ESEA section 1501 authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Education to enter into local flexibility demonstration agreements with local educational agencies (LEAs) under which such agencies may consolidate eligible Federal education funds with State and local funds in accordance with certain requirements in order to develop a student-centered funding system based on weighted per-pupil allocations for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged students. Under a local flexibility demonstration agreement, an LEA may use the Federal funds allocated through its system flexibly, provided it meets the purposes of each Federal education program supported by the consolidated Federal funds, including serving students from low-income families, English learners, migratory children, and children who are neglected, delinquent, or at risk, as applicable.
For an LEA that enters into a local flexibility demonstration agreement, the Secretary is authorized to waive those provisions of the ESEA that would otherwise prevent the LEA from using eligible Federal funds as part of such an agreement. Relieving an LEA from certain ESEA requirements in this manner would enable the LEA to use the Federal funds allocated through its student-centered funding system flexibly, provided it meets the purposes of each Federal education program supported by the consolidated Federal funds, including serving students from low-income families, English learners, migratory children, and children who are neglected, delinquent, or at risk, as applicable.
Does your district currently use or plan to use “student-centered” or “weighted-student” funding? Is your district interested in rethinking the traditional ways that Federal funds are allocated and used? Is your district committed to allocating more resources to students with demonstrably higher need?
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) invited applications for up to 50 school districts to participate in a pilot program that offers flexibility to include eligible Federal funds along with State and local dollars in a student-centered funding system. The pilot program is a bipartisan initiative that was authorized by ESSA. The flexibility relieves many of the Federal requirements related to allocation, use and reporting for those eligible Federal funds.
For interested districts, the Department is offering intensive technical assistance over the next several months that will result in a complete application submission for the pilot program. If you are interested in (a) individual consultation; (b) informal feedback on draft proposals; and (c) real-time problem solving, please send the following to WeightedFundingPilot@ed.gov:
- 1. LEA Name
2. LEA Contact, including:
- a. Name and Position
- b. Telephone
- c. Mailing address
- d. Email address
- 3. The school year in which you anticipate implementing the flexibility (the earliest year should be school year 2019-2020)
- 4. Your initial proposed school funding system weights
- 5. Any other information you wish to share, including, for example, the types of technical assistance that interest your district most and whether your district already uses weights in its funding approach
(Note: Each of these pieces of information is included in the application for Student-Centered Funding found at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/scfp/studentcentered.html.)
The Department wants to engage with as many districts as possible and will accept technical assistance requests on a rolling basis until September 28, 2018. For thorough planning, we encourage you to respond as soon as possible. If interest exceeds capacity, the Department will establish cohorts of districts for technical assistance by prioritizing those that (1) provide all requested information; (2) want to implement in the earliest school year; (3) submit a request earliest during the rolling window; (4) already use a weighted funding approach; (5) have multiple schools in the district; (6) are located in rural areas; and (7) are willing to commit, at a minimum, to approximately 12 hours of district work on an application. District work will include an initial one-hour consultation with the Department, several hours of internal district deliberation, several hours of district proposal development, additional calls with the Department, and potential topic-specific webinars.
We look forward to working with you! Please send questions and notices of interest to WeightedFundingPilot@ed.gov.
- June 2018
- May 2018
- Frequently Asked Questions (updated May 31, 2018)