Contracts for Excellence Program - School Year 2013-14
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Which districts are subject to C4E requirements this year?
Any district that was subject to C4E in 2012-13 will be required to submit a Contract in 2013-14, unless all of their schools are in good standing. Fifteen 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 2013-14
Albany City SD
Amsterdam City SD
Binghamton City SD
Buffalo City SD
Elmira City SD
Geneva City SD
Hyde Park CSD
New York City
Newburgh City SD
Rochester City SD
Schenectady City SD
Syracuse City SD
Utica City SD
Yonkers City SD
2. Can districts change how they spend their C4E funds in 2013-14 or must the same allocations of the contract amount by school and/or allowable program made in 2012-13 continue in the upcoming year?
Districts may re-allocate funds in a different manner than in prior years. However, the allocation of funds must continue to be for one of the seven C4E-allowable programs and must continue to predominantly benefit pupils with the greatest needs: i.e., (i) students with limited English proficiency and/or English language learners; (ii) students in poverty; (iii) students with disabilities; and (iv) students with low academic achievement.
3. May districts allocate some of their Contract amounts to district-wide programs?
Yes. Districts may allocate funds for programs which will have benefits district-wide and therefore, cannot be easily or feasibly allocated to individual schools. Nevertheless, districts will have to demonstrate that the district-wide program benefits students with the greatest educational needs. Examples could include, but would not be limited to, interventions such as credit recovery programs (which attempt to allow pupils to graduate); by virtue of the intent to target those most in danger of dropping out. Such a program is considered inherently beneficial to the neediest pupils. If you have questions as to whether a district-wide initiative would meet this needs-targeting test, contact SED staff.
4. 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 2013-14 C4E plans, including amounts allocated by school and program levels. The form templates that make up the Contract Submission must all be posted on a separate C4E website, easily accessible to the public, for the duration of the contract. All C4E districts must comply with the public process requirements, even if they are not repurposing or shifting allocations from prior years.
5. What is the time line for 2013-14 C4Es?
See the calendar on the C4E website.
6. How do we fulfill the requirement that our allowable programs and school-level Contract allocations predominantly benefit pupils with the greatest educational needs? How is this measured?
See the Need Targeting Matrix on the C4E website. The ‘need weights’ measure this dimension at a school-level of analysis; moreover, the regulations adopted require that 75% of the Contract funds must be apportioned to the most needy one-half of schools(the so-called ‘75/50’ rule) in the district or that the district must have allocated Contract funds to schools on a pro-rated or proportional basis. As has been the practice previously, if the application of these recommended allocations should prove a hardship to the district or the district feels that there are more compelling needs not reflected in these data, SED will review on an ad-hoc basis allocations that vary from the above requirements.