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No Child Left Behind: A Desktop Reference
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Rural Education Initiative: Rural and Low-Income Schools (VI-B-2)

Purpose

This new program provides additional funds to rural districts that serve concentrations of poor students. An LEA that is eligible to receive funds under the Small, Rural School Achievement program may not participate in the Rural and Low-Income School Program.

WHAT'S NEW--The No Child Left Behind Act

Increases Accountability for Student Performance

  • Requires adequate yearly progress. State education agencies (SEAs) are required to determine, after the third year, if and how a district can continue to participate in the program based on its ability to meet adequate yearly progress requirements.
  • Establishes education goals. Requires each state or specially qualified agency (an eligible district in a state that chooses not to apply for a grant) to establish, at a minimum, specific educational goals and objectives related to: (1) increased student achievement; (2) decreased student dropout rate; or (3) other factors that the SEA or specially qualified agency may choose to measure.
  • Requires an annual progress report. All grant recipients must provide the U.S. Department of Education with an annual report on how districts and schools used the funds and what progress was made toward the goals and objectives included in the state's application for funds. SEAs that receive grants also must include the method they used to allocate funds to eligible districts.

Reduces Bureaucracy and Increases Flexibility

  • Allows direct applications to the federal government. Eligible districts in states that choose not to participate in the program can apply directly to the U.S. Department of Education for funds.

How It Works

This formula grant program provides funds based on each state's share of students in average daily attendance in eligible districts. Participating SEAs have three options to allocate funds to eligible districts. The first is through a formula based on a district's share of the number of students in average daily attendance in eligible districts within the state. The second is by a competitive process. The third is through an alternative formula that, to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education, more effectively targets funds to high-poverty districts. The Department is required to make awards to specially qualified agencies (an eligible school district in a state that chooses not to apply for a grant) through a formula based on a district's share of the number of students in average daily attendance in eligible districts within the state or through a competitive process. Any eligible entity that wants to receive a grant needs to submit an application.

How It Achieves Quality

An SEA or a specially qualified agency is required to establish, at a minimum, specific educational goals and objectives related to increasing student achievement and decreasing the student dropout rate.

How Performance Is Measured

All grant recipients must provide U.S. Department of Education with an annual report on how districts and schools used the funds and made progress toward the goals and objectives included in the state's application for funds. SEAs that receive grants also must include in this annual report the method used by the SEA to allocate funds to eligible districts. The U.S. Department of Education must report biennially to Congress on (1) the methods used by SEAs to allocate funds to eligible districts; (2) how districts and schools used the funds; and (3) progress made by SEAs toward the goals and objectives included in their application for funds. Performance is also measured in terms of adequate yearly progress.

Key Activities For The State Education Agencies

State education agencies must:

  • Apply for funds through a program-specific application or as part of the consolidated application.
  • Submit an annual report on (1) the method used by the SEA to allocate funds to eligible districts; (2) how districts and schools used the funds; and (3) the progress made toward the goals and objectives included in the state's application for funds.
  • Allocate funds to districts either by formula or a competitive process.

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Last Modified: 09/14/2007