Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 is intended to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing the capacity of States, local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and local communities to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.
Program Requirements and Eligibility
Activities supported with Title IV, Part A funds must be planned through consultation with parents, teachers, principals, other school leaders, special service providers, students, community-based organizations, local government representatives, Indian tribes or tribal organizations that may be located in the region served by the LEA, and charter school teachers and principals; teachers, principals and other relevant stakeholders. The LEA must also engage in continued consultation with these stakeholders to improve supported activities. Descriptions of funded activities in the Consolidated Application must address program objectives and intended outcomes.
The amount of Title IV, Part A funds allocated to LEAs is calculated using the same formula that is used to calculate Title I, Part A. Title IV, Part A is also REAP-Flex eligible. REAP-Flex provides eligible LEAs with greater flexibility in using the formula grant funds they receive under certain State-administered federal programs. An LEA or consortium allocation must meet or exceed $10,000 in order to apply for a Title IV, Part A grant.
LEAs that receive a Title IV, Part A allocation must provide equitable services to children in eligible non-public schools and prioritize the distribution of Title IV, Part A funds to schools that:
- have the greatest needs (as determined by the LEA),
- have the highest percentages or numbers of low-income children,
- are identified for targeted or comprehensive support and improvement, OR
- are identified as a persistently dangerous public elementary or secondary school under section 8532 of the ESSA
In addition, LEAs whose allocation is $30,000 or more, must:
- Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment every three years to examine the needs for improvement of well-rounded educational opportunities, school conditions for student learning, and access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology;
- Use at least 20% of Title IV, Part A funds to support well-rounded educational opportunities;
- Use at least 20% of Title IV, Part A funds to support school conditions for student learning; and
- Use a portion of Title IV, Part A funds to support access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology;
LEAs whose allocation is less than $30,000, in addition to meeting the equitable service to non-public schools and prioritization requirement can use no less than 20% of the funds to support one or more of the activities under:
- Well-Rounded Educational Opportunities
- Activities to support Safe and Healthy Students
- Activities to support the Effective Use of Technology
Use of Funds
Grantees may not use more than two percent of annual allocations for administration of the Title IV, Part A grant. This includes both indirect and direct costs related to administration of the grant.
Use of Technology Special Rule
At least 85 percent of the educational technology funds must be used to support professional learning to enable the effective use of educational technology. LEAs or consortiums of LEAs may not spend more than 15 percent of funding in this section on devices, equipment, software applications, platforms, digital instructional resources and/or other one-time IT purchases.
Supplement, Not Supplant
Title IV, Part A funds must only be used to provide additional services, staff, programs, or materials that are not provided with State or local resources absent federal funds; federal funds cannot pay for resources that would otherwise be purchased with State and/or local funds. Supplement, Not Supplant Guidance.
LEAs have 27 months in which to request allocated Title IV, Part A funds beginning July 1 of the fiscal year for which the funds are allocated. For example, FY 16-17 funds begin the 27 month countdown on July 1, 2016. Once funds have expired, there is no recourse to recover the funds.
Activities to support well-rounded educational opportunities for students may include, but are not limited to:
- STEM programs
- Music and art programs
- Foreign language offerings
- The opportunity to earn credits from institutions of higher learning
- Reimbursing low-income students to cover the costs of accelerated learning examination fees
- Environmental education
- Programs and activities that promote volunteerism and community involvement
Activities to support safe and healthy students may include, but are not limited to:
- School-based mental health services
- Drug and violence prevention activities that are evidence-based
- Integrating health and safety practices into school or athletic programs
- Nutritional education and physical education activities
- Bullying and harassment prevention
- Activities that improve instructional practices for developing relationship-building skills
- Prevention of teen and dating violence, stalking, domestic abuse, and sexual violence and harassment
- Establishing or improving school dropout and reentry programs
- Training school personnel in effective practices related to the above
Activities to improve the use of educational technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students may include, but are not limited to:
- Building technological capacity and infrastructure
- Developing or using effective or innovative strategies for the delivery of specialized or rigorous academic courses through the use of technology
- Carrying out blended learning activities (must include ongoing professional development for teachers)
- Providing professional development on the use of technology to enable teachers to increase student achievement in STEM areas
- Providing students in rural, remote, and underserved areas with the resources to take advantage of high-quality digital learning experiences
- Providing educators, school leaders, and administrators with the professional learning tools, devices, content and resources to:
- Personalize learning
- Discover, adapt, and share relevant high-quality educational resources
- Use technology effectively in the classroom
- Implement and support school and districtwide approaches for using technology to inform instruction, support teacher collaboration, and personalize learning
Special Allocations Rule
CDE will make sub-grants to LEAs for Title IV, Part A in proportion to each LEA’s share of Tile I-A made in the prior fiscal year. If CDE does not have sufficient funds to sub-grant a minimum of $10,000 to each LEA, CDE will ratably reduce LEA allocations as required by section 4105(b) of the ESSA. CDE will adjust the methodology pending guidance from the USDE.
Ratable reduction involves reducing local allocations greater than $10,0000 in order to increase local allocations that would be less than $10,000 to meet the minimum allocation threshold. The Office of Grants Fiscal has published a document illustrating estimates of local allocations based on this information. This document is intended for informational purposes only. Please read the introductory text on this document carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: In the case of a consortium of LEAs, do the application assurances regarding use of funds in the three content areas apply to the consortium as a whole or to each member LEA?
A: The application assurances regarding use of funds apply to the consortium as a whole, i.e. each LEA in a consortium is not required to meet the expenditure requirements individually with respect to its allocation. Thus, a consortium may, for example, spend less than 20 percent of a single member LEA’s allocation of SSAE program funds for activities to support well-rounded educational opportunities in that LEA, provided the consortium spends at least 20 percent of its aggregate funds for those activities.
Q: Are BOCES considered consortia in the instance described above?
A: CDE has defined two general models of BOCES-member district agreements. The expenditure requirements would only apply to BOCES that are operating as both fiscal and programmatic agents, and not to those operating solely as a fiscal agent (pass-through).
Q: Are LEAs ever required to form a consortium using Title IV, Part A funds?
A: No. LEAs may pool funds at their own discretion but are never required to do so.
Q: Must an LEA whose allocation is $30,000 or more conduct a separate comprehensive needs assessment for Title IV, Part A purposes?
A: If the existing comprehensive needs assessment process, such as the Unified Improvement Plan, includes stakeholders and data elements relevant to the areas of allowable uses of Title IV, Part A funds, then it is sufficient to leverage this existing process to satisfy the Title IV, Part A program requirement. However, if existing needs assessment processes do not address the content areas included in Title IV, Part A, then a separate comprehensive needs assessment should be conducted to ensure relevant needs are identified for use of funds.
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