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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

April 2021 Office Hours Series FAQs

I believe part of our allocations are based on our free and reduced lunch percentages-- with all students getting free this year-- we are struggling getting families to complete-- will this be taken into consideration in allocation later?

Free and reduced-price lunch percentages are not used in determining LEA allocations. The child count dataset used for the Title I, Part A allocations is composed of:

  • the number of children ages 5-17 in poverty, as defined by 100% of the federal poverty threshold (U.S. Census, updated annually);
  • the number of children residing in institutions for the neglected (State Education Department annual survey);
  • the number of children in foster care (NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance); and
  • the number of children receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance).

The sum of the four determines the proportion of State Title I monies an LEA is allocated (and, likewise, how much of the federal "pot" that New York State receives). Free and reduced-price lunch percentages are considered when determining within district allocations (school level allocations). The United Stated Department of Education (USDE) has provided guidance for LEAs on how to determine within LEA allocations absent the free and reduced price lunch data.

Any idea when there will be more information on allowable uses for American Rescue Plan (ARP) allocations.

ARP ESSER funds may be used to develop strategies and implement public health

protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reopening and operating schools to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff, as well as:

  • coordinating preparedness and response efforts with State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19;
  • training and professional development on sanitizing and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases;
  • purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the LEA’s facilities;
  • repairing and improving school facilities to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards;
  • improving indoor air quality;
  • addressing the needs of children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth;
  • developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of LEAs;
  • planning for or implementing activities during long-term closures, including providing meals to eligible students and providing technology for online learning;
  • purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment) for students that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including students from low-income families and children with disabilities;
  • providing mental health services and supports, including through the implementation of evidence-based full-service community schools and the hiring of counselors;
  • planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental after-school programs;
  • addressing learning loss; and
  • other activities that are necessary to maintain operation of and continuity of and services, including continuing to employ existing or hiring new LEA and school staff.

Can you please review the process for determining student enrollment counts in the non public schools? 

An LEA is responsible for providing equitable services under several programs authorized the Every Student Succeeds Act. Because an LEA may not have all necessary information available to do so, however, the LEA may need to request assistance from private school officials to obtain information or documentation that enables the LEA to meet its responsibilities. For example, to calculate the proportional share of funds available to provide equitable services, an LEA may need assistance from private school officials regarding the number of students from low-income families and corresponding addresses so the LEA can determine whether these students reside in a participating Title I public school attendance area. Similarly, to identify students who are eligible for equitable services (i.e., they reside in a participating Title I public school attendance area and are low-achieving), an LEA may need assistance obtaining information on the academic performance of low-achieving private school students as well as their names, addresses, and grades to determine, in consultation with appropriate private school officials, which services will be provided.

Proportionality method was not an option for CARES, though, correct?

The minimal proportional share for CARES Act equitable services was to be determine according to the formula provided in Section 1117(a)(4)(A) of the ESEA of 1965. Therefore, in accordance with section 1117 of the ESEA, the equitable share calculation was to be based on the number of students from low-income families who reside in Title I attendance areas and who attend participating non-public schools regardless of the non-public school’s location. LEAs must have consulted with each non-public school serving resident students to determine the total number of low-income students served by each non-public school. This included non-public schools located inside the district's boundaries and non-public schools located in other districts.

Can you send us the link for the equitable services document?

The USDE non-regulatory guidance for Providing Equitable Services to Eligible Private School Children, Teachers, and Families can be found at:

What is the supporting documentation that we can request from private schools to determine eligibility?

If private school officials assist an LEA in obtaining data necessary for the LEA to determine the proportional share—e.g., by providing data on children from low-income families who reside in a participating Title I public school attendance area and attend the private school—they must maintain relevant data not provided to the LEA in their files. If LEA officials or auditors, as appropriate, wish to review the data, they may do so at the private school. The type of data will depend on the method an LEA decides to use to determine the poverty count of private school children, after timely and meaningful consultation with private school officials. Examples of data might include student addresses, survey forms completed by families, or scholarship information.

For 19-20 School Improvement, our final report has not yet been approved. We'd like to request the carry-over from last year to use by August 31st. What do you recommend that we do?

Carryover will become available to districts after the following has occurred:

• the 2020-21 SIG Basic, Targeted, or Enhanced application is approved;
• the 2019-20 SIG Carryover Tracking Template (see attached template) has been submitted and reviewed; and
• a 2019-20 FS-10F (final expenditure report) has been processed by Grants Finance.

Once these actions have been taken, the district can submit a FS-10A Budget Amendment form requesting that carryover monies be added to the approved 2020-21 SIG budget. Please note that any expense incurred during the 2019-20 project period cannot be included in the SIG 2020-21 budget or as part of the SIG 2020-21 carryover requests. Please submit an FS-10A budget amendment equivalent to the carryover amount to the following address:

Office of ESSA-Funded Programs:

            Room 320 EB

            89 Washington Avenue

            Albany, NY 122345

When will the application for 21-22 go online?

NYSED anticipates that the 2021-22 Consolidated Application for ESSA-Funded Programs will be disseminated by the middle of May.

Where is the SIG-A Carryover Template located?

The SIG Carryover Template was emailed to all Superintendents. If an additional copy is needed please email

Where is the list of non-public schools located?

The list of non-public schools who report serving district resident students can be found on the IRS website:

Is there anything we can start now for the desk audit or monitoring?

LEAs should periodically review their policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date and align with the requirements under the ESEA and Uniform Grants Guidance.

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