FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Education Department Announces Actions to Correct 2017-18 Title IIA Allocations Used for Educator Professional Development
7.8 Percent of Funds Incorrectly Allocated While Implementing New Federal Funding Formula
NYSED Will Make 99 Percent of Under-allocated Schools Whole in 2018-19 & Recoup Funding from Over-allocated Schools Over Five Years
The State Education Department today announced actions to correct 2017-18 Title IIA allocations to local educational agencies (LEAs). Due to an error in the calculation process when implementing the new Title IIA federal funding formula for the 2017-18 school year, the State Education Department over-allocated a total of $12 million to 278 LEAs, which primarily impacted charter schools. This resulted in an under allocation of $12 million for 687 LEAs. The $12 million incorrect allocation represents approximately 7.8 percent of the $153 million allocated to LEAs in New York State.
State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, “The State Education Department regrets this unfortunate error and any undue burden it may place on schools. We are taking immediate steps to correct it and ensure it does not happen again, including strengthening our internal controls. We will do everything possible to reduce the impact for all schools, including to reimburse 99 percent of districts this year.”
The state awarded over-allocations to 275 charter schools and three school districts, which resulted in under-allocations to 677 school districts and 10 Special Act schools. The full list of impacted schools is available in a spreadsheet on NYSED’s website.
To minimize the burden for affected LEAs, NYSED will reduce a portion of Title IIA funding from each LEA that was overpaid in the 2017-18 school year for a period of up to five years to recoup the funding. Reducing annual allocations over a period of years will ensure that schools continue to have access to Title IIA funds to support professional development activities for teachers, principals and other school leaders throughout this repayment process.
In 2018-19, each district that received an under-allocation of funds in 2017-18 will receive its correct 2018-19 allocation, plus its under-allocation amount up to $130,728. Using this approach, 682 school districts and Special Act districts, or 99 percent, will be made whole this year. Because of the size of the underpayment, Buffalo, Rochester, East Ramapo and Syracuse will be paid over a two-year period. New York City will be paid over a four-year period.
As a result of changes to the Title IIA federal funding formula, the Congressional Research Service estimates that New York’s Title IIA allocation will decrease by approximately $60 million from 2017-18 to 2023-24. New York State’s total allocation under the new USDE funding formula decreased in 2017-18 and 2018-19, as it did for other large states with urban populations, as USDE shifted additional funding to smaller states. The amount of funding for New York State for 2019-20 is not yet known but it is expected to continue this downward trend.
During this process, NYSED will work to provide schools with as much programmatic and fiscal flexibility as possible. For example, for the first time in 2018-19, NYSED will award Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program funds to all eligible LEAs through an allocational process.
These newly available funds may be used to: 1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education; 2) improve school conditions for student learning; and 3) improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students. Based on individual needs, schools also may use this newly available funding for Title IIA professional development activities. For the vast majority of schools where funds will be recouped, the amount of new Title IVA funding will offset their Title IIA repayment in 2018-19.
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