March 11, 1999
Honorable William F. Goodling
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Thank you for your letter urging that Secretary Daley and I follow the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to use the Census Bureau's 1995 school district estimates of poor school-age children to allocate Title I, Part A funds directly to local educational agencies (LEAs) for school year (SY) 1999-2000. I am sending an identical response to the cosigners of your letter.
After consulting with NAS and the Department of Commerce, I am pleased to say that we will follow the NAS recommendation and allocate Title I, Part A funds, through each State educational agency, to LEAs for the coming school year. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Gerald Tirozzi announced this decision to the Chief State School Officers in February. A copy of his letter to the Chiefs is enclosed.
In anticipation of this decision, Department staff have been working with the Census Bureau, the Department of Health and Human Services, and State Title I Coordinators to obtain, edit, and verify the other formula data needed to make direct LEA allocations. We expect to announce preliminary allocations in mid-April based on the formula data available at that time and then announce final allocations in early June. We do not anticipate that this schedule will cause significant disruption for States and most LEAs because the 100 percent hold-harmless provision in effect for SY 1999-2000 generally guarantees that eligible LEAs will receive at least the same amounts as last year.
The next several months will be challenging as we address the technical issues associated with making the transition to allocating Title I funds to LEAs. I believe that it is extremely important that we take the time needed to ensure that the Title I LEA allocations determined by this Department are accurate.
Richard W. Riley
Our mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the Nation.
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This page last updated March 31, 1999 (pjk)