Questions and Answers
Reading First LEA 2008-09 Grant Increase and 2009-10 Extension
Q 1: May a district accept the Reading First 2008-09 grant supplement but not the 2009-10 grant extension?
A 1: Yes. A district that chooses not to use grant funds to sustain the program in 2009-10 may still use the grant supplement funds (but not grant extension funds) in 2008-09. The district must submit an FS10-A (that increases the approved 2008- 09 budget by the supplement amount) to the Reading First program office for approval. In this case, the Reading First grant would end in June 30, 2009.
Q 2: May a district reverse the decision to opt out of the 2009-10 grant extension if, at a future date, Congress continues the program and provides additional funding for the 2009-10 year?
A 2: The Department would consider this circumstance at the time.
Q 3: Is it allowable for the district to use the 2008-09 grant increase to pick up costs that are funded with local funds in the 2008-09 program?
A 3: No. This would be considered supplantation and is out of compliance with federal rules.
Q 4: If the district accepts the 2009-10 grant extension, are all the Reading First schools required to continue the program?
A 4: Yes. The Department expects that the district will sustain the Reading First model and scientifically based reading instruction in all participating schools. If there are circumstances in which this is not possible, this should be addressed directly with the Reading First Program Office. Since grant amounts are based on number of participating schools in a district, an adjustment to the district grant amount may be necessary if there is a change in the number of Reading First schools in a district.
Q 5: For schools that began Reading First as part of Cohort A and were continued as part of Cohort C, the 2009-10 grant extension will bring them to Year 7 in the program – is this allowed?
A 5: Yes. Cohort C is considered a separate funding cycle for districts, and many schools that participated in Cohort A have continued in Cohort C.
Q 6: Will Reading First technical assistance and professional development be available in 2009-10?
A 6: The regional and on-site professional development and technical assistance services that have been provided by the Regional School Support Centers will no longer be available after June 30, 2009. The NYS Reading Resource Center will provide on-line interactive professional development courses and other resources to Reading First and other schools through June 30, 2010.
Q 7: Are Reading First districts required to conduct an external evaluation of the Reading First program in the 2009-10 extension year?
A 7: No. It is expected that Reading First districts use student achievement data and other information on an ongoing basis to evaluate the effectiveness of reading instruction.
Q 8: Are districts required to send Reading First educators to the 2009 Reading First National Conference?
A 8: It is allowable to use Reading First funds for professional development at the 2009 Reading First National Conference, but it is not a program requirement. Districts should be advised to carefully evaluate the professional development needs of teachers and principals, based on student achievement data, program implementation history and district-wide professional development resources. Because of reduced funds, the district should consider all options for effective ongoing professional development, including on-line and other collaborative distance learning technology resources.