Waiver Request to U. S. Department of Education

Word version

Notice of Waiver Request and Opportunity to Comment

December 10, 2014

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT: Waiver Request to U. S. Department of Education for Flexibility to fund School Improvement Grant (SIG) funded Tier II schools with Title I, 1003(a) funding

 

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is requesting a waiver that would allow the use of Title I, 1003(a) grant funding to Tier II middle and/or high schools currently identified as priority schools.  This waiver is requested for the remainder of school year 2014-15 and school year 2015-16.

Texas is making the request to allow LEAs with schools that were funded with the School Improvement Grant 1003(g) (SIG) as Tier II middle and/or high schools to be served with Title I, 1003(a) funds at the conclusion of their SIG 1003(g) grant period. For the purposes of this waiver, eligible schools are those now identified as Priority schools that were previously identified via the USED Final Regulation of December 3, 2009, and determined by the State as (b)(i) A Tier II school is a secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I, Part A funds. In the absence of this waiver, a LEA with schools currently being served with SIG 1003(g) funds would no longer be able to support their Priority schools’ reform initiatives under Texas’ approved ESEA Flexibility Plan.

Texas hereby assures that, if it is granted the requested waiver, Texas will implement the waiver only with respect to those LEAs that have Tier II, SIG high schools or middle schools who request this waiver in writing, and provide an assurance that they will meet all statutory and regulatory requirements related to Texas’ ESEA Flexibility Plan and Title I, 1003(a) grant requirements.  TEA will evaluate each request, including proposed budgets and plans for sustaining implementation.  Each LEA granted this flexibility will be provided ongoing technical assistance, support and active monitoring of the 1003(a) program through the 2015-16 school year.

Additionally, approval of the requested waiver will allow eligible LEAs to access Title I, 1003(a) funding to provide financial support to continue the interventions and school reform initiatives initiated with SIG 1003(g) funds to increase the quality of instruction for students and improve academic achievement so that Priority schools can reduce their percentage of non-proficient students for each of their subgroups.

Texas has identified 48 schools for which this waiver may apply (see attached).

TEA is providing USED’s required notice of this waiver request by posting this letter to LEAs on the TEA website and disseminating it through the TEA “To the Administrator Addressed” electronic mail listserv.  TEA will also provide public notice and information regarding this waiver request through a posting in the Texas Register.  Texas will accept comments from LEA superintendents until close of business on December 22, 2014.

TEA will aggregate the comments received from LEAs in response to this notice and submit them as part of the state’s application for the waiver to USED. TEA will take comments into consideration when finalizing the state’s waiver request to USED. 

If you have questions regarding this waiver request, please contact Leticia Govea at leticia.govea@tea.texas.gov or (512) 463-1427. 


Sincerely,

Sally Partridge, Associate Commissioner
Accreditation and School Improvement 

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