A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

The Teacher's Guide to the U.S. Department of Education - September 2000

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

OESE Web Page

The mission of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) is to promote academic excellence, to enhance educational opportunities and equity for all of America's children and families, and to improve the quality of teaching and learning by providing leadership, technical assistance and financial support. The various offices within OESE administer programs that are designed to carry out this mission.

Compensatory Education Programs

Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program

This program provides formula grants to state education agencies for competitive grant awards to local education agencies and participating schools. Schools receive annual awards of $50,000 or more to adopt or develop comprehensive school reforms based on reliable research and effective practices. States are encouraged to give competitive preference to local education agencies that use the funds for schools with low student achievement and high dropout rates.

Even Start Statewide Family Literacy Initiative Grants

This program offers competitive grants to states to plan and implement statewide family literacy initiatives and to coordinate and integrate existing federal, state, and local literacy resources. States must match the federal funds with a nonfederal contribution that equals the federal contribution.

Title I, Part A Program

This program provides formula grants through state education agencies to local education agencies. The goal is to improve the quality of teaching and enhance learning to enable low-achieving children to meet challenging state content and student performance standards.

Goals 2000 Programs

The GOALS 2000: Educate America Act is based on the premise that raising expectations improves performance, that academic standards should be raised, and that schools and teachers should be specific about what they expect students to learn. Goals 2000 challenges states and communities to develop and implement challenging academic content standards, student performance standards and assessments, and plans to improve teacher training. The purpose of Goals 2000 is to improve teaching and learning through long-term and broad-based efforts so that all students in a state will meet challenging academic standards.

Parental Assistance

GOALS 2000 provides grants to establish information and resource centers to train, inform and support parents of children from birth through secondary school. The centers help parents better understand their children?s education needs and help them achieve high standards. Nonprofit organizations working in consortia with local education agencies can apply for funds through this program.

Impact Aid

The Impact Aid Program makes formula grants to school districts that serve federally connected students (e.g., military dependents and children living on Indian lands) and to certain school districts containing a significant amount of federal property. Funds may be used for general education purposes, and teachers are frequently responsible for distributing and collecting survey forms to identify eligible students.

Indian Education

Office of Indian Education funds special programs to improve education opportunities for Indian children and adults, and to address the culturally related academic needs of Indian children. Information about the various Indian education programs is available through the Department.

Migrant Education

The Office of Migrant Education administers and coordinates programs that relate to the education of the children of migratory agricultural workers and fishers. Information about the various migrant education programs is available through the Office of Migrant Education.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program

The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program provides funds to assist states, schools and communities in the design, implementation and evaluation of alcohol and drug education and prevention programs. Teachers can receive training and materials through the following grant programs:

Governor?s Grants

This program provides support to governors for a variety of drug- and violence-prevention activities focused primarily on school-age youth. Governors use these funds to support parent groups, community-based organizations, and other public and private nonprofit entities for drug and violence prevention activities that complement the state and local portion of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program. Governors prioritize programs that serve youth who are not normally served by local education agencies or students who need additional services.

National Programs, Coordinated Grants

These programs are intended to prevent violence and the illegal use of drugs, as well as to promote safety and discipline at all education levels, from preschool through postsecondary. These programs require coordination with other appropriate federal activities designed to prevent drug use and violence among students at all education levels. National programs provide direct support for classroom teaching through initiatives such as development and dissemination of drug and violence prevention materials, including model programs, best practices, teacher training, and supplementary materials for use by students and parents.

National Programs, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative

These grants support local education agencies to develop community-wide approaches to creating safe and drug-free schools and promoting healthy childhood development. Programs are intended to prevent violence and the illegal use of drugs, and to promote safety and discipline. Coordination with other community-based organizations is required.

State Grants

This program provides support to state education agencies for a variety of drug and violence prevention activities focused primarily on school-age youth. States are required to distribute 91 percent of funds to local education agencies for drug and violence prevention activities authorized under the statute. Activities may include developing instructional materials; starting counseling services; initiating professional development programs for school personnel, students, law enforcement officials, judicial officials or community leaders; implementing conflict resolution, peer meditation and mentoring programs; developing character education programs and community service projects; establishing safe zones of passage for students to and from school; and acquiring and installing metal detectors and hiring security personnel.

School Improvement Programs

School improvement programs provide financial assistance to state and local education agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public and private nonprofit organizations for a variety of programs designed to improve elementary and secondary education. Examples are as follows:

Christa McAuliffe Fellowships

The Christa McAuliffe Fellowship program provides grants to states to reward excellence in teaching. Outstanding teachers receive fellowships to continue their education; to develop innovative programs; to consult with or assist local education agencies, private schools or private school systems; and to engage in other educational activities. Activities are designed to improve their knowledge and skills, as well as the education of their students.

Comprehensive Regional Assistance Centers

This program funds 15 grantees who provide comprehensive training and technical assistance to states, local education agencies, schools, Indian tribes, community-based organizations, and other recipients of federal funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The centers help coordinate and integrate the implementation of the ESEA and other federal education programs with state and local activities in ways that support efforts to improve teaching and learning and increase the academic achievement of all children.

Desegregation Assistance, Civil Rights Training and Advisory Services

The Desegregation Assistance, Civil Rights Training and Advisory Services Program is authorized by Title IV of the Civil Rights Act. Under this program, state education agencies and Desegregation Assistance Centers help public schools address problems resulting from race, sex, national origin, desegregation and equity issues.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Professional Development State Grants

The Eisenhower Program (also known as Title II) supports high-quality, sustained and intensive professional development activities in the core academic subjects to meet challenging state content and student performance standards. Title II funds support teacher improvement efforts primarily at the district and school levels, based on a comprehensive review of the professional development needs of various districts and schools. This program encourages the integration of professional development into the daily life of the school, moving beyond traditional one-day, "one-shot" workshops.

Education for Homeless Children and Youth

This program awards formula grants to the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico based on each state?s share of Title I funds. The outlying areas and the Bureau of Indian Affairs also receive funds under this program. Among other actions, an Office of Coordinator of Education of Homeless Children and Youth, is created to gather comprehensive information about homeless children and youth, including impediments to their regular attendance at school. These grants also enable state education agencies to ensure that homeless children, including preschool and youth, have equal access to a free, appropriate public education. States must have an approved plan for helping homeless children overcome problems associated with their enrollment, attendance and success in school.

Ellender Fellowships

The Ellender Fellowship Program provides funds to the Close Up Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit foundation that promotes knowledge and understanding of the federal government. The program provides financial aid to enable low-income students, their teachers, older Americans, recent immigrants and children of migrant parents to come to Washington, D.C., to study the operations of the three branches of the federal government.

Even Start Family Literacy

The Even Start Family Literacy Program offers grants to support local family literacy projects that integrate early childhood education, adult literacy, or basic education and parenting education into a unified family literacy program. Each program will include special training of staff to develop the skills necessary to work with parents and young children in the full range of instructional services that the Even Start project would provide. Eligible applicants include school districts in partnership with a public or private nonprofit organization, another public agency or an institution of higher education. Federal funds are allocated by formula to states, based on their relative shares of Title I, Part A funds. States make competitive grants to partnerships of local education agencies and other organizations, giving priority to proposals that target primarily low-income families.

Innovative Education Program Strategies

Innovative Education Program Strategies supports local education innovations. States must subgrant at least 85 percent of funds competitively to school districts to support activities in the following eight primary areas: (1) use of technology to implement reform; (2) acquisition and use of instructional and educational materials, including library materials and computer software; (3) promising education reform projects such as magnet schools; (4) programs for at-risk children; (5) literacy programs for students and their parents; (6) programs for gifted and talented children; (7) school reform efforts linked to Goals 2000; and (8) school improvement programs or activities authorized under Title I.

Magnet Schools Assistance

The Magnet Schools Assistance Program helps desegregate public schools by supporting the prevention, reduction, and elimination of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools with substantial numbers of minority group students. To meet the statutory purposes of the program, projects must also support the development and implementation of magnet schools that assist in the achievement of systemic reforms. In addition, projects must provide all students with the opportunity to meet challenging content and student performance standards, the development and design of innovative education methods and practices, and courses of instruction in magnet schools that strengthen students? knowledge of academic subjects and their grasp of tangible and marketable vocational skills. Only local education agencies that are part of a court-ordered or federally approved desegregation program are eligible to apply.

Magnet Schools?Innovative Programs

Innovative programs must use strategies other than magnet schools to assist in the desegregation of schools served by the applicant. Projects are to be based on a special theme, emphasis or concept and have significant parental and community involvement. The program provides an opportunity to create and test new or alternative strategies for achieving equity and educational excellence in public schools.

Parental Assistance Centers

Parental Assistance Centers provide parents with training, information and support to help them better understand their children?s education needs and help their children achieve high standards. Centers use their funds to (1) coordinate with existing programs that support parents in helping their children get ready for school and reach high standards; (2) provide information about high-quality family involvement programs to families, schools, school districts and others through conferences, workshops and other events; (3) develop and disseminate resource materials; and (4) support a variety of promising models of family involvement programs, including the Parents as Teachers program or Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters.

Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected and Delinquent or at Risk of Dropping Out

This program, also known as the Neglected and Delinquent Children Program, provides formula grants to State Education Agencies. The grants fund supplementary education services to help provide education continuity for children and youth in state-run institutions, for juveniles and in adult correctional institutions. The program is intended to allow these youths to make successful transitions to school or employment once they are released from state institutions. Funds are allocated by formula to states, which make subgrants to the state agencies responsible for educating neglected or delinquent children and youth.

Public Charter Schools

The Public Charter Schools Program provides financial assistance for the design and initial implementation of charter schools created by teachers, parents and other members of local communities. Grants are available on a competitive basis to state education agencies in states that have charter school laws; the states in turn make subgrants to authorized public chartering agencies in partnership with developers of charter schools. If an eligible state elects not to participate or if its application for funding is not approved, the Department can make grants directly to eligible local partnerships.

Technology Literacy Challenge Fund

Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grants support the development and implementation of systemic technology plans at the state, local and school levels to improve the quality of teaching and degree of learning within a school. The four major goals of the program are as follows: (1) all teachers will have the training and support they need to help all students learn using computers and the information superhighway; (2) all teachers and students will have modern computers in their classrooms; (3) every classroom will be connected to the information superhighway; and (4) effective and engaging software and online resources will be an integral part of every school curriculum.

Training and Advisory Services

Under this program, the Department funds 10 regional Equity Assistance Centers, which assist, upon request, in the areas of race, gender and national origin equity to public school districts and other responsible government agencies to promote equal educational opportunities. The Equity Assistance Centers work in the areas of civil rights, equity and school reform. They enable schools and communities to ensure that opportunities are available and accessible for all children.

Women's Educational Equity

This program promotes educational equity for women and girls through competitive grants to public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and individuals and through dissemination of materials by a National Equity Resource Center. Most of the program?s funds support the local implementation of gender-equity policies and practices. Also funded are research, development and dissemination activities. Projects may be funded for up to four years.

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