Texas Monitoring Report

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June 19, 2012

Honorable Robert Scott
Commissioner of Education
Texas Education Agency
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

Dear Commissioner Scott:

I am writing regarding the Title I monitoring report issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) office on March 30, 2012. More specifically, this letter is to inform you that SASA has revised Finding (1) under monitoring indicator 3.3 - Within District Allocation Procedures. This revision is the result of clarifications related to the finding provided by Dr. Terry Grier, Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) during discussions with the Department.

This finding concerned a within-district allocation issue under section 1113 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA). To summarize, we found that the HISD improperly determined eligibility of their schools to receive Title I funds and then allocated Title I funds in rank order based on those eligibility determinations. We noted that, as a general rule, LEA’s must determine eligibility for Title I based on the percentage of children from low-income families residing in each school attendance area. An exception to this general rule is where a school does not have a fixed attendance area, in which case eligibility may be based on the percentage of children from low-income families enrolled in a school. We found that, for all but three of its schools, the HISD based its eligibility and allocation determinations on the percentage of children from low-income families enrolled in each school even though most of the schools served a specific school attendance area. Because the remaining three schools would not have been eligible based on enrollment data, the HISD determined eligibility using the percentage of children from low-income families who resided in the school attendance area served by the school, but allocated funds based on enrollment data.

In the discussion concerning this finding with the Department, Dr. Grier indicated that the HISD has an open enrollment policy for all of its schools and that no school has a fixed attendance area. This information was not evident based on interviews with HISD officials or in documents provided to the SASA team when monitoring the HISD’s allocation procedures. This new information does not resolve the finding. However, because the finding was initially predicated on an understanding that most HISD schools have specific attendance areas, it does change the nature of the finding and the required corrective action. Thus, we have revised Finding 1 under indicator 3.3 as well as the corrective action required.

Please see the enclosed report that incorporates the revised finding. If you have any questions about the revised finding and corrective action, please let me know.



Acting Director
Student Achievement and
School Accountability Programs

cc: Vivian Smyrl
Monica Martinez
Susie Coultress

Monitoring Reports

Last Modified: 06/20/2012