I-728
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  I-728:

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I-728

Funding - Questions and Answers

What are the per student funding amounts provided?

The state Operating Appropriations Act allocates $131.16 per FTE student for 2009-10 and $0.00 per FTE student for 2010-11.

2001-02 $190.19 2006-07 $375.00
2002-03 $219.84 2007-08 $450.00
2003-04 $211.67 2008-09 $458.10
2004-05 $254.00 2009-10 $131.16
2005-06 $300.00 2010-11 $    0.00

How is student achievement money being paid?

Student achievement money is allocated to school districts by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) through the monthly apportionment process. The payment schedule is the monthly apportionment schedule defined in RCW 28A.510.250.

 How can Initiative 728 (I-728) money be used?

The best guidance is provided by the initiative itself. Section 3 of the initiative reads as follows:

“School districts shall have the authority to decide the best use of student achievement funds to assist students in meeting or exceeding the new, higher academic standards in each district consistent with the provisions of the act.

     (1) Student achievement funds shall be allocated for the following uses:

     (a) To reduce class size by hiring certificated elementary classroom teachers in grades K–4 and paying nonemployee-related costs associated with those new teachers;

     (b) To make selected reductions in class size in grades 5–12, such as small high school writing classes;

     (c) To provide extended learning opportunities to improve student academic achievement in grades K–12, including, but not limited to, extended school year, extended school day, before-and-after-school programs, special tutoring programs, weekend school programs, summer school, and all-day kindergarten;

     (d) To provide additional professional development for educators, including additional paid time for curriculum and lesson redesign and alignment, training to ensure that instruction is aligned with state standards and student needs, reimbursement for higher education costs related to enhancing teaching skills and knowledge, and mentoring programs to match teachers with skilled, master teachers. The funding shall not be used for salary increases or additional compensation for existing teaching duties, but may be used for extended year and extended day teaching contracts;

     (e) To provide early assistance for children who need prekindergarten support in order to be successful in school;

     (f) To provide improvements or additions to school building facilities which are directly related to the class size reductions and extended learning opportunities under (a) through (c) of this subsection.”

 The school board must hold a public hearing on or before May 1 to consider the proposed use of these funds. The district must adopt a plan for expending the money by August 31 as part of the district’s budget.

 What constitutes a hearing?

 The school board must hold at least one public meeting at a designated time and place for the purpose of hearing public comment on proposed uses of the student achievement money. Written comments must be accepted and considered. The district may hold multiple hearings, conduct surveys, or use other means of public involvement if desired.

 Does the initiative require the local teachers’ union to have a say in how the money is spent?

 There is nothing in the initiative requiring union involvement. However, collective bargaining laws and current contracts may require the district to consult with the union. Section 3(1)(d) of the initiative states: “The funding shall not be used for salary increases or additional compensation for exiting teaching duties, but may be used for extended year and extended day teaching contracts.”

Can a district use I-728 money to retain existing teachers if the district is losing enrollment?

 Yes, in this circumstance retaining existing staff may be a method of reducing class size.

 Can I-728 money be use to hire classroom paraprofessionals?

 Classified staff cannot be used to reduce class size in grades K-4.  However, classified instructional staff can be used for selected reductions in class size in grades 5-12 if the district determines that this is an effective way to increase student learning.  Classroom paraprofessionals may also be used for extended learning opportunities and for early assistance for prekindergarten students.

Can I-728 money be use for professional development for classified staff?

Yes, if it will assist students in meeting or exceeding state academic standards.

Can I-728 money be used to hire counselors, librarians, or other educational staff associates (ESAs)?

ESAs cannot be used for class size reduction unless employed in “teaching” assignments. However, ESAs may be used for extended learning opportunities and early assistance for prekindergarten programs.

Can I-728 money be used for equipment and other nonemployee related costs (NERC)?

Yes, if included in the district’s plan and necessary to support activities funded by the initiative.

Can I-728 money be used for buildings or other capital purposes?

Subsection 3(1)(f) permits student achievement money to be used for capital purposes that are directly related to class size reduction and extended learning opportunity expenditures made under subsection 3(1)(a) through 3(1)(c) of the initiative.

 A district wishing to expend student achievement money from the capital projects fund should budget student achievement revenues in the capital project fund. OSPI will apportion the amount budgeted directly to the capital project fund. After adoption of the budget, a district may revise the amount directed to the capital projects fund by submitting a board resolution and letter to OSPI.

 Student achievement moneys may not be expended from the debt service fund or transportation vehicle fund.

Can I-728 money be used for pupil transportation costs for students participating in extended learning opportunities?

Yes, if pupil transportation costs are necessary for extended learning opportunities and are not reimbursed under the state pupil transportation formula. (Costs should be treated as a debit transfer to the student achievement program from the pupil transportation program.)

Are indirect costs chargeable to the student achievement program?

Yes, in the amount provided in the plan adopted by the district.

Can I-728 money be carried over from year to year?

Yes.

How will school districts account for revenues and expenditures?

Revenue account 4166 Student Achievement and program 66 Student Achievement are used to record student achievement fund revenues and expenditures. Additional guidance is provided in the accounting manual, budget instructions, and S-275 personnel reporting instructions.

School districts are advised to maintain sub-coding to identify how much is expended for each of the six activities identified in subsections 3(1)(a) through 3(1)(f) of the initiative as shown above.

What activities can be charged directly to Program 66?

The following activities are open in Program 66 for state budgeting and reporting purposes:

21 Supervision

22 Learning Resources

23 Principal’s Office

24 Guidance and Counseling

25 Pupil Management and Safety

26 Health/Related Services

27 Teaching

29 Payments to School Districts

 How are expenditures reported?

School districts report student achievement revenues and expenditures by activity and object on Report F-196, the district’s annual financial report.

In addition, Section 3(2) of the initiative requires school districts to annually “provide the citizens of their district a public accounting of funds made available to the district during the previous school year under this act, how the funds were used, and the progress the district has made in increasing student achievement as measured by required state assessments and other measures deemed appropriate by the district.”  Copies of this report are to be provided to OSPI after the close of the school year.

 OSPI provides districts with a reporting framework for the annual report. Districts should be prepared to identify the amount expended on each of the six purposes identified in subsections 3(1)(a) through 3(1)(f) of the initiative.

Must school districts plan a formal evaluation of I-728 expenditures to gauge the impact on student achievement?

No, the evaluation can be based on current state and district tests and evaluation methods.

Under what circumstances will OSPI recover (take back) student achievement money?

OSPI does not recover student achievement allocations based on year-end expenditure measurement (as done in state categorical programs).

Will student achievement money be included in the levy base?

The levy lid and local effort assistance (LEA) rules include I-728 money in the levy base. In addition, through 2011, the levy lid and LEA rules include the difference between what the district would have received in the current school year under the original initiative and what the district actually receives in the current school year (RCW 84.52.0531(4)).

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