Program Requirements

  1. Budget requirements: For the Race to the Top District competition, the applicants' budget must conform to the following budget ranges:

    Number of participating students Budget range
    2500-5000 $15-20 million
    5001-9999 $17-22 million
    10,000+ $20-25 million

    The Department will not consider an application that proposes a budget outside its budget range.

  2. A grantee must comply with the requirements, including providing timely and complete access to any and all data collected by the LEA (e.g., participation, performance, demographic data) to the Department or its designated monitors, technical assistance providers, or research partners. Additionally, consistent with 34 CFR section 80.36 and state and local procurement procedures, grantees must include in contracts with external vendors provisions that allow implementation data to be made available to the LEA, Department or its designated monitor, technical assistance provider, or research partners in ways consistent with all privacy laws and regulations.

  3. Information (metadata) about content alignment and use is shared through open-standard registries (as defined in this document).

  4. Districts where minority students or students with disabilities are overly-represented in discipline and expulsion rates (according to data submitted through the Civil Rights Data Collection) must undergo a district assessment of the root cause and develop a plan over the grant period to address root causes.

  5. Work with the Department to develop a FERPA-compliant strategy to make all implementation and student-level data (FERPA compliant) available to the Department or its designated monitors, technical assistance providers, or research partners.

  6. Grantees must make Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Proposal (RFPs) public and open for other LEAs, consistent with the requirements of State and local law.

  7. Within 100 days of award, participating schools must develop an individual school implementation plan.

  8. Within 100 days of award, grantees will demonstrate that at least 40 percent of the participating students (as defined in this document) in the participating schools (as defined in this document) are from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, or other poverty measures that LEAs use to make awards under section 1113(a) of the ESEA.

Comments

Schools must begin with the principle that learning, safe environments, and fair discipline are all needed in a modern educational system and these objectives are not mutually exclusive. Under the proposed Program Requirements section of the Executive Summary, number four is an important step in the right direction to decrease the use of suspensions and expulsions for non-violent negative behaviors and increase positive behaviors that keep students in the classroom and engaged in their learning. Suspension and expulsion is often used as a tool to send students out of the classroom rather than finding a way to solve problem behaviors. In addition, these disciplinary measures disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities.

The Maryland Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) would like to applaud the U.S. Department of Education for including this important requirement and we hope to see its inclusion in the final grant application guidelines. Our only request would be to expand the required assessment and corrective action plan to districts that have an overall high rate of suspensions and expulsions in addition to those districts that have a high level of disproportionality. If we are going to increase college and career readiness, we must ensure more children are in the classroom and learning.

As I indicated in another comment. There should be a criteria for a smaller school size.

Of course the money looks good. However, it is very important to hold school systems accountable for truly working with the community and parents in moving forward in this initiative. Again most or many school systems don't do a good job in reaching out to small based community agencies that are effective as well as truly reaching out to the parents in out of the box ways to engage better parrticipation.

Does this mean that the budget for a consortium of 2500 students has to be between $15-20 million?

I could not find information in this document, or on this page, about the term of the grant (i.e. how many years are permitted for a project/provided in funding). Are these amounts to be interpreted as the total available for a single-year project, OR, as the total amount awarded for a multi-year project, OR, the amount to be awarded annually for a multi-year project? Please clarify.

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