Waiver Request to U. S. Department of Education Extension of Period of Availability of Fiscal Year 2011 Section 1003(g) Funds

Word Version

September 12, 2013

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT: Waiver Request to U. S. Department of Education Extension of Period of Availability of Fiscal Year 2011 Section 1003(g) Funds

Texas’ federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 funds under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program under section 1003(g) of  the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) must be obligated by September 30, 2013.  Currently, Texas has approximately $17,500,000 in unobligated / unexpended FY 2011 SIG funds.  A portion of these funds remain unexpended because of the delay in making initial awards combined with embedded incentive structures that depend on student performance results which have been delayed in the transition to a new assessment system. 

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) does not anticipate campuses being able to expend all of these funds in a thoughtful manner that will increase the quality of instruction and academic performance for students prior to the September 30, 2013, deadline.  The U. S. Department of Education (USDE) has invited states to submit this waiver request, and TEA is, therefore, requesting a waiver to USDE to extend the period of availability of the FY 2011 funds through December 31, 2015.

If the waiver request is approved, TEA will combine the remaining federal FY 2011 SIG funds with its 2013 or 2014 SIG funds to make additional SIG awards consistent with the SIG final requirements and / or allow Cohort 2 campuses additional time to expend these funds.  TEA believes the approval of this waiver will permit TEA to use FY 2011 funds to make and / or continue SIG awards that will allow LEAs to support the implementation of required school intervention models.  Extending the period of availability of these funds will help increase the quality of instruction and improve the academic achievement of students in these schools by supporting rigorous reforms.

TEA is providing notice of its intent to apply to USDE for this waiver by posting this letter to LEAs on the TEA web site and disseminating it through the TEA “To the Administrator Addressed” electronic mail list serv.  Please submit any comments regarding the waiver request to nclbttips@tea.texas.gov by Thursday, September 19, 2013.

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 USDE. Please note that TEA will not respond to any comments or questions received regarding this waiver request but will instead take comments into consideration when finalizing the state’s waiver request. 

In the near future, TEA will also provide public notice and information regarding this waiver request through a posting in the Texas Register.

If you have questions regarding this waiver request, please contact Shayna Sheehan via electronic mail at shayna.sheehan@tea.texas.gov or at (512) 463-2617, or Leticia Govea via electronic mail at leticia.govea@tea.texas.gov or at (512) 463-1427. 

Sincerely,

Sally Partridge, Associate Commissioner
Accreditation and School Improvement