After consultation with the United States Department of Education, Arkansas schools may elect to participate in the pilot program explained below.
A proposed amendment to the Arkansas No Child Left Behind Accountability Workbook to reverse a school’s required action under School Improvement – Year 1 status has been approved as a pilot program for the 2008-2009 school year. This amendment provides that Title I schools in School Improvement – Year 1 will now be allowed to provide supplemental educational services (SES) rather than school choice as required by NCLB statutes. This amendment was approved by the U.S. Department of Education as a strategy to provide options at the local school site to meet student instructional needs before invoking the mandatory choice options. Schools and districts are reminded that a school in School Improvement – Year 2 or higher continues to provide both SES and choice options each year.
School districts will be allowed to count costs for providing parent outreach toward the 20 percent expenditure requirement, up to an amount equal to one percent of the 20 percent expenditure requirement for SES. There are no other changes to the procedures associated with SES.
On or before September 1, 2008, each school district that chooses to participate must provide notice to the public about its participation in the pilot program in the manner in which it customarily provides similar notices to the public about SES.
Each district that participates must also submit a report under Section 9401(e)(1) of the ESEA to the Arkansas Department of Education at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year that:
Describes the district’s provision of SES in Title I schools in the first year of school improvement;
Describes how those schools continued to provide Title I services to eligible students during that year; and
Evaluates the progress of the district and schools in increasing the quality of instruction and improving the academic achievement of students.
The flexibility agreement applies to the provision of SES in Title I schools during the 2008-2009 academic year and is subject to a review at the end of that academic year to determine if the flexibility will be continued.
Districts opting to participate must notify Polly Davis (email@example.com) in writing of that action by September 1, 2008.