PUBLIC NOTICE AND COMMENT: Comment period opens for a waiver to apply carryover Maryland's request for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 Title I School Improvement Grant Funds to Federal Fiscal Year 2015 and Extend the Availability of Funds to 2020.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria E. Lamb, 410.767.0286 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Baltimore, MD (March 27, 2015)
School Improvement Grants (SIG), authorized under section 1003(g) of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Title I or ESEA), are grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) that SEAs use to make competitive sub-grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise substantially the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools. A new application for Federal fiscal year 2014 SIG funds was released to state educational agencies in March 2015.
PURPOSE OF WAIVERS
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is providing this public notice to solicit comments from local educational agencies and the public regarding two specific waiver requests. The first request seeks permission to carryover Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2014 Title I, 1003(g) School Improvement Funds, ($6,632,348) into Federal fiscal year 2015. The reason for this waiver request is to allow Maryland to align its SIG support to low performing schools with its 2015 ESEA Flexibility Renewal request. Such an alignment will allow the selection of 5% of the lowest performing Title I Schools in the state to be based on the most current data available and provide adequate funding to support the identified schools.
The United States Department of Education (USDE) is allowing states administering new college and career ready aligned assessments in the 2014-2015 school year to not assign schools new ratings based on those assessments for the SY 2015-2016. Consequently, Maryland will provide an updated list of priority schools based on school year 2014-2015 data no later than January 31, 2016 for implementation beginning no later than the 2016-2017 school year. This same list of schools will be used to identify 2014 SIG schools. FFY 2014 Title I, 1003(g) funds would not be available to schools until the FFY 2015.
Maryland will run a competition for FY 2014 1003(g) SIG funds and FY 2015 1003(g) SIG funds for eligible schools that will be identified on Maryland’s 2016 list of lowest performing schools (SIG, Priority). These funds will be used to implement one of the seven USDE approved SIG models and implemented according to USDE requirements and regulations.
Maryland’s second waiver request is for permission to extend the availability of FFY 2014 SIG funds under section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. §1225 (b) (Tydings Amendment), to September 30, 2020. Maryland will run a future competition combining both FFY 2014 and FFY 2015 funds.
Maryland believes that the additional time is in the public interest as it will enable qualifying local educational agencies to ensure that their SIG schools are able to use the FY 2014 funds to support full implementation of their models as well as institute sustainability measures.
Public comment period is from March 27, 2015-April 10, 2015 at 3 P.M. Please submit comments in writing to Ms. Maria E. Lamb, Director, Program Improvement and Family Support Branch, Division of Student, Family, and School Support, Maryland State Department of Education via email at email@example.com or via U.S. Postal Service to 200 West Baltimore Street, 4th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. This waiver applies only to School Improvement Grant 1003(g) FFY 2014 funds.
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