Section 1120A(c) of No Child Left Behind states that local educational agencies (LEAs) may receive Title I funds only if state and local funds will be used in schools served under Title I Part A to provide services that, taken as a whole, are at least comparable to services in schools that are not receiving funds under Title I Part A. If all the LEA's schools receive Title I services, the LEA may receive Title I funds only if state and local funds are used to provide services, that taken as a whole, are substantially comparable in each school.
To prove comparability, a district needs to examine the state and locally paid instructional staff in all schools being compared. The calculation of comparability is determined by examining the total Full Time Employees (FTE) of instructional staff in all schools being compared. Instructional staff includes teachers and other personnel assigned to schools who provide direct instructional services such as music, art, and physical education teachers, guidance counselors, speech therapists and librarians, as well as other personnel who provide services that support instruction, such as school social workers and psychologists. Paraprofessionals and principals are not included as instructional staff when calculating FTEs. When demonstrating compliance for comparability, a district may exclude staff paid with state and local funds -- in supplemental programs that meet the intent and purposes of Title I, in language instruction education programs, and the excess costs in programs providing assistance to students with disabilities as determined by the LEA. Districts must keep the data used to make the Title I Comparability Report calculations in the district audit file.
Neither the Title I Comparability Report Form nor the requirements of comparability have changed from the 2007-2008 school year. However, a definition of instructional staff has been included which omits paraprofessional staff and the principal from inclusion in the comparability calculations and clearly outlines the penalty for schools that are not comparable.
REMEMBER, ONLY SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH MORE THAN ONE SCHOOL PER GRADE LEVEL ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE TITLE I COMPARABILITY REPORT.
The purpose of the comparability requirement is to ensure that Title I schools receive the same level of services from State and local funds as other schools; therefore, determinations must be made as early as possible in the school year. The deadline for submission is November 3, 2008. Data used to complete the original Comparability Report is October 1, 2008. District officials should complete preliminary reports prior to October 1 to insure any required staff adjustments are made as early as possible in the school year.
The attached report form is in Excel format. To move between the different pages of the report, the district will use the tabs at the bottom of the page. The district must copy the report to a district computer. When completed, the district must print the report, have the person responsible for completing the report sign it, and submit as follows:
Arkansas Department of Education
Federal Grants Management
Four Capitol Mall, Room 105-C
Little Rock, AR 72201-1071
For assistance, contact Annette Pearson at 501/683-1243 or Kim Bajorek at 501-683-6530.