education=20
      services are extra academic assistance for low-income students =
who are=20
      attending Title I schools that have failed to make adequate =
yearly=20
      progress for three or more years. The purpose of these services =
is to=20
      ensure that these students increase their academic achievement,=20
      particularly in reading, language arts, and mathematics. These =
academic=20
      services may include assistance such as tutoring, remediation, =
and=20
      academic intervention. Instruction must take place outside the =
regular=20
      school day, such as before or after school, on weekends, or =
during the=20
      summer. Supplemental education services must be of high quality, =
research=20
      based, and specifically designed to increase student academic =
achievement.=20
      Once again, I want to reiterate that the law requires that these=20
      opportunities be afforded to children beginning this fall.</P>
      <P><B>Schools Identified for Improvement Prior to Enactment.</B> =
Title I=20
      schools that have been identified for school improvement for two =
or more=20
      consecutive years as of January 7, 2002,<I><B> must</B></I> begin =
offering=20
      supplemental education services at the beginning of the 2002-2003 =
school=20
      year. As noted above, however, if a school in improvement on =
January 7=20
      makes its second year of adequate yearly progress based on its =
2002=20
      assessment results, the district is not required to provide =
supplemental=20
      education services to eligible students in that=20
school.</P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<CENTER>
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    <TD vAlign=3Dtop>
      <P>Page 4</P>
      <P><B>Parents.</B> Parents choose the supplemental education =
services=20
      provider for their children from among the providers approved by =
the state=20
      for their school district. In general, the school district must =
work to=20
      ensure parents have good, easy-to-understand information about=20
      supplemental education services. School districts must provide =
parents=20
      with information on the availability of supplemental education =
services,=20
      the identity of approved service providers, and, at a minimum, a =
brief=20
      description of the services, qualifications, and demonstrated=20
      effectiveness of each provider. School districts may provide =
additional=20
      information, as appropriate. Such communications with parents =
must occur=20
      at least annually and must be in an understandable and uniform =
format. To=20
      the extent possible, communications must also be in a language =
parents can=20
      understand. </P>
      <P>At the state level, parents should be consulted to promote=20
      participation by a greater variety of providers and to develop =
criteria=20
      for identifying high-quality providers. States, however, are =
ultimately=20
      responsible for identifying eligible providers from among which =
parents=20
      may choose. </P>
      <P>At the provider level, parents, the school district, and the =
provider=20
      chosen by the parents must develop and identify specific academic =

      achievement goals for the student, measures of student progress, =
and a=20
      timetable for improving achievement. </P>
      <P><B>Eligible Children.</B> Eligible children are those children =
from=20
      low-income families attending Title I schools that have failed to =
make=20
      adequate yearly progress for three consecutive years or more, as =
described=20
      above. In circumstances where more students request services than =
the=20
      school district can fund, the school district must place a =
priority on=20
      serving those low-income students who are the lowest achieving. =
</P>
      <P><B>Per-Pupil Spending Limit.</B> School districts are limited =
in how=20
      much they can spend to provide services for each child. The limit =
is what=20
      they receive in Title I funding per low-income child or the cost =
of the=20
      services themselves. Specifically, school districts must provide =
funding=20
      for supplemental education services for each participating child =
in an=20
      amount which is the lesser of the following: (1) the school =
district's=20
      Title I, Part A allocation, as determined by the state education =
agency,=20
      divided by the number of children from families below the poverty =
line=20
      (based on Census poverty data, not federal school lunch data) in =
the=20
      school district; or (2) the actual costs of the supplemental =
education=20
      services received by each child. </P>
      <P><B>Identification by States of Supplemental Education Service=20
      Providers. </B>State education agencies must develop and apply =
objective=20
      criteria for identifying supplemental education service =
providers. The=20
      state education agency must also consult with parents, teachers, =
school=20
      districts, and interested members of the public to identify a =
wide array=20
      of supplemental education service providers so that parents can =
have a=20
      wide variety of choices. The state education agency must update =
this=20
      state-level list of approved providers on at least an annual =
basis and=20
      must provide a list for school districts of those providers =
available in=20
      their geographic locations. </P>
      <P>Criteria developed by the state education agency for =
identification of=20
      providers must include: (1) a demonstrated record of =
effectiveness in=20
      improving student academic achievement; (2) documentation that =
the=20
      instructional strategies used by the provider are high quality, =
based upon=20
      research, and designed to increase student academic achievement; =
(3)=20
      evidence that</P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
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      <P>Page 5</P>
      <P>services are consistent with the instructional program of the =
school=20
      district and with state academic content standards; and (4) =
evidence that=20
      the provider is financially sound. </P>
      <P>With respect to the first criterion, each state education =
agency is=20
      responsible for defining what would be acceptable evidence of=20
      effectiveness. Acceptable evidence may include significant =
improvement in=20
      student academic achievement, successful use of instructional =
practices=20
      based on sound research or of documented success by other =
providers,=20
      successful and sustained remediation of reading or math =
difficulties, or=20
      use of a program that others have successfully used to improve =
student=20
      academic achievement. </P>
      <P>State education agencies may not require supplemental =
education service=20
      providers to hire only certified teachers in order to be eligible =

      providers. </P>
      <P>Providers shall not be disqualified on the grounds that their=20
      documentation of instructional strategies does not include =
"scientifically=20
      based research" (as such term is defined in the=20
      NCLBA).<BR><BR><B>Supplemental Education Service Providers.</B> A =
school=20
      entity (public or private), an institution of higher education =
(public or=20
      private), or a nonprofit or for-profit organization can all be =
considered=20
      for inclusion on the state-approved list of supplemental =
education service=20
      providers. Faith-based organizations can also be considered for =
inclusion=20
      as state-approved providers. The state must apply all criteria=20
      consistently when selecting approved providers. </P>
      <P><B>Distance-Learning Technology.</B> Providers that utilize=20
      distance-learning technology do not have to meet different =
criteria; they=20
      are eligible if they meet the criteria established by the state =
education=20
      agency for all providers. The law states that providers must be =
within the=20
      school district or the providers' services must be reasonably =
available in=20
      neighboring education agencies. The provider of distance-learning =

      supplemental education services does not have to be located in =
the school=20
      district to meet this requirement; only the services need to be =
available.=20
      We would encourage the use of distance learning in rural areas =
and other=20
      areas where parents have a limited number of providers available =
in their=20
      district.</P>
      <P><B>Charter Schools.</B> If a charter school, as a part of a =
school=20
      district, receives Title I, Part A funds and meets the =
eligibility=20
      criterion of being identified as a school that fails to make =
adequate=20
      yearly progress for three or more years, the school district must =
offer=20
      supplemental education services, and the school district is =
responsible=20
      for funding such services, just as for the other public schools =
in the=20
      school district.</P>
      <P>If the charter school is itself considered a school district =
under=20
      state law and receives Title I, Part A funds, it is responsible =
for=20
      ensuring that eligible students receive supplemental education =
services=20
      from approved providers and must fund such services.</P>
      <P><B>Transportation.</B> School districts may, at their =
discretion, use=20
      funds reserved for supplemental education services to transport =
students=20
      to and from approved providers.</P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<CENTER></CENTER></CENTER></CENTER></CENTER>
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      <P>Page 6</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter><B>III. Collective Bargaining =
Agreements</B></P>
      <P>The Department has received many inquiries regarding the =
impact of the=20
      new law on existing collective bargaining unit agreements. The =
NCLBA=20
      provides that nothing in Section 1116 (academic assessment and =
local=20
      education agency and school improvement) shall be construed to =
alter or=20
      otherwise affect the rights, remedies, and procedures afforded =
school and=20
      school district employees under federal, state, or local laws or =
under the=20
      terms of collective bargaining agreements, memoranda of =
understanding, or=20
      other agreements between such employees and their employers. =
Section 1116=20
      does not operate to invalidate employee protections that exist =
under=20
      current law and collective bargaining and similar labor =
agreements.=20
      However, it does not exempt state education agencies, local =
education=20
      agencies, and schools from compliance with Title I based on =
prospective=20
      collective bargaining or similar agreements or changes in state =
or local=20
      law. State and local education authorities, as well as state =
legislatures=20
      and local governing boards, need to ensure that changes in state =
and local=20
      laws are consistent with Title I requirements and that any =
changes to=20
      collective bargaining agreements or new agreements are also =
consistent=20
      with Title I. </P>
      <P>With respect to the selection of supplemental education =
service=20
      providers, there is no requirement in the NCLBA that parents give =

      preference to parties to the collective bargaining agreements. As =
you=20
      know, parents select the supplemental service provider, and =
parents are=20
      not parties to collective bargaining agreements.</P>
      <P>Thank you again for your kind attention to these matters. =
Please let me=20
      reiterate that this letter is intended to provide preliminary =
guidance on=20
      public school choice, supplemental education services, and =
collective=20
      bargaining agreements. The Department will provide additional =
guidance=20
      and/or draft regulations on these matters, as well as other =
matters, in=20
      the near future. Please do not delay the planning process. I am =
hopeful=20
      that the new statute, together with this initial guidance, will =
enable you=20
      to promptly move ahead in preparation for the 2002-2003 school=20
      year.<BR></P>
      <P align=3Dcenter>Sincerely,</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter>/s/</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter>Rod Paige</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter>&nbsp;</P>
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      <P align=3Dcenter>&nbsp;</P>
      <P align=3Dcenter>&nbsp;</P>
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