The Arkansas Department of Education plans to request the following waivers of requirements in the federal Class Size Reduction Program.
1. Waiver of Section 307(b)(2) "…if the award……is less than the starting salary for a new teacher……the LEA agrees to form a consortium……"
We request that Section 307(b)(2) be waived so we may flow funds to smaller districts with the condition that they utilize these funds in conjunction with other state, local or/and federal funds to hire a full-time or part-time teacher to reduce class sizes for the full day or a significant part of the day.
2. Waiver of Section 307(c)(1) "…………………with particular consideration given to reducing class size in the EARLY ELEMENTARY grades…………………" (Early Elementary has been interpreted as being grades 1-3 when referencing (c)(2)(C)(i) to make FURTHER class size reductions in grades 1 through 3.)
We request a waiver to include Kindergarten when giving consideration to Early Elementary use of Class Size Reduction funds.
3. Waiver of Section 307(c)(2)(B)(iii) A local educational agency may use not more than a total of 15 percent of the award received……to carry out activities to improve teacher quality, including professional development.
We request a waiver to allow districts, without forming a consortium, to use all of their Class Size Reduction Funds for activities to improve teacher quality, including professional development activities if the district's allocation is $10,000 or less.
Comments on the impact of the waiver may be sent to:
Arkansas Department of Education
Title VI - CSR
#4 Capitol Mall - Room 204-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Or sent via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment deadline is June 3rd, which gives a two week time to respond. This waiver request is also posted on the Arkansas Department of Education Web Site. The Web Site address is: www.arkedu.state.ar.us