Office of Accountability

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
2011-12 Technical Assistance Elluminate Sessions for the Consolidated Application Update (May 24, 25, & June 2, 2011)

TOPICS: ARRA|TITLE I|TITLE II-A|TITLE III|NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS|GENERAL

ARRA

Q: I thought ARRA was use it or lose it. I guess not?
A: ARRA is use it or lose it by August 31, 2011, with a small window into September to contact us to fix problems.

Q: Please explain request for carryover waiver due to ARRA.
A: You are required to spend all ARRA funds by August 31, 2011, or risk losing them.  The carryover waiver pertains to regular Title I, and is limited to the TOTAL ARRA allocation amount.

Q: You mentioned the carryover waiver due to ARRA. Does it matter if you've done a waiver in the past, like in the past 3 years?
A: No. Any LEA that received an ARRA Title I allocation has a regular Title I carryover limit of 100 percent of their Title I ARRA allocation from 2010-11 into 2011-12, even those that received waivers from the 15 percent limit for 2008-09 or 2009-10. The 15 percent carryover limit still applies to LEAs that did not receive a Title I ARRA allocation.  Complete details can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/cladcep/1011/carryover.html.

TITLE I

Q: If a district has four elementary schools and they all qualify for Title I-A, can the district decide to allocate funds to just two schools?
A: After an LEA has rank-ordered its attendance areas and has determined which areas/schools have poverty percents above the group average, the Title I funds are distributed by multiplying the per-pupil amount by the number of poverty eligible students in each area/school, until all funds are sub-allocated. Should an LEA wish to “skip” an eligible school, it must show that a comparable amount of State/local funds are being spent for the same purposes in that school. All funds available for distribution to attendance areas must indeed be distributed.

Q: Can we include/use improvement funds for a K-2 building since they are a feeder school to the issues that may exist at the elementary school(s)?
A: School Improvement funds must be used in the building that has been identified as in need of improvement.

Q: If the schools and districts are in good standing for 2010-11, but anticipate that they may be in need of improvement in 2011-12, should the LEA indicate that the school/district is in need of improvement on this document?
A: It is recommended that the LEA fill it out according to what it feels its status will be for the upcoming school year.

Q: What if my private school does not use a poverty measure and has no poverty data?
A: Only schools with at least one student who meets the guidelines is eligible for Title I services.

Q: How do we pay for and account for a resident, poverty status student who attends a non-public school outside of the LEA?
A: In order for ANY nonpublic school to be eligible for Title I-funded services for any of its students residing in Title I-funded attendance areas who are failing to meet NYS learning standards, at least ONE student from a Title I-funded attendance area attending a particular nonpublic school must be income-eligible; if there are no income-eligible Title I attendance area resident students enrolled in a particular nonpublic school, the LEA has no obligation to provide Title I-funded services to that school.

In order to ascertain the amount of funds available for provision of equitable services, an LEA multiplies the number of income-eligible, Title I attendance area students attending that school by the per-pupil amount computed on the Title I Supplement. For nonpublic school located outside the boundaries of the LEA, the LEA of Location will have consulted with that school regarding they types of service(s) to be provided, and the second LEA would be responsible, on a proportional basis, for the costs of the provision of those services, which MUST be provided by the LEA of Location, or, if that LEA defers, by the LEA of Residence. But, never, NEVER are those services provided by the nonpublic school, and under NO circumstances should an LEA send any Title I funds to any nonpublic school.

Q: Can you please review the Comparability Report ratios between Title I and non-Title I
Schools? As we look at staffing for next year, we want to make sure we are doing this correctly.
A: The current Comparability requirements say that each school receiving Title I funds must have a pupil/staff ratio (after excluding certain staff (see instructions)) that is within +/- ten percent of the averages for all Title I-funded buildings as well as all non-Title I-funded buildings. Only buildings with similar grade-span groupings need to be subjected to this requirement.

Q: Does a district need to incorporate indirect costs into the FS-10?
A: It is an option, not a requirement, in Title I.

Q: Do we need to add in the carryover amount to the allocation when determining Per Pupil Amount (PPA)?
A: No. That carryover does not have to be included in PPA because those same dollars were included in the prior year’s PPA.

Q: Where can I find explicit directions that address SUPPLEMENT vs. SUPPLANT?
A: An LEA may use Title I funds only to supplement and, to the extent practicable, increase the level of funds that would, in the absence of Title I funds, be made available from non-Federal (local) sources for the education of students participating in Title I programs. Read the “First Guidance” piece on the USDE website for additional information and note the significant exception contained in Section 1120A(d) of NCLB.

Q: I was told by the Title I Office back in September that as long as districts are meeting their Maintenance of Effort, Supplement vs. Supplant rules do not apply. Would you comment on that?
A: Supplement, not Supplant, and Maintenance of Effort are two independent tests that LEAs must meet. The NCLB Maintenance of Effort requirement is delineated in Section 9521 of NCLB and says, basically, that an LEA must spend at least 90 percent of the average of the last two years, either on a per-pupil or a net total basis. NYS LEAs have never had a problem meeting this requirement.

Supplement, not Supplant is an on-going requirement that is best understood by saying that unless specifically enabled by legislation (i.e., Class Size Reduction) any educational expenditure which results in the awarding of credit, promotion to the next grade or meeting a graduation requirement cannot be supported by federal funds, except if the service provided is above-and-beyond what the general student population receives. For example, if a student needs to attend summer school because (s)he did not pass ELA 10 after having received a year's instruction, such an expense could be supported by federal funds. Of special concern here is the provision of NCLB-type services to students with disabilities. In those cases, the regular education program is the student's IEP. If, for example, the student's IEP calls for two sessions of ELA or 12 months of ELA instruction, then that extra session/time cannot be supported with Title I funds.

Q. If a school in a district is identified as SINI, but does not receive Title 1 funds, is a set-aside for SES needed?
A. SES is required for Title I-funded schools ONLY.

Q: If a district receives McKinney-Vento funding, do they need to set aside Title funds?
A: Yes, if there are any non-Title I schools in the district, the homeless set-aside is required.

Q: We have three of our buildings in year 1 of improvement. None of these is a Title I building, nor are we a district in need of improvement. Does this mean we do not have to worry about the School Improvement stipulations?
A: No. SES or Choice is not required for non-Title I buildings, but you will still need to do a Comprehensive Education Plan and complete any required intervention under Differentiated Accountability.

Q: Can parental involvement funds be provided for all buildings regardless of Title I status?
A: You can provide district level activities in a Title I district, but not at the school building level for non-Title I funded schools.

Q: If switching from TAS program to SWP, do I need to do a scientifically-based update?
A: It depends on what’s actually happening in the school.  SBR changes are required when there are significant programmatic changes.  Changing status does not necessarily mean there is a major programmatic/clinical change.

Q: Do all LEAs need to submit a sample letter for the Parents' Right to Know? Will it be added to the checklist?
A: No. Districts must send a copy of the letter if there were significant changes.  This item is found on the Significant Changes checklist.

Q: Did I hear correctly that an LEA must reserve 10% for PD only if it is in DINI status? What if you have schools under SINI or CA?
A: Any LEA that is in improvement status is required to setaside 10% of the total Title I allocation for PD.  Under Differentiated Accountability, only LEAs with schools in the comprehensive category (all subgroups identified or the all student group identified) are required to set aside 10% of the identified building’s allocation for PD.  This amount counts toward the district 10%.  This reserve is optional for LEAs with schools in the basic (only one sub group) or focused (more than one group, but not all).

Q: Where can I find definitions of "neglected" and "delinquent?"
A: See: http://www.neglected-delinquent.org/nd/resources/glossary.asp

Q: If an LEA receiving less than $500,000 does not have a 1% set aside for parent involvement activities, how are they supposed to fund those activities?
A: That becomes the LEA's decision. Parent involvement activities are still required; it's just that for LEAs receiving less than $500,000 in Title I, Part A funding, there is no required set-aside that has to be reserved to insure that those activities take place. The funds can come from the Title I allocation, or provided from some other source.

TITLE II-A

Q: What percentage of Title II-A is transferable into Title I?
A: The use (no funds are actually transferred) of up to 50% of Title II-A is eligible to be transferred into Title I, provided that the LEA is in good standing. For LEAs in Improvement Status, only 30% of the use of Title II-A funds can be used in this fashion. For LEAs in Corrective Action, Transferability may not be used.

Q: For Title II-A teacher quality, is there a requirement to implement the teacher quality plan/5% set-aside if the teacher is not retained for the next year?
A: The district will need to document any changes in identified teacher status, by indicating that the identified non-highly qualified teachers have not been retained, have obtained certification, or have been reassigned. The Title II-A NYSED office will then determine if the 5% set--aside can be released.

Q: Why is Home & Careers at the Middle School considered a core area for HQT?
A: This is per Commissioner's regulations, Part 100.4, found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/part100/pages/1004.html
There is a clear description on the need for this and CTE classes for middle school students:
100.4 Program requirements for grades five through eight

  1. Definitions
    1. Technology education means a program of instruction designed to assist all students in meeting State intermediate standards for technology. Technology education uses concepts of science, mathematics, social science, and language arts in a hands-on, systems-based approach to problem solving that guides students in the understanding, design and development of systems, devices and products to serve human needs and wants.
    2. Home and career skills means a program of instruction designed to assist all students in meeting State intermediate learning standards for family and consumer sciences and to assist all students to develop strategies to manage multiple individual, family, career, and community roles and responsibilities through instructional activities which incorporate concepts of science, mathematics, social science and language arts.

Q: Is a HOUSSE /waiver from a BOCES district superintendent acceptable, if only one teacher is not HQ & we are very rural?
A: HOUSSE (high objective uniform state standard of evaluation) form can be used as an option for teachers to demonstrate their subject matter competency. The teacher must meet NYS certification standards for an assignment to teach a core academic subject and have a need to demonstrate subject matter competency in that subject as required by NCLB or IDEA.
If you determine the one teacher to be HQ with use of a HOUSSE form then you would need to notify the Office of Information and Reporting to have this documented.

Q: If we have staff identified as needing additional course work to be considered highly qualified, and they pursue that work over the summer to secure necessary certification extensions, can this be factored in to mitigate our status of 100% HQ?
A: If the teacher completes the necessary course work to then qualify as HQ, you would provide evidence of this to the Office of Information and Reporting and the staff would make adjustments to your HQT status. Until that is official, your district would still need to have a Teacher Quality Improvement Plan and the 5% set aside as part of the Consolidated Application. Once the evidence of the certification extensions is provided and processed, those funds can be released.

Q. Where can I find if a district has made AMO for HQT?
A. AMO for HQT for 2010-11 was sent to your district, to Human Resources or to the Superintendent. You can also check with NYSED’s Office of Information and Reporting Services.

Q: If the HQ Reserve is not fully spent but no more allowable expenses are incurred, can this amount be carried over to the next year?
A: Yes, if the purpose of the expended funds is to help you get to HQ status.

Q: Do we still need to have a set-aside if we have new information that we are now 100% HQT, but were not when the original report came out?
A: If our data states that you are under 100% HQT, you must still file until the data becomes official.

Q: How do we determine private school allocations for Title II-A?
A:  Private school allocations are computed by formula applied to all LEAs are for advisement purposes only (i.e., they are not required to be at this level.  Actual services delivered are the result of the Consultation/Collaboration process and could cost less or more than the computed advisory amount), and are posted on: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/allocations/

Q: Where do we find our Highly Qualified Teachers status?
A: From the school superintendent, human resources, or your BEDS reporting administrator. Be sure to follow up on current status to correct faulty data.

Q: Where would I find more information about a Title II-A Consortium? Can you only pool funds within a district or can they be pooled across several districts or a BOCES? Who provides the professional development?
A: We do not have information on Title II-A Consortium, as for the most part, this has been a structure used by private schools. What we can advise is that districts have been informally collaborating on pooling resources and providing professional development and some do this through their local BOCES. The BOCES or the LEA could provide the professional development, and usually it is the BOCES that does this, and the LEA uses a CoSer charge through Title II-A, Purchased Services, to pay for sending teachers to the professional development, or to have the professional development offered in each district. We do not have official guidance on this, as it has been done informally in the past.

Q: In these very tight fiscal times, is it possible to use Title II-A for class size reduction in order to save a teacher whose position would have been eliminated if federal funds were not available?
A: The United States Education Department (USED) determined in 2003 that the use of Title II-A under these circumstances is permissible; however, certain conditions must be met:
1) funds will only be considered for one school year at a time; each case must undergo annual review and documentation;
2) fiscal and programmatic records must be maintained that confirm that, in the absence of Title II-A monies, the position would have been eliminated. Records must confirm: a) the reduced amount or lack of State and local funds available to pay for this position, and b) details of the LEA's decision to eliminate the position in the absence of Federal funding including the reason(s) for that decision.

Q: Are we using 2009-10 or 2010-11 Highly Qualified Teacher data for the Consolidated Application? Different years are listed in different places in the posted information.
A: Districts should use the most current information that they have received from the Office of Information and Reporting for Highly Qualified Teacher data. The initial data for 2010-11 has been sent to all districts for their review and corrections.

TITLE III

Q: Does Title III participate in the transferability process?
A: No.

Q: If you join a consortium and one of the schools does not meet the AMO, do all schools then not meet the AMO? Or has this since changed?
A: The policy is “one for all, and all for one.” It is important that you collaborate with your consortium partners to be aware of changes in status.

Q: With a 2% cap on Title III administrative costs, does this cap include an administrative assistant for the primary administrator for bilingual education?
A: Under Title III a secretarial/clerical position may be funded to support Title III activities, programs and services after normal school hours or beyond the regular school hours. The LEA may claim part, all, or none of the 2%. Indirect cost and/or professional salaries may not exceed the 2% limit for the total administrative cost. 

Q: What happens to LEP funds if a private school refuses to complete NYSESLAT testing?
A: Private schools are strongly recommended to use it as a testing instrument, but are not obligated to use it. It has no bearing on LEP funding.

Q. Is it correct that Title III LEP or Immigrant funds can be lost and are not on a yearly basis?
A. Title III Immigrant funding only. It is possible for districts to have carryover monies and zero allocation for a given school year. You may access the carryover funds based on your finalized expenditure report by submitting Form TIII-E(1), a budget and budget narrative. 

Q. If our allocation is slightly over the $10,000 amount can we still join a consortium? 
A. Yes, you may join a consortium with an allocation of $10,000 or more.

NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Q. Are two hour church pre-schools included in the Private School Participation Form on page 55 of the 2011-12 Consolidated Application?
A. The private school participation form must be completed if the pre-school has a kindergarten grade or higher. If the pre-school does not fit this description, a note should be included in the application alerting the reviewer to this fact, to help avoid confusion.

Q: How do we allocate when a private school cannot verify family income?
A: There are four options that may be used for selecting poverty students to generate funds for Title I student services (see Private School Participation Form, Question 5). If a nonpublic school refuses to provide income data and the other options available are not acceptable, than that school is not eligible to receive Title I-funded services.

Q: If the private school declines services what portion of the form needs to be filled out?
A: Question 19 (last page of the Private School Participation Form).  Do not forget to get the signature of the nonpublic school official.

Q: For private school Title 1 participation, does it matter if the school typically has students who would be alternatively assessed?
A: No. Eligibility for Title I services is determined by whether or not a student residing in a Title I attendance area attending a nonpublic school with at least one low-income student from any Title I attendance area in the same LEA is failing to meet NYS learning standards or is at risk of failing to meet those standards. For students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), the services proposed to be funded by Title I must be outside the student's IEP (i.e., they must be supplemental academic services and not part of a student's regular education program which, for students with disabilities, is their IEP).

Q: Is there a way to indicate a private school closing next year?
A: Obviously, no Consultation Form is needed. Since the Title II-A advisory allocations for nonpublic schools are based on enrollment data from a previous year, just ignore that advisory number and proportionally redistribute their advisory amount back among the other nonpublic schools located in the LEA, plus, of course, the LEA itself. The advisory allocation list will catch up with the closing once the enrollment data reflect the closing.

Q: If the private school is located within a non-title I school boundary area are they entitled to services?
A: Maybe. The first qualifying criteria for students in a particular nonpublic school receiving Title I-funded services depends on the residence location of the student, not the location of the school. Many students attending a nonpublic school in another LEA (could even be out of the State, if all the other criteria are met) receive services funded by the LEA in which they reside.

GENERAL

Q: Is there a way to access these presentations when the training is over?
A: Yes, they are posted on the NCLB Technical Assistance page.
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/consolidatedappupdate/ta/#webinars

Q: Where can we find the link to the 2011-12 Consolidated Application?
A: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/consolidatedappupdate/requiredforms.html

Q: If an LEA has not made changes in several years, and personnel completing the form have changed, how can we get a copy of the last full document submitted?
A: You may contact the Title I office for a copy of a previous year’s submission.

Q: When will the allocation amounts be available?
A: Preliminary allocation amounts for Title I, Parts A and D have already been posted. Final allocations will be posted in January or February, 2012. Title II-A final allocations have also been posted.  Title III allocations should be posted soon.

Q: I thought I read somewhere that the application should be electronically submitted.
A: Electronically as in CD format, not by e-mail. As usual, a hard copy of the Application is required along with the CD.

Q: Is the consolidated application always due on 8/31?
A: Yes. However, you may call in if you have a delay in order to make accommodations.

Q: Who do we contact in order to correct BEDS data?
A: Peggy Hovish, (518) 473-2981 & Jim Bercharlie, (518) 474-7965.

Q: In previous years, a charter school was able to start as a SWP program, provided that it completed all of the elements required for it, including parent collaboration, during the year before they were open. Is that no longer true?
A: It is still possible, as long as all the required steps are completed in advance.

Q: Can you walk through the grants finance process, in terms of when we should submit FS-25s and FS-10s, and when we can expect payment? I know there is an initial 20% approval of funds once the budget is approved, but I’m not sure when to file other forms, etc.
A: There are three main documents on the Grants Finance page under Guidance and Information:
http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/guidance/

Frequently Asked Questions, Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Grants, and A Guide to Grants Administration and Implementation Resources. The one that best answers your question (and most user-friendly) is the section on Forms and Instructions in Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Grants:
http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/guidance/guidelines.html#forms

The Consolidated Application budget cycle is:
FS-10: Proposed Budget (due 8/31 with project dates 9/1-8/31, 20% payment with approval)
FS-10 A: Proposed Amendment (no payments with this, explanation must be completed)
FS-25: Request for Funds (can draw up to 90% of funds, see requirements in guidance)
FS-10 F: Final Expenditure Report (will generate final payment of 10% or balance of budget when processed)

Be sure you check your NCLB allocation report for EXCESS funds at least 30 days before the end of the grant and before submitting the FS-10 F to be sure you did not omit allowable expenditures.

Q: When will 2011-2012 Accountability Status information be available?
A: Online reports are now available in the Business Portal, and should be released prior to start of school.

Q: When will the allocations for the other titles for public schools be online?
A: Title II-A is now posted; and Title III will be posted soon.

Last Updated: March 20, 2014