COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
June 1, 2012
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) invited states to apply for flexibility from certain requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Virginia’s ESEA flexibility application was submitted to USED for review following Board of Education approval of the application on February 23, 2012 and amendments on May 24, 2012. The application, submitted on behalf of all school divisions, is currently under review by USED.
Provisions of the ESEA flexibility will impact the implementation of certain aspects of ESEA programming and, depending on the program area, may affect the manner in which divisions choose to use program funds. Following USED approval of Virginia’s ESEA flexibility application, the ESEA funding applications will be modified to reflect provisions of ESEA flexibility. Due to the delay in releasing modified ESEA funding applications, the state is asking school divisions to submit an Intent-to-Apply form. Directions are provided below.
Procedure to Award ESEA Funds to School Divisions
Divisions accepting ESEA funds for the 2012-2013 school year must complete the attached Intent-to-Apply form and return it by Monday, June 25, 2012, by e-mail to Title1Intent@doe.virginia.gov or by fax to (804) 371-7347.
The Intent-to-Apply form will allow divisions to obligate ESEA funds as of Monday, July 2, 2012, for the programs listed below. The complete 2012-2013 funding application, with modifications reflecting ESEA flexibility provisions, will be made available in the summer via a Superintendent’s Memo and will be due in fall of 2012.
Impact of ESEA Flexibility on Use of Funds
Please be advised that the objectives for each program area will be affected by revisions to the ESEA annual measurable objective (AMO) targets. Below is general information about categories of waivers requested as part of Virginia’s ESEA flexibility application that may affect the manner in which divisions choose to use program funds. For complete information about the available waivers under ESEA flexibility, see Attachment B. Following approval of the state’s application, the Office of Program Administration and Accountability will provide technical assistance and detailed guidance on program-specific requirements and appropriate uses of ESEA funds under the provisions of the flexibility agreement via webinar, the Coordinators’ Academy, e-mail, and other forms of communication.
Title I, Part A
Under ESEA flexibility, divisions with Title I schools in improvement are not required to offer supplemental educational services (SES) or public school choice. However, divisions with Title I schools designated as priority or focus schools will be required to offer a range of services to assist in the implementation of turnaround principles (priority schools) or improvement strategies (focus schools). Divisions with schools identified as priority or focus schools may reserve an appropriate portion of their Title I, Part A, allocation, not to exceed 20 percent, to implement improvement strategies. Also, divisions may identify a Title I school with a poverty percentage below 40 percent to operate a schoolwide program.
Title II, Part A
Under ESEA flexibility, improvement plan requirements under Section 2141 of the law are waived. These requirements include the necessity to outline specific strategies if a division misses the 100 percent highly qualified teacher (HQT) goal for two consecutive years or to create improvement plans/funding agreements if a division misses the 100 percent HQT goal and division adequate yearly progress (AYP) for three consecutive years. The waiver allows the state and its divisions to focus on developing and implementing more meaningful evaluation and support systems.
Title VI, Part B
Under ESEA flexibility, the requirements related to limited use of funds under the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) and Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) programs for divisions receiving such funds and failing to meet adequate yearly progress for three years is waived.
If you have questions or need additional information about the Intent-to-Apply form, please contact Marsha Granderson, grants and reports manager, at Title1Intent@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 786-1993. If you have questions related to provisions of ESEA flexibility, please contact Veronica Tate, director, Office of Program Administration and Accountability, at Veronica.Tate@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2870.