Office of Accountability

Memo to the Field from Ira Schwartz, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Accountability

55 Hanson Place, Room 400
Brooklyn, New York  11217


District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public Schools
Charter Schools Administrators
Title I Coordinators


Ira Schwartz


September 19, 2012


Title I, Part A - School Improvement Grant Waiver Under Section 1003(g)

Section 1003(g) of Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 provides Federal funding through State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with identified lowest-achieving schools that have the greatest need for the funds and demonstrate the strongest commitment to use the funds to raise significantly the achievement of their students.  The NYSED has applied for these funds on behalf of the LEAs of New York State.

In order to give SEAs and eligible LEAs additional flexibility to use 1003(g) funds, the United States Department of Education (USED) is providing states the opportunity to file a waiver pertaining to the period of availability of school improvement funds.

The NYSED believes that securing this waiver will enable maximum use of these funds, increase the quality of instruction for students, and improve the academic achievement of students in Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III schools. Additionally, the waiver will enable targeted LEAs sufficient time to review and select one of the prescribed intervention models that are specifically designed to raise substantially the achievement of students in the State’s Tier I and Tier II schools.    Pursuant to New York’s ESEA waiver, beginning with the 2012-13 school year, a Tier I school is a Title I Priority or Focus school that is identified by the SEA as “persistently lowest-achieving.”  A Tier II school is a secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I, Part A funds and is identified by the SEA as “persistently lowest-achieving.” A Tier III school is a Title I Priority or Focus school that is not a Tier I school.

The NYSED plan is to submit to the USED a blanket waiver request on behalf of all eligible New York State LEAs. The available waiver is as follows:

  • Waive section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. § 1225(b)) to extend the period of availability of 2010-2011 school improvement funds for the SEA and all of its LEAs to September 30, 2014.

In order to be eligible for this waiver, New York State is required to assure USED that:

  • Any LEA that chooses to implement the waiver will comply with section II.A.8 of the final requirements pertaining to the LEA’s responsibility to establish annual goals for student achievement on the State’s assessments in both reading/language arts and mathematics and measure progress on the leading indicators as defined in the grant.
  • An LEA will be permitted to implement the waiver only if the LEA receives a School Improvement Grant and requests to implement the waiver in its application.  As such, the LEA may only implement the waiver in Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III schools, as applicable, included in its application.
  • If the State is granted the waiver, it will submit to the U.S. Department of Education a report that sets forth the name and NCES District Identification Number for each LEA implementing a waiver.

As required by Section 9401 of the ESEA, the purpose of this memo is to provide all eligible and targeted LEAs with notice of and opportunity to comment on the proposed waiver to be requested. Comments may be submitted via email, fax, or mail (postmarked) no later than Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Email submissions should be addressed to the following email: SIGWAIVER@MAIL.NYSED.GOV.  All other submissions, as well as any questions, should be addressed to the attention of:
Roberto Reyes, State Director
Title I School and Community Services
Room 365 EBA
New York State Education Department
Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
Fax: (518) 486-1762

Thank you for your consideration.

c: John King
Ken Slentz   
Sally Bachofer
Roberto Reyes         

Last Updated: September 19, 2012