Summer Homework For Your School District

Title I | Funding Distribution | Ohio CPA Firm
According to the Ohio Department of Education, prior to receiving any Title I, Part A funds, school districts must provide a written agreement that indicates which of the two distribution methods will be used – based on characteristics of students or based on staffing and supplies. Read on to learn more.

Time is running out for school districts to file their 2017-18 Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) applications for enrollment into the State of Ohio’s Title I program – and failure to meet the July 1, 2017, deadline could result in some major headaches. Districts that are able to turn in their paperwork on time will be rewarded with a substantially approved date and negative five points on their risk factor assessment for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) monitoring.

That being said, regardless of where you are in the filing process, all districts must note several critical changes resulting from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to avoid concerns in the years’ ahead. Particularly, district leaders should be aware of the Supplemental Funds Test for Title I, Part A, which states that districts must to choose one of two methods of distributing state and local funds to school buildings.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, prior to receiving any Title I, Part A funds, school districts must provide a written agreement that indicates which of the two distribution methods will be used. Furthermore, written methodology must be made available upon request by the ODE and/or auditors.

Ohio school districts may choose:

  • Distribution of non-federal resources based on characteristics of students. Generally referred to as the ‘weighted per pupil’ formula, additional non-federal dollars are awarded to help students classified as:
    • Low income
    • English learners
    • Disabled
    • Preschoolers
  • Distribution of non-federal resources based on staffing and supplies. To determine how non-federal dollars are awarded to districts utilizing this methodology, ODE takes the following points into account:
    • Teacher salaries
    • Building principal salaries
    • Librarian salaries
    • Costs per student for instructional materials and supplies (including technology)

Regardless of your choice, it’s important to remember that the chosen method must be used consistently across all buildings operated by the district, including those that do not qualify for school-wide programs or receive Title I funding.

The document, Methodology for Distributing State and Local Funds to meet Supplement Not Supplant Compliance under Title I, Part A, released earlier this year, provides some additional information, including a helpful calculation tool that can be used to help estimate funding allocations. While helpful, users of this document should note that their district does not necessarily have to use the allocated funds in the specific way noted in the document’s example. Rather, the calculation provided is used to generate a fair and consistent allocation amount. It’s up to the district to use discretion when determining how much to spend on qualifying items to support any activity identified by the comprehensive needs assessment and articulated in the comprehensive plan.

If you have questions or concerns about securing adequate funding for your school district, email the government services team at Rea & Associates for assistance.

By Lisa Contini (New Philadelphia office)

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