Contracts for Excellence Program—School Year 2009-10: Questions and Answers
1. Which districts are subject to C4E requirements next year?
Any district that was subject to C4E in 2008-09 will be required to submit a Contract in 2009-10, unless all of their schools are in good standing. Thirty-two (of the current 39) districts will continue to be responsible for maintaining C4E expenditures from prior year(s), as approved by the Commissioner.
Districts subject to C4E requirements in 2009-10
Amsterdam City SD
Binghamton City SD
Buffalo City SD
Dunkirk City SD
Elmira City SD
Fulton City SD
Geneva City SD
Haverstraw-Stoney Point CSD
Hyde Park CSD
Middletown City SD
New York City
Newburgh City SD
Oswego City SD
Port Jervis City SD
Rochester City SD
Schenectady City SD
South Colonie CSD
Syracuse City SD
Utica City SD
Valley Central SD (Montgomery)
Watervliet City SD
White Plains City SD
Yonkers City SD
2. What is the timeline for 2009-10 C4E?
The C4E timeline can be found online at www.emsc.nysed.gov/mgtserv/C4E .
3 If a district does not expend all of their C4E-restricted Foundation Aid in 2008-09 can they carry over the funding to 2009-10?
No. The proposed law allows for C4E districts in 2009-10 to allocate and spend unexpended funds from 2007-08 to either 2008-09 and/or 2009-10 but does not allow districts to carry over funds from the 2008-09 school year.
4. How much funding will districts receive that is subject to C4E requirements in 2009-10?
The State budget provides Foundation Aid for all school districts at the 2008-09 level. The law requires C4E districts to maintain expenditures for C4E allowable programs at the level of their 2007-08 and 2008-09 C4E Contract Amounts, as approved by the Commissioner. NYSED has calculated the 2008-09 approved Contract Amount including 2007-08 maintenance of effort amounts, to be the 2009-10 C4E Maintenance of Effort (MOE) amount.
5. Can districts change how they spend their C4E funds in 2009-10?
Yes. Districts can allocate funds differently in 2009-10, than in the prior year. The reallocation of funds must be for new C4E allowable programs and approved by the Commissioner. Reallocated funds are not part of the prior year’s Maintenance of Effort.
6. Are there any provisions for allocating funds to district-wide programs, other than through the method districts used in 2008-09?
Yes. In the past districts allocated funds for district-wide programs at the individual school level. In 2009-10, the C4E online system will allow districts to allocate district-wide programs at the district level, not tied to any particular school. Districts will have to demonstrate that the district-wide program benefits students with the greatest educational needs and will need to provide information at the close of the school year concerning who actually participated from each school.
7. Are districts subject to C4E public process requirements, including public posting of C4E plans and public hearings to obtain public feedback, if they are not reallocating any funds?
Yes. Districts must post their plans and conduct hearings on their 2009-10 C4E including amounts maintained and/or reallocated. All C4E districts must comply with the public process requirements even if they are not repurposing any funds in 2009-10.
8. What is new for Contracts for Excellence in the laws of 2009?
The State codified three changes in law referring to the Contract for Excellence in Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2009. They are the following:
1) Districts that submitted a Contract for 2008-09 shall submit one for SY 2009-10, unless all schools are in good standing.
2) Districts which submitted a Contract in 2008-09 and will do so for school year 2009-10 and which did not expend all of their Foundation Aid (which is subject to the provisions of C4E) in school year 2007-08, may reallocate and expend these funds in school year 2008-09 or 2009-10 on allowable C4E activities. For maintenance of effort spending in school year 2008-09 during school year 2009-10, such spending shall be included in the total budgeted amount for school year 2007-08, provided that doing so does not double count for the purposes of determining maintenance of effort for school year 2009-10 and thereafter.
3) The New York City Department of Education must report to the Commissioner and to the public by November 17, 2009, on the status of its plan to reduce average class sizes. This report must include the following:
- Identify all schools which received funds to reduce class size;
- The amount of funds received and for what year;
- A detailed description of how these funds contributed to reducing class sizes, including the number of class rooms, teachers and student-teacher ratios pre- and post- for each year C4E class size reduction funds have been allocated;
- Actual student enrollments and actual average class sizes for each school by grade level, for school years 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and projections for school year 2009-10; and
- The schools that have made inadequate progress in meeting the five-year class size reduction plan goals that the Commissioner approved in November 2007 and a detailed description of the actions that will be taken to reduce class size in such schools.
9. Could you explain a little more about the carryover from 2008-09?
There is no carry over from 2008-09. The law allows districts to allocate and spend unexpended funds from 2007-08 in either 2008-09 or 2009-10. There is no provision for carry over from program year 2008-09.
10. How are amounts to be spent in each building determined in the C4E submission system?
The districts determined the amount to be spent in each building in the 2008-09 or 2007-08 contract application and entered it into the system. The system for 2009-10 will pre-populate earlier years’ allocations in the system as MOE amounts and districts may identify amounts to be reallocated to new or expanded C4E programs. If a district does reallocate funds from an existing school or program, they will need to go into the MOE selection and reduce programs and options to reflect the reduction in MOE.
11. Is the C4E presentation that was provided by NYSED on April 29, 2009 through the Elluminate online program available?
Yes, the power point from the presentation, including these questions and answers from the session can be found on our website at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/C4E/.
12. Is there any expectation that C4E money be used to fund the new accountability model?
Yes, C4E districts are permitted to repurpose C4E funds if they wish to pay for any expenses related to school quality review teams, joint intervention teams, or distinguished educators. This is considered an allowable expense under teacher and principal quality initiatives or middle and high school restructuring.
13. What year's needs index are 2009-10 allocations based on to determine pro-rata share allocations to schools (as schools have been added or removed from State identification)?
The demographic data--i.e., poverty, Limited English Proficiency and the incidence of students with disabilities--reflect data from the October BEDS counts for school year 2007-08. Achievement data used in the index also reflect assessment results from school year 2007-08. The accountability status included in the needs index (i.e., the regulations require that districts invest at least a pro rata share of district total need in schools in accountability status) on the other hand reflects the status for school year 2008-09. If there are schools no longer operational in 2000-10 or for which the district feels that the 2007-08 values misrepresent the true educational need, contact your coordinator with updated estimates or data and we will examine on an ad hoc basis the validity of these data to supersede the 2007-08 values in order to more accurately estimate school need for targeting purposes.
14. Why are audit fees for C4E not an allowable cost?
Foundation Aid subject to C4E restrictions is intended to be spent on C4E allowable programs such as increased student time on task, middle school/high school restructuring, teacher and principal quality initiatives, full-day pre-k and kindergarten programs, model programs for English language learners, class size reduction, or experimental programs whose goal is to increase student learning. Auditing services are an administrative expense that does not fit within any of these allowable programs and need to be paid for with unrestricted foundation aid or local tax dollars.
15. Is there such a thing as an extension for the 2008-09 amendments due on May 1, 2009?
Yes, but to a very limited extent. Districts need to enter their 2008-09 amendments into the system and receive Commissioner’s approval before they can enter data for their 2009-10 Contract. Please contact your C4E coordinator directly to discuss the amendment process.
16. Can money for this year's Contract be spent on supporting losses to other existing programs...such as Reading First or UPK?
Yes. If grants funds are reduced or eliminated for programs that fit within a C4E allowable programs, such as full day pre-k or reading initiatives that could be described as additional Time on Task, it is possible to use C4E-restricted funds to support losses to existing programs with C4E reallocated funds. For more information on this see a guidance document on Supplement Versus Supplant at www.emsc.nysed.gov/mgtserv/C4E/.
17. Is there any word on when there might be a decision on Funds for Accountability Models?
This will be added to the Q&A at www.emsc.nysed.gov/mgtserv/C4E/ shortly.
18. I understand the existing programs may be reduced by five percent? Is that correct?
No, all funds must be accounted for in 2009-10, either through a Maintenance of Effort or Reallocation of funds.
19. If we do not spend down our full allocation in 2008-09 (less than one percent) does this impact our 2009-10 funds? Are we still responsible to cover those expenditures?
Any funds unspent in 2008-09 cannot be carried over, regardless of the percent of Contract funds. In fact, such an underspending would be cause for an audit finding and be subject to possible recapture. The district is responsible for 100 percent of funds received.
20. What are the external auditors certifying in 2008-09? The current year’s allocations or the current year’s allocations and the 2008-09 MOE? Will this be the case for the 2009-10 expenditures? For example, if a district had an 2007-08 contract amount of $3,000,000 and MOE for 2008-09 was $3,000,000; and the 2008-09 Contract amount was $2,000,000, are the auditors certifying $3,000,000 or $5,000,000?
We are working to identify audit procedures for 2009-10 and will post established procedures on our website.
21. I am a C4E district. Who is my SED coordinator?
See a list of districts and coordinators on the C4E website.
22. What is the time line for 2009-10 C4Es?
See the calendar on the C4E website.
23. What performance targets does NYSED expect C4E districts to have for 2009-10?
For schools where districts are maintaining effort, NYSED assumes that they will continue their 2008-09 performance targets. Districts may adjust these to reflect changes in student achievement or accountability status or to reduce their goals where targets were above required minimums. If districts reallocate C4E funds for new purposes, NYSED will require them to identify new performance targets.