April 1, 2013
To The Administrator Addressed:
This letter serves as my certification that sufficient funds have been appropriated for administering the accelerated instruction programs for grades three through eight during the 2012-13 school year as specified under Texas Education Code 28.0211, the Student Success Initiative.
Among the factors that I considered in my certification were the availability of strong, peer-reviewed, and research-based instructional tools; individualized instruction for students; diagnostic instruments to assess gaps in student learning; immediate, up-to-date student performance data for parents and teachers; data that allows administrators and teachers to customize individual student remediation plans; differentiated instruction for students; discretionary grants to school districts; and federal funds.
Specifically, I considered the $41 million that the 2011 Texas Legislature appropriated for SSI. These funds are being used to support the following initiatives:
- Statewide licenses for state-funded access to interactive math and reading programs for all Texas public school students in grades three through eight. These online programs assess individual students according to skill level, automatically assign and deliver appropriate curriculum tailored to each student’s abilities, and provide meaningful reports that inform teachers and parents how a student is progressing.
- Technology-based supplemental mathematics tool targeted at students in grades two through four who are at-risk of failing mathematics. This program utilizes technology to provide an individualized, tailored path of learning based on continuous analysis of each student’s history of performance and provides extensive teacher professional development.
- Grants to schools based on the number of students in each district that scored below the statewide average raw score on 2012 STAAR reading and/or math assessments in grades five and eight.
Additionally, districts may use Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs) funds to supplement state dollars targeted at interventions for eligible students at schools with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students.
Michael L. Williams
Commissioner of Education