Consultation with Your LEA Essential for Equitable Inclusion
The ESSA includes a new title program, Title IV, Part A, which was previously named “21st Century Scholars,” and is now called “Student Support and Academic Achievement (SSAE) Grants.”
Until recently, this title program did not have appropriations and therefore was “grayed out” on the private school consultation form sent out by the DPI in April.
The form is currently being adjusted to reflect the new appropriation and the requirement that LEAs consult with the private schools in their districts about this program.
New provisions in the law provide the DPI with the ability to make competitive sub-grants to local public school districts, instead of by formula, as was originally the case.
There is uncertainty about what private school inclusion will look like but it is expected that private schools may be able to use Title IV grants to supplement a project or program they are currently working with.
LEAs can use Title IV funds to strengthen professional development efforts and/or pool Title IV, II-A, and even Title I funds. For example, you can use funding from Title IV to support your Title I students by adding professional development for teachers to address at-risk students.
Districts must conduct timely and meaningful consultation with private school leaders before they make decisions on how they will use Title IV funding. Your district can not simply tell you they will be pooling the funds to satisfy “adequate and meaningful consultation.”
To make sure you are receiving equitable treatment for title funding, specifically for Title IV as a new program, principals need to do the following:
1. Contact your public school district and let them know you are aware of your eligibility to participate in Title IV and must be included in consultation in a timely and meaningful way.
2. Do NOT sign off on the DPI private school consulation form unless you have participated in discussions with your LEA about Title IV programming.