Policy Guidance for Part D
Title I, Part D, Subparts 1 and 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-382), establishes two programs:
l. Subpart l authorizes the State agency Neglected or Delinquent (N or D) program, which provides Federal financial assistance to State agencies (SAs) that operate educational programs for children and youth in institutions or community day programs for N or D children and for youth in adult correctional facilities. Major changes in the 1994 reauthorization of this program provide that--
Children and youth counted for allocation purposes must be enrolled in a regular program of instruction for at least 15 hours per week (if in an adult correctional facility) and 20 hours per week (if in an institution or community day program for N or D children) rather than 10 hours as under the old statute;
N or D institutions may operate institution-wide programs that enable them to use Part D, subpart 1 funds in combination with other Federal and State education funds; and
SAs must reserve funds for transition services for N or D youth following release from an institution or program.
2. Subpart 2 creates a program that provides assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) to serve children and youths who are in locally operated correctional facilities (including institutions for delinquent children) or are at risk of dropping out of school. State educational agencies (SEAs) award Subpart 2 funds to LEAs with high numbers or percentages of youth residing in correctional facilities to conduct programs that provide an array of services to meet the special needs of at-risk children and youth. Subpart 2 also authorizes the SEA to reduce or terminate funding after three years for projects in LEAs if LEA-based projects show no progress in reducing school dropout rates and requires correctional facilities or delinquent institutions operating Subpart 2 programs to demonstrate progress in increasing the number of youth who return to school, obtain a high school diploma (or its equivalency), or gain employment after their release.
Subpart 3 of Part D also requires LEAs and SAs to evaluate their programs at least once every three years to determine their impact on student achievement using multiple and appropriate evaluation measures.
The purpose of these programs is to (1) improve educational services to children in local and State institutions for N or D children and youth so that such children and youth have the opportunity to meet the same challenging State content and student performance standards that all children in the State are expected to meet; (2) provide such children and youth with the services needed to make a successful transition from institutionalization to further schooling and employment; (3) prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of school; and (4) provide dropouts and youth returning from institutions with a support system to ensure their continued education. Services provided with Part D funds are designed with the expectation that the neglected, delinquent, and at risk children and youth who participate will meet the same challenging academic and content standards expected of all children and youth and acquire the knowledge and skills that they will need to become economically self-sufficient and lead productive lives.
Congress enacted Part D recognizing that--
A large percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have poor academic achievement and have often dropped out of school;
There is a strong correlation between academic failure and involvement in delinquent activities; and
Addressing the educational needs of at-risk youth while in school can help reduce the dropout rate and involvement in delinquent activities.
Purpose of Guidance
This document reflects changes made to the ESEA in 1994 and includes an explanation and interpretation of the statutory requirements authorized by Title I, Part D, Subparts 1, 2, and 3 and provides guidance for carrying out these requirements. It does not impose any requirements beyond those in the statute and other applicable Federal statutes and regulations. While States may wish to consider the guidance in developing their own guidelines and standards, they are free to develop alternative approaches that are consistent with applicable Federal statutes and regulations. Compliance with this document, however, will be deemed by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), including the Inspector General, as compliance with the applicable Federal statutes and regulations.