President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) student recipients are selected annually by their school principal. This year, PEAP provided individual recognition to nearly 3 million graduates (at the elementary, middle and high school level) across the nation at more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Outlying Areas — American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands — and American military bases abroad.
Students received a certificate signed by President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Schools also received letters from the President and the Secretary.
The Department encourages schools to be on the lookout for 2018-19 school year materials from PEAP program partners: the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The materials outline how to order certificates to award students before the end of the school year. Certificates are FREE, and there is no limit.
Please review the participant list at to see if your school is currently involved. If not, contact your local school/principal and urge them to participate for the upcoming school year.
PEAP was founded in 1983. Every year since then, the program has provided principals with the opportunity to recognize students who meet high standards of academic excellence, as well as those who have given their best effort, often overcoming obstacles in their learning. Eligible graduating K-12 students are selected by their principal under two categories.
The President’s Award for Educational Excellence – This award recognizes academic success in the classroom. To be eligible, students must meet a few academic requirements, including a high grade point average or other school-set criteria and a choice of either state test performance or teacher recommendations.
The President’s Award for Educational Achievement – This award recognizes students that show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in their subjects but do not meet the academic criteria above. Its purpose is to encourage and reward students who give their best effort, often in the face of special obstacles, based on criteria developed at each school.
The awards were presented to students by their fifth-grade homeroom teachers: Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Black, Mrs. Staggs, Miss Dillon, and Ms. Thompson.
Ombudsman Alternative Center in Mississippi serves high school-age students in Natchez School District who meet criterion and can take classes at their own pace to earn their high school diploma. Two Natchez students were recognized by PEAP this year, receiving certificates for their academic achievements. Principal Allison Jowers announced the students’ awards in May at the local board meeting, saying both students had earned the honors through their hard work and dedication to education. Jaila Queen, a freshman, earned the academic excellence award, while Briana White, a senior, earned the educational achievement award.
Two Natchez students Jaila Queen (left) and Briana White (right) received awards signed by President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for their academic success this year.
The program also receives great feedback throughout the year. From Long Pond Schoolin New Jersey, which celebrated their students’ achievement on May 24: “This is the 34thyear that Long Pond has participated in this program, and it’s really exciting to be part of it.” Principal Bryan Fleming closed the event with the reading of the anonymous poem “Just One,” which speaks of the many ways a small effort can spark greatness. The poem ends with the lines, “One life can make a difference, that one life could be you.”
Frances Hopkins is director of the President’s Education Awards Program at the U.S. Department of Education.
The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the launch of the Comprehensive Center Network (CC Network) website. The CC Network website brings together a compilation of more than 700 resources developed by 23 Comprehensive Centers and over 200 projects currently underway in states across the country and makes searching by state or topic easier.
Through a single website, the CC Network portal, anyone interested in learning more of the broad range of education initiatives funded by the U. S. Department of Education, through the Department’s comprehensive centers, may examine the hundreds of efforts underway, or completed, through the nation’s network of centers. Visit the site today at www.CompCenterNetwork.org and follow CCN on Twitter for important website updates.
There was a time when I couldn’t even say the word out loud. It was too painful, too devastating to utter. I wanted to believe that if I didn’t say the word, it didn’t exist. But it does exist; it’s real, and it’s beautiful, and it’s challenging all at the same time. And whether I say the word or not, my son Chris has autism.
I’ve been on this autism journey for 30 years now, more than half my life. Back in 1990, when Chris was first diagnosed, there was no autism awareness month, because there wasn’t autism awareness. Family, friends, and neighbors looked at me quizzically when I shared his diagnosis. What does that mean? How did he get it? How do you cure it? But I did not have the answers. Even the multitude of doctors we saw could not provide the answers. Since that time, there has been an exponential increase in the number of children diagnosed, and almost everyone has been touched by autism in some way. So today, when a family shares the diagnosis, others are usually aware of what it means.
As I reflect on the past 30 years I recall so many memories. I remember, as if it was yesterday, sitting in the doctor’s office; the diagnosis confirmed my fears following months of research into what might be causing the unusual behaviors of our little boy.
I remember…calling anyone and everyone I thought might help my family; the feelings of isolation at the playground, Sunday school, birthday parties, and all the other places where we just never seemed to fit in; the stress before every outing, wondering if there would be a meltdown or some other embarrassing event; wondering if my marriage would survive the stress; and the feelings of inadequacy for not parenting my children the way I thought I should have.
I remember the fear, guilt, and sheer terror of not knowing where my child was that day when he wandered off. But I also remember the intense relief and gratitude I felt when he was found.
I remember the vast uncertainty I felt when Chris was diagnosed, wondering what his life would be like as he grew to adulthood. And now that we have reached that point, I want to share some of the bright lights we encountered along the way, especially for those of you who may be new to the journey.
When he was four, I remember watching Chris climb aboard the school bus to begin the 45-minute ride to his “special” school. My gut told me that he needed to be with his community friends, and I spent years trying to persuade my school district to serve him in our local school. I learned about Chris’ right to be included with his neighborhood peers when I attended a workshop hosted by the New Jersey Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), our state’s federally funded Parent Training and Information Center. SPAN became one of the bright lights on our path. The information our family received from SPAN allowed us to develop an IEP (individualized education program) that brought Chris back to our home district for high school. I remember watching anxiously as he disappeared into the building on his first day of high school, also his first day of school in a general education setting. Despite my concerns, I remember how kind and supportive Chris’ peers were to him; serving as beacons lighting our journey. I remember Chris learning math, reading, and how to play an instrument—things I was told he wouldn’t be able to do—and working with teachers who never gave up on him. And I will never forget, four years later, watching him climb into a limo with friends to attend the senior prom. My heart was so full of happiness and pride I thought it would burst.
This journey has taught me a great deal; autism has been my teacher for some of life’s most important lessons:
Autism helps you to be grateful for the small things, the things you might have overlooked had they not been such a struggle to achieve: hugs, first words, friends, independence, general happiness and physical health. I’ve learned to take nothing for granted.
I continue to be in awe of, and inspired by, all the people we’ve met on this journey, most of whom have gone out of their way to help us any way they could: doctors, teachers, therapists, neighbors, friends, strangers, other families on the same path, and my colleagues at SPAN. Today, Chris has a circle of support that makes it possible for him to live a full, rich life. My husband and I appreciate the love and support of family; siblings have been caretakers and cheerleaders, and extended family members step up and help, no questions asked. Autism has taught me that I can’t do it all alone, no matter how hard I try. We need the support of others and must learn to accept it graciously.
Fear is an everyday struggle on this journey. I fear what will happen today and in the near future, and dread what might happen to my child when I’m not able to care for him. I feel trepidation in trying something new, and doubt with every life decision. But sometimes I must take a leap of faith. In this, I have always been rewarded, either with success or increased knowledge, both very valuable. I have learned to trust in myself and follow my gut.
Of yourself and others. Don’t hold onto past mistakes and don’t carry the burden of anger and resentment toward others. Learn to let go, learn from your experiences, and move on.
Laugh at yourself and your circumstances. Laughing releases endorphins and helps you feel good. We can learn a lot by seeing the world through a different lens and by not taking things—or ourselves—too seriously.
In closing, what I want to share with you more than anything is how immensely proud I am of Chris and all he has accomplished. He is a 30-year-old man living with autism, working and volunteering in the community, and often struggling to find his voice and get by in a world that can be overwhelming for him. Yet he manages to do it with dignity and grace, with unwavering support from the circle of love and light that surrounds him—his parents, siblings, and extended family; his peers, support staff, and therapists; our neighbors and friends. I shall always be thankful for Chris and the guiding lights that autism brought into our lives.
Carolyn Hayer is the Director of Parent and Professional Development at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) in New Jersey, an OSERS-funded Parent Training and Information Center.
Working as a Financial Aid Counselor, families often ask me how they can pay for college. More often than not this conversation takes place during the student’s senior year in high school. As a first-generation college student, there are things I wish my family and I had known to help us save on our college bill. These are a few things that families can do to help cut the cost of college:
1. Community colleges can be great options
Community college offers the most affordable education out there. At community college you can complete the general education classes that every school requires, and then transfer to a 4-year school where you can take classes specific to your major. Also, community college is a great place to gain technical skills and earn a short-term certificate to get you started in the workforce.
2. Buy used textbooks or rent them
Buy used books or check to see if you can rent textbooks at your school or online. After the class is over, sell your books back online, to the bookstore, or to someone else.
If you do an internet search for textbooks you may find a better deal from an online retailer than from the school bookstore, or you may be able to download a less expensive electronic version.
3. Explore all of your aid options
Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are several types of aid such as grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. Apply for financial aid every year you are in school and start looking for scholarships early.
Also check with your school’s Financial Aid Office to see if merit-based aid is available. To qualify for merit-based aid, you may need to meet certain criteria, such as specific academic areas or certain sports.
4. Borrow responsibly
Student loans are not free. You must pay back your student loans with interest.
If you have student loan money left over after you pay your school expenses, you do not have to accept that money. It is not free! The less money you borrow now, the less money you will have to repay after graduation.
If you pay the interest while you are in school, you will pay less money in the long run.
5. Avoid dropping classes and focus on graduating on time
Decide what you want to major in early in your college career and decide which career path is right for you. By thinking about this ahead of time, you will avoid paying for classes that don’t end up contributing toward your degree.
Dropping classes will extend your time to completion. The longer you are in school the more you will pay for college. Postponing joining the workforce also means you will be losing out on potential earnings.
These are only some of the things I wish I had known when preparing to pay for my college education. All of the tips mentioned involve planning ahead.
A great way to handle your finances and practice planning is to develop a spending plan. A spending plan can help you manage your financial aid and finances, while helping you figure out your expenses over the number of years that it will take you complete your degree, but that’s a topic for another blog.
Robert Weinert Jr. is a Financial Aid Adviser and is pursuing his Masters in Higher Education Administration Enrollment Management at Bay Path University. He is a 2017-18 virtual intern with the Office of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education.
Announces primary membership, first meeting and other key details
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced new details on the Federal Commission on School Safety the President appointed her to chair. The Commission has been charged with quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school. Accordingly, the Commission will be comprised of department heads whose agencies have jurisdiction over key school safety issues: Secretary DeVos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
The first organizational meeting will be Wednesday, March 28 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the scope of the Commission’s work, timeline, locations for meetings and topics for field hearings.
Input from and meetings with students, parents, teachers, school safety personnel, administrators, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, school counselors, security professionals and other related stakeholders will be critical to the Commission’s work.
Additional details on stakeholder engagement both in Washington and across the country will follow the meeting on March 28.
“Over the last several weeks, I have held meetings with parents and non-profit organizations, who in the wake of tragedy, have leapt into action and have focused on finding solutions to school violence,” said Secretary DeVos. “The Commission’s task will be to hear their ideas and the ideas of anyone who is focused on finding solutions to bolster school safety across the country. We want to highlight what’s working so that every school has access to solutions that will keep students and teachers safe.”
Attorney General Sessions had this to say about the Federal Commission on School Safety’s work, “No child should have to be afraid to go to school. That’s why President Trump has taken action to strengthen law enforcement and to protect law-abiding people from the threat of gun violence. Since last month’s tragic shooting in Parkland, the Department of Justice has taken new steps to put more law enforcement officers in schools, ban bump stocks, get better information to our background check systems, and aggressively prosecute those who lie on a background check. I am confident that, by bringing together teachers, parents, and law enforcement officers, the School Safety Commission will inform the next steps we will take to give students safety and peace of mind.”
Secretary Azar added, “It is a core responsibility of government to keep our communities, and especially our schools, safe from all forms of violence. We at HHS look forward to contributing to the work of the Commission, especially when it comes to identifying young Americans struggling with serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness and helping them find treatment that enables them to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Secretary Nielsen said, “No child should have to worry about their safety when in school. The Department’s top priority is to keep the American people safe. I look forward to working with other Commission members to advance school security, including by promoting education and community awareness of school threats, capacity building and training to guard against them, and early warning mechanisms to help intervene before threats become tragedies.”
Members of the public with recommendations on how to increase school safety can send them to email@example.com.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today new federal assistance for students and schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires. An additional $2.7 billion, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will be used to help K-12 school districts and schools as well as institutions of higher education (IHEs) in their recovery efforts.
“The long road to recovery continues, but these funds should provide vital support to schools and institutions to help them return to their full capabilities as quickly and effectively as possible,” said Secretary DeVos. “I continue to be inspired every day by the dedication shown by educators, administrators and local leaders to getting students’ lives back to normal.”
Secretary DeVos has visited each of the hurricane-impacted areas and continues to be in frequent contact with education leaders as they restore their learning environments. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Secretary deployed more than a dozen volunteers as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Surge Capacity Force across Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Department continues to regularly send staff to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island to provide on-site assistance.
The new Federal assistance announced today will allow the Department to launch the following programs:
(1) Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart)
Under this program, the Department is authorized to award funds to eligible State educational agencies (SEAs), including those of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas and U.S. Virgin Islands. These SEAs, in turn, will provide assistance or services to local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools, and private schools to help defray expenses related to the restart of operations in, the reopening of, and the re-enrollment of students in elementary and secondary schools that serve an area affected by a covered disaster or emergency.
(2) Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students
Under this program, the Department will award Emergency Impact Aid funding to SEAs, which, in turn, will provide assistance to LEAs for the cost of educating students enrolled in public schools, including charter schools, and private schools, who were displaced by the hurricanes during the school year 2017-2018 and California wildfires in 2017.
Congress appropriated a combined amount of approximately $2.5 billion for both the Restart and Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Student programs. The amounts awarded under each program will be based on demand and specific data received from eligible applicants.
(3) Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth
Congress appropriated $25 million for additional grants to SEAs for LEAs to address the needs of homeless students displaced by the covered disasters and emergencies. The Department anticipates using data on displaced public school students collected under the Emergency Impact Aid program to make allocations to SEAs under the Assistance for Homeless Children and Youths program. SEAs will award subgrants to LEAs on the basis of demonstrated need. LEAs must use the funds awarded under this program to support activities that are allowable under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
(4) Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education
Congress appropriated $100 million for this program, which will provide emergency assistance to IHEs and their students in areas directly affected by the covered disasters or emergencies, for activities authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965.
(5) Defraying Costs of Enrolling Displaced Students in Higher Education
Congress appropriated $75 million for this program, which will provide payments to IHEs to help defray the unexpected expenses associated with enrolling displaced students from IHEs directly affected by a covered disaster or emergency, in accordance with criteria to be established and made publicly available.
The Department will be sharing additional information soon, including the application packages and technical assistance, on its “Disaster Relief” webpage at https://www.ed.gov/disasterrelief.
For additional information on the programs for K-12 schools and school districts, please contact David Esquith, Director, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, at David.Esquith@ed.gov. For additional information on the programs for IHEs, please contact Adam Kissel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs, Office of Postsecondary Education, at Adam.Kissel@ed.gov.
Since 1837, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been educating and preparing, primarily, but far from exclusively, African American students – nearly a quarter of HBCU students are non-Black – to contribute to the American experience. These institutions help fill the nation’s dual pipeline of productivity: providing diversely talented employees and creating employment opportunities. They consistently add both workers and job-creation to their state and local economies.
The study sheds an important light on HBCUs in the modern era. The institutions, spanning 19 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, disproportionately take on the challenge of providing first-generation, low-income, minority, rural and inner-city students the opportunity to earn college degrees.
Impressively, for example, HBCUs comprise just three percent of all nonprofit colleges and universities, but enroll 10 percent of African American college students, and are responsible for 17 percent of African Americans earning their bachelor’s degrees and 24 percent of African Americans earning their credentials in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The UNCF study is a wonderful contribution – a foundation stone on which we can pursue new areas of exploration to develop enduring strategies and attract commensurate investment to increase the all too often unheralded or overlooked value of America’s HBCUs.
Connecting to Innovation Ecosystems
To build on our nation’s leadership position in the global economy, over the past half-century, America has invested heavily in developing the world’s most advanced countrywide network of regional innovation ecosystems to support talent development, creativity, research, commercialization, entrepreneurship and job creation. Unfortunately, the government, philanthropic, business and community leaders who have led the rise of – and maintain stewardship within – these fantastic ecosystems have not been successful connecting these forward-looking investments to HBCUs and the populations and communities they principally serve. This undermines prospects to grow and equip a deep and diverse enough pool of Americans to power national prosperity for generations to come.
The absence of inclusive and diverse innovation ecosystems demands the development and adoption of frameworks and strategies embedded with the magnificent contributions of HBCUs. The ROI: HBCUs can help more Americans improve their connectivity to and productivity within the 21st century economy.
Endgame: More Talent to Fuel U.S. Competitive Advantage
For most of the 20th century, those principally served by HBCUs were not able to contribute their full talent to the national economy. Yet, in those days, America could economically lead the globe with proverbially one hand tied behind her back.
In other words, back then, U.S. economic competitiveness was assured even without optimal productivity from large swaths of our population. This is no longer the case.
In today’s economy, where relentless global competition for jobs and opportunity is the new normal, the immutable laws of economic prosperity do not allow America to sustain global leadership without greater contributions from more Americans – especially the latent and untapped abilities of those principally served by HBCUs.
In January, President Trump attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Of note, Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum, may have put it best when he said, “Capital is being superseded by creativity and the ability to innovate – and therefore by human talents – as the most important factors of production. If talent is becoming the decisive factor, we can be confident in stating that capitalism is being replaced by talentism.”
In the age of “talentism,” awakening the dormant abilities of more Americans and connecting them to the economy is the most promising path to new wealth generation, greater new job-creation and increased business output. These enhancements will improve our national economic competitiveness and quality of life for Americans, and, importantly, strengthen our national security.
Quite simply, the American economy grows more competitive when educational access is widely available. Our nation’s HBCUs broaden education access, and their positive impact on the country is undeniable. The White House Initiative on HBCUs is excited to partner across the federal government and with the private sector to foster investment in HBCUs to grow their contributions to America; as such, contributions are vital to the competitiveness of the United States.
President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) student recipients are selected annually by their school principal. Last year, PEAP provided individual recognition to nearly three million graduates at the elementary, middle and high school level at more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Outlying Areas (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
Students receive a certificate and schools receive a letter signed by the President and U.S. Secretary of Education.
School Year 2017-18 program materials are now available from PEAP’s partners: the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the Association for Middle-Level Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The materials outline how to order certificates before the end of the school year. Certificates are absolutely FREE – and there is no limit.
Please review the list of participating schools at https://www.ed.gov/presedaward/. If your local school does not currently participate, please reach out and urge them to do so this year. We want to recognize ALL graduates for their accomplishments.
PEAP was founded in 1983. Every year since then, the program has provided principals with the opportunity to recognize students who meet high standards of academic excellence, as well as those who have given their best effort – often overcoming obstacles in their learning. Eligible students are selected by their principal under two categories.
The President’s Award for Educational Excellence recognizes academic success in the classroom. To be eligible, students must meet a few academic requirements, including a high grade point average or other school-set criteria and a choice of either state test performance or teacher recommendations.
The President’s Award for Educational Achievement recognizes students that show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in their subjects but do not meet the academic criteria above. Its purpose is to encourage and reward students who give their best effort, often in the face of special obstacles, based on criteria developed at each school.
Frances Hopkins is director of the President’s Education Awards Program at the U.S. Department of Education.
It just figures that National School Counseling Week starts the day after the Super Bowl. The country gorges on guacamole-covered chicken wings on Sunday, and when America’s most misunderstood group of educators asks for three nacho chips and a high five on Monday, the country is too tired to party.
In some ways, we don’t mind. The last time we made headlines, most people surveyed felt that school counselors were more of a hindrance than a help in applying to college. Before that, we were the punch line of a car ad — “Your guidance counselor drives a minivan” — or we were known as the washed-up teachers who were given offices close to the principal so he could keep an eye on us.
But Jenny doesn’t see us that way.
Jenny was the quiet, slender girl who didn’t cause anyone trouble, except herself. When two or three students saw Jenny needed help, they went straight to the school counselor, who called Jenny into that office close to the principal to talk about it in a safe, confidential place. Jenny got help, and became an even more beautiful person.
Steve doesn’t see us that way either. Three weeks into school, he had his fifth unexcused absence, and was on his way to flunking a required course. He told his school counselor he was working late to support the newborn son no one knew he had. His counselor asked the teacher to give Steve one last break, but never mentioned why. Steve got it, graduated, and got a full-time job that paid enough to take care of his young family.
If you didn’t know that, you’re not supposed to. When someone’s life slips or they don’t know where to turn, school counselors give them the space for grace and dignity to rebuild and strengthen their lives, all without fanfare. Sometimes, if you don’t know we’re doing our job, we’re doing our job pretty well.
Of course, we aren’t perfect. Most of us work with 450 students at once, and some have twice that number. Since many principals think we should change schedules instead of lives, we don’t have as much time to help students as we’d like, and most of us were never — never — trained how to help students apply to college.
I bet you didn’t know that either.
Old habits die hard — school counselors know that for sure — but if you have a minute this week, stop by and thank your school counselor for everything you don’t know they’re doing, and put in a good word for them with the principal. We might not score winning touchdowns or drive fast cars, but when the goal is to drive 450 students to win their own big game, the minivan really rocks it.
Patrick O’Connor is a 2017-18 School Counselor Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education.
Washington — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced new flexibility for school districts to create equitable, student-centered funding systems under a pilot program authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
“This is a great opportunity for local district leaders to put students first,” said Secretary DeVos. “Instead of relying on complex federal rules to allocate funds, local leaders can use this flexibility to match funds—local, State or Federal—to the needs of students.”
The flexibility will allow school districts to combine eligible Federal funds with State and local funds in order to allocate resources to schools based on the number of students and the corresponding level of need. This type of system, often called “student-centered funding” or “weighted student funding”, is widely considered to be a modern, transparent and quantifiable way to allocate resources to the students most in need.
Previously, inflexible rules guiding the allocation and use of Federal funds made it difficult for school districts to create student-centered funding systems using Federal, State and local funds. School districts awarded flexibility will be relieved from Federal funding rules that would otherwise prevent them from implementing a student-centered funding system. ESSA provides for up to fifty school districts to receive the flexibility during the first three years of the program.
School districts that receive the flexibility are expected to design and implement a student-centered funding system that meets all statutory requirements of the pilot program, including the use of weights that allocate substantially more funding to students from low-income families, to English learners and to any other educationally disadvantaged student group identified by the school district.
School districts that receive the flexibility must also provide an assurance that parents, teachers, school leaders and other relevant stakeholders are consulted in the development and implementation of the student-centered funding system.
The application will open on February 7, 2018. For applicants intending to use the flexibility during the 2018-2019 school year, the application is due by March 12, 2018. For applicants intending to use the flexibility during the 2019-2020 school year, the application is due by July 15, 2018.
All local educational agencies (LEAs) are eligible to apply. The Department is authorized to award flexibility to 50 LEAs.
2. How do you apply?
The application will be available for download from the Department of Education website beginning February 7, 2018. Completed applications can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. What is being awarded?
The program will award flexibility only. It does not include a financial award.
4. When is the application due?
For LEAs that indicate on their application that they plan to use the flexibility during the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, the application is due by March 12, 2018. For LEAs that indicate they plan to use the flexibility during the 2019-2020 school year, the application is due by July 15, 2018.
For LEAs that will not use the flexibility until the 2019-2020 school year, the time between award and use may be used for planning.
5. When will the flexibility be awarded?
The Department intends to award the flexibility on a rolling basis, with those LEAs that apply to use the flexibility during the 2018-2019 school year receiving the earliest award notices.
Please consult Title I, Part E, Section 1501 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for all applicable statutory requirements for participation in the program.