OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
   Current Section

Distribution of Funds to Secondary School Programs in FY 2000 under Perkins III

Program Memorandum - OVAE/DVTE FY 2000-2

October 15, 1999
To:State Directors of Vocational-Technical Education
State Directors of Community, Technical and Junior Colleges
State Tech-Prep Coordinators
From:Patricia W. McNeil
Subject:Distribution of Funds to Secondary School Programs in Fiscal Year 2000 and Succeeding Fiscal Years under Section 131(b)(1) of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III)

Many States have inquired about problems they are having obtaining the data required for the distribution of funds under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III) to secondary school programs in fiscal year 2000 and beyond. Under section 131(b)(1) of Perkins III, the eligible agency must allocate the 30% of the funds available for secondary programs to local educational agencies (LEAs) in proportion to the number of individuals aged 15 to 19 who reside in the school district served by the LEA in the preceding fiscal year compared to the total number of such individuals who reside in school districts served by all LEAs in the State for that year. Although we did not expect eligible agencies to have problems with the data needed to allocate this 30% of the funds under section 131(b)(1), some problems have arisen. The focus of this memorandum is to present permissible options regarding the data needed for distribution of funds using the 30% factor.

Availability of Data Described in Section 131(b)(1)

We understand that States cannot allocate funds as described in law above. The Department has explored the availability of other data. We have determined that either the NCES enrollment [also known as, 'membership'] data or the Census data regarding the number of individuals 5-17 who reside in the school district served by the LEA has a very high degree of correlation with the data required under Section 131(b)(1). The NCES enrollment data is available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006155.

The Department has concluded that, if an eligible agency were to use either the NCES enrollment data or the 5-17 database described above in its alternative formula as a substitute for the data required by section 131(b)(1), we would accept the substitution as meeting the requirements of section 131(c) for the 30% part of the formula in section 131(b)(1). Further, we would accept an eligible agency's use of either database as the criterion to judge whether a different proposed waiver formula from the eligible agency meets the more equitable distribution test under section 131(c) below. An eligible agency may request a waiver as part of the State plan or separately.

Waiver to Allow the Use of Alternative Data

States may also request a waiver using other data. Section 131(c) of Perkins III provides for a waiver for more equitable distribution if an alternative formula better targets funds on the basis of poverty. It provides:

(c) Waiver for More Equitable Distribution.--The Secretary may waive the application of subsection (b) in the case of any eligible agency that submits to the Secretary an application for such a waiver that -

(1) demonstrates that a proposed alternative formula more effectively targets funds on the basis of poverty (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)) to [LEAs] within the State than the formula described in subsection (b); and

(2) includes a proposal for such an alternative formula.

The NCES enrollment data is from 1997, and thus, is the most recent data available. Among the advantages of the ages 5-17 database is that it was updated by the Census Bureau in 1995 and relates to LEA (NCES type 1 and 2 districts) boundaries for the 1995-96 school year. By law, the Census Bureau will update these data every two years. Data based on school district boundaries for 1999/2000 is due to be available as early as November 1999. In addition, the 15-19 database will be updated using 1997/1998 data. It will be available for both parts of the formula in April 2001, and we will expect States to use it at that time as described in the law. This school district data can be found at the Census web site at: http://www.census.gov/housing/saipe/sd95/USSD95.dat.

Adjusting the Databases

Whichever database is chosen, it should be adjusted by State personnel to reflect changes in LEA boundaries since 1995 and to include LEAs without geographical boundaries such as charter schools that are LEAs and secondary schools funded by the BIA. Under section 131(i), an eligible agency must treat secondary schools funded by the BIA as LEAs for the purposes of distributing the secondary school funds. In addition, under section 133(d), an eligible agency must distribute funds to charter schools in the same manner as to other schools. The eligible agency's allocation plan must ensure that charter schools receive the appropriate funds for which they are eligible in accordance with the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-278). Further guidance will be forthcoming from the Department on these requirements.

Since the 5-17 data are also being used for allocations under Title I of Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we recommend that State vocational education directors coordinate their efforts to reflect changed LEA boundaries and LEAs without boundaries with the State's Title I personnel.

Please note that this memorandum has not been assigned an OMB control number under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) because it is not intended as an information collection instrument. Therefore, you are not required to respond to it as an information collection. Please see section VI of the State plan guide for more detailed information on addressing these financial requirements in your State plan. If you have any questions or need additional information on these matters, please contact Mr. Jon Weintraub at (202) 205-5602.

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Last Modified: 10/16/2007