Questions and Answers: QEIAQuestions and answers for districts and schools receiving QEIA funds.
We are reconfiguring our schools. This will result in a lower total enrollment in 2007-08 in one of our QEIA funded schools. Can we request a waiver to base the 2008-09 allocation on the higher 2006-07 enrollment?
"QEIA funding is for supporting school improvement efforts at schools selected in spring 2007. Funds are allocated to these schools through the school's CDS code. The school's certified CBEDS from each prior year will determine funding levels. If a schools merges with another school during the term of the program and does not retain its original CDS code, the funding for that school will cease. If a school breaks up into smaller schools, each with its own CDS code, only the school with the original CDS code and its students will be eligible for further funding."
So when a school reconfigures and retains its CDS code, the prior year CBEDS would still be used to calculate the following year's award. For example, if the 06-07 enrollment was 500 and the school reconfigured retaining its original CDS code but reduced its enrollment to 300 in 07-08, the school's 07-08 award would still be based upon the 06-07 enrollment. However, the 08-09 award would be based on the lower 07-08 enrollment.
Our QEIA funded school has started a year-long modernization process which has necessitated moving the 6th grade students to two elementary campuses while the work is being done. What do we need to do in order to protect year two funding for this school? What enrollment process should be used or should we request some kind of MOU or waiver for 2007-08?
The legislation is clear that the CBEDS enrollment tagged to the CDS code for each QEIA school from the prior year will determine the school's funding for the next year. Students who are reported as attending the QEIA funded school undergoing modernization in 2007-08 will count from subsequent year funding. If students are reported as attending a different school under another CDS code, then they will not generate next year funding for the QEIA funded school undergoing modernization.
How will combination classes be counted by grade level?
For funding purposes we use CBEDS data that identifies the proportion of students by grade.
Will certified 2005-06 or 2006-07 school enrollment data be used to calculate the 2007-08 grant awards? (Certified enrollment is posted in April of each year.)
The 2006-07 CBEDS enrollment data will be used to calculate 2007-08 funding amounts. This same process will be used in subsequent years, basing current-year funding amounts on prior-year CBEDS enrollment data.
Is the per-pupil funding allocation dictated by the grade span or the grade level?
Per-pupil funding is allocated at the grade level. For instance, a school with a six through nine grade configuration will receive $900 per enrolled pupil in grades six through eight and $1000 per enrolled pupil in grade nine.
How will the QEIA funds be disbursed?
QEIA funds will be disbursed through the School Apportionment System. For each fiscal year that a school is funded, 80 percent of a school’s annual allocation will be disbursed in July, followed by the remaining 20 percent in January.
Will the payment frequency or method be modified to reflect the legislative language related to grantees completion of the interim and final year program requirements?
No. LEAs on behalf of schools will receive their apportionment on the July/January schedule noted above.
Is there a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) applied to QEIA funds?
There is no statutory requirement to provide an annual COLA to QEIA funding, however, any savings from schools that do not continue in the program will be reallocated to the remaining schools to provide cost-of-living increases and to fund enrollment growth adjustments.
Since QEIA funds are based upon prior year enrollment which may change year to year and COLAs are not applicable, how should we address potential salary increases?
Potential changes in funding levels should be addressed in the planning process.
I am working with a Kindergarten through eight district. They are in an "increasing" enrollment mode. They are building a new school but it will not be opened for two or three more years. At that time they will have a second CDS code and the school that now exists will be two schools, one Kindergarten through five, and the other six through eight. How would this impact their participation in this program?
This issue is specifically addressed in the QEIA Guidance and Application on page four. Only the school that retains the original CDS code is eligible to continue to receive future funding. The CBEDS generated annually by the remaining student population will determine the funding level.
Do districts have discretion to use Title I funds for QEIA?Yes. Districts may combine funds from categorical programs except Economic Impact Aid (EIA).
- Can QEIA funds be carried over from one fiscal year (FY) to another?
Yes. QEIA funds can be carried over and expended in a subsequent fiscal year for the purposes for which the funds were originally provided.
- Will it be acceptable that funds are carried over from FY 2013-14 to FY 2014-15? What will happen to the funds for FY 2015-16 and beyond?
If all QEIA program requirements are not met for school year (SY) 2013-14, the LEA will receive funding for FY 2014-15 to cover staffing and other related expenses. All QEIA funds need to be appropriately expended by June 30, 2015, and any remaining funds will be invoiced and returned to the California Department of Education (CDE).
If all QEIA program requirements are not met for SY 2014-15, the LEA will be allowed to carryover funds, if any, for SY 2015-16 to cover staffing and other related expenses. All QEIA funds need to be appropriately expended by June 30, 2016, and any remaining funds will be invoiced and returned to the CDE.
If all QEIA program requirements are met for SY 2014-15, the LEA will be allowed to carryover funds, if any, for SY 2015-16 and SY 2016-17. All QEIA funds need to be appropriately expended by June 30, 2017, and any remaining funds will be invoiced and returned to the CDE.
- Will the funds need to be returned?
Yes, if schools have not met the QEIA program requirements as outlined above, any unspent funds will be invoiced and returned to the CDE.
If carryovers are acceptable, will there be a percentage cap placed on the funds? If so, what is the percentage?
Carryover of QEIA funding is acceptable and there isn't any cap on the amount that can be carried over.
Where can I get a list of schools and their funding level?
The list of QEIA funded schools and their 2006-07 funding levels can be viewed at the funding results Web site.
Where can I get a copy of the Apportionments by County?
Annual Apportionment Schedules can be viewed at the funding results Web site.
I was expecting a larger award per school. Can you explain the method used to calculate the 2007-08 awards?
The CDE distributed up to $261 million in FY 2007-08 and up to $400 million every year thereafter through FY 2014-15. These funding levels are contingent upon the availability of funds and legislative action. To accommodate the lower first year funding level, the first year apportionments were prorated. The proration reflects the ration of the 2007-08 funding level of $261 million to the future year funding level of $400 million (261/400=.6525) They were:
|Grade Span||07-08 Per Pupil Rate||Future Year Per Pupil Rate|
Funds are released to districts on an annual basis. Eighty percent of the funds are released in July, the remaining twenty percent will be released in January.
How flexible are the dollars once all the required components are in place. In other words, all of our schools have comprehensive corrective action plans that address many areas, including QEIA requirements. Can QEIA dollars be expended to support additional corrective plans beyond the required components?
The primary requirement is that the QEIA funds are spent on the school for which they are provided, except in the first year where you can apportion your district's QEIA funds to meet facilities needs on other QEIA schools within the district. QEIA funds cannot be spent on non-QEIA schools. The first priority for QEIA funds is to ensure that QEIA program requirements are met. Beyond that, there is quite a bit of flexibility concerning use of funds; however, the statute says that funds "may be expended for any purpose identified under the school site's Single Plan for Student Achievement..." The school’s improvement plans should serve as a guide for how remaining QEIA funds are spent. QEIA schools are expected to revise their current school plans to incorporate how they are going to meet QEIA requirements and the discussions undertaken in revising those plans can serve as an opportunity for the school community to continue with a comprehensive plan for school improvement that includes the procedures and benefits that come with participation in the program.
Because of the new classroom size adjustments and the adding of new teachers to accommodate a school's reorganization, does it matter what teachers are charged to this program? For example, if I have two teachers at a specific grade now and I am adding a new teacher does it matter who gets charged here because all classrooms are affected?
Accounting procedures should be reviewed with your business office. Generally, QEIA monitoring has to do with making sure that participating schools meet program requirements such as class size reduction, reduction of pupil to counselor ratios, etc. The important thing to consider when spending QEIA funds is whether the expenditure is being used to meet QEIA program requirements or to affect improved student academic performance in some other way. The statute provides substantial flexibility in how QEIA funds can be used; however, you must be able to demonstrate that all expenditures are for those purposes.
Can a district take a percentage of funds for direct costs as well as for indirect costs?
Districts are not authorized to take more than their state-approved indirect cost rate from QEIA funds before passing the funds on to schools. However, schools may opt to access their district for special services that may be provided to support QEIA implementation. The proper approach to account for this process is for the district to allocate the funds (less the indirect cost rate) to the QEIA school site and then transfer funds from the school site for its special services. Appropriate expenditure tracking for district services using QEIA funds is thus maintained.
Can we use QEIA funding to fund a full time classified management position to oversee the implementing of portable classrooms for QEIA funded schools?
QEIA funds must be used to support QEIA activities. If the district chooses to use QEIA funds for this purpose, they must ensure that the position is 100% dedicated toward the support of district QEIA activities, and be prepared to document that expenditure in the annual expenditure report.
Can the position described in the question above go beyond one year as long as it is justified?
Yes. Keep in mind that if the position is funded 100% with QEIA funds, the position must be used to support 100% QEIA related activities. If, in any subsequent year, the position is used to support 50% QEIA activities and 50% non-QEIA activities, then only 50% of the position could be funded with QEIA funds.
What kind of backup will be required to support the annual expenditure report?
As with all state and federal programs, it is important to document expenditures using source documents (time sheets, contracts, purchase orders, etc.)
Where can we get a copy of the annual expenditure report form?
Expenditure reports are available August 30 of each year and due two weeks later. The expenditure report can be viewed at the QEIA Resources Web site.
Are participants in the respective programs required to submit an annual expenditure report?
Yes. Expenditure reports identifying how QEIA funds were spent on participating schools in the preceding year are due by August 30 of each year of participation.
What Resource Code and Revenue Object Code should our accounting office use to identify QEIA funds and expenditures?
QEIA has been assigned the Resource Code 7400 and Revenue Object Code 8590.
May indirect costs be charged to QEIA? If yes, at which rate?
Yes, consistent with the CDE’s existing indirect cost rate guidance, QEIA funds may be charged for indirect costs, provided the amount charged does not exceed the local educational agency’s approved indirect cost rate.
Can Routine Restricted Maintenance and General Reserve expenditures be charged to QEIA funds?
No. QEIA funds must be spent on QEIA schools, not held for general use in District Routine Restricted Maintenance or General Reserve accounts.
Can retiree benefits, per Government Accounting Standards Board 45 (GASB), be charged to QEIA funds?
Yes. QEIA funds can be used for employee benefits associated with appropriate QEIA expenditures for personnel salaries.
We know that money can be spent on facilities in 2007-08. And we see that money cannot be spent on facilities in succeeding years. Does that include rental/lease fees for relocatable classrooms? A district that needs classrooms to participate could rent/lease them in year one. This provision would hamper their implementation in succeeding years. Can you help us think this through?
Funds in 2007-08 can be consolidated and spent on any QEIA funded school for facilities. After that year, funds may only be spent at the site that generates the funds. There is no specific prohibition against using the funds at a funded school for its facilities issues in other years as long as the other requirements are met. See EC Section 52055.750(a)(9).
Can we use QEIA funding to pay substitute teachers who cover for QEIA funded teachers?
The QEIA statute does not prohibit hiring substitute teachers who cover for QEIA funded teachers. However, you should check with your business services office and local contracts office just to make sure that it meets any local rules and regulations.
EC Section 52055.760(c)(2) provides that one of the criteria for the ability to use an alternative program is that "the costs of complying with the proposed alternative requirements do not exceed the amount of funding received by the school district or chartering authority pursuant to this article." Is this language intended to prevent districts from claiming additional funding from the state for alternative programs, or does it prohibit districts from spending some of their own resources to supplement state QEIA funding? If the latter, can districts draw a distinction between program "requirements," which would be funded exclusively with QEIA funding, and other locally provided services that would support the goals of the alternative program?
The language does not prevent districts from using other resources that are available in the district or school to provide a comprehensive set of strategies for improving student performance. It does eliminate the option for districts to file mandated costs claims for implementing alternative programs of their own design. The act envisions a comprehensive approach that includes both district and school resource coordination. There should be no need to artificially separate the "requirements" and other services. See also the response to the following question on flexibility.
Does the flexibility with consolidated application programs funding also apply to alternative programs? The flexibility provided in EC sections 52055.750(b) and 52055.750 in general deals with only the "regular" QEIA program. However, the requirement to incorporate this flexibility into revised EC Section 64001 plans is contained in EC Section 52055.755, which appears to apply to all funded schools.
The flexibility provided in EC Section 52055.750 applies to the entire article, not just to schools in the regular program, with certain exceptions. Sections 52055.750(b) and 52055.755 specifically exempt schools from a number of the requirements imposed on the use of state and federal categorical funds.
High schools in the regular program are required to achieve a student-to-counselor ratio of no more than 300:1 by the end of the third full year of funding (2010-11). What is a “high school” for purposes of this requirement?
The CDE’s classification system for school types indicates that a high school is one that has only grade nine or contains one or more grades ten through twelve and no grade below seven. In contrast, an elementary school is one that contains one or more grades in grades Kindergarten through four, and no grade higher than eight and not grade span four through eight (which is classified as a middle school) or contains one or more grades five through six only. Further, a middle school is defined as one with a grade span four through eight or contains one or more grades seven through eight and no grade below five or above nine and not grade span five through nine (which is classified according to enrollment).
Schools with a grade that crosses the three core grade spans (e.g., Kindergarten to twelve or Kindergarten to ten) will be classified based on enrollment. These schools are assigned a school type according to the largest enrollment in a core grade span served. Core grade spans are as follows: Elementary: Kindergarten through six; Middle: seven through eight; High School: nine through twelve.
Under the classification above, if a school had a seven through ten configuration, it would be classified as a high school and subject to the counselor ratio requirements. However, in a school with a Kindergarten through ten configuration and greater enrollment in grades seven through eight than grades nine through ten, the school would not be subject to the counselor ratio requirements.
Does the 300:1 counseling ratio requirement at EC Section 52055.740(a)(2) apply to the alternative program?
Must the professional development be Assembly Bill (AB) 466/Senate Bill (SB) 472 training?
No. AB 466/SB 472 training is a very good option for the professional development requirement, but other forms of professional development that focus on the materials in use in the classroom, improved instruction and are related to the subjects taught are appropriate. QEIA requires that the professional development be made available by the district or the school site councils in a collaborative process with interested parties and is articulated in the school improvement plan.
Can the administrator's professional development requirements also be met by collaboration meetings and other workshops, or do they need different coaching requirements?
There is some flexibility for meeting this requirement, but all activities should actively build the administrator's capacity to be an instructional leader able to support the school's faculty in providing standards-based instruction of high quality.
Can you clarify the requirements for teacher professional development?
Each teacher must receive an average of 40 hours of professional development per year. This may be done in a variety of ways, but one-third of all teachers (and instructional paraprofessionals) must receive professional development each year in which the school receives funding.
Does the requirement for 40 hours of professional development per teacher apply beyond the first three years of the program?
Yes, this requirement applies for each year a school participates in the program.
Does Reading First's annual 40 hours count as QEIA 40 hours?
The training requirement continues to be confusing. We interpreted the information to mean that 1/3 of the staff needed to attend the 40 hour training and complete the 80 hour institute (in ELA or math) each year (08-09, 09-10, and 10-11) until all staff members are trained. This averages to 40 hours per year per teacher. Is an additional 40 hours per year required for the 2/3 teachers who do not attend the institute each year? Are teachers expected to complete both the math and ELA institutes over the course of the grant? What are the requirements for training in ELD and science? We read that they needed to be similar in rigor to the MPDI/RPDI training's. How should the district determine this level of rigor and what documentation will be needed?
The QEIA statute requires that teacher professional development meet the following criteria:
- Be related to the academic subjects taught.
- Provide time to meet and work with other teachers.
- Support instruction and pupil learning to improve instructions in a manner that is consistent with academic content standards.
- Include an average of 40 hours per teacher per year.
- At a minimum, professional development in a self-contained classroom shall include content regarding mathematics, science, ELA, reading, and English language development. Professional development for teachers teaching subject specific courses shall include the specific subject and English language development. To the extent appropriate the professional development shall be similar in quality and rigor to the training provided under the Mathematics and Reading Professional Development Program in Article 3 (commencing with Section 99230) of Chapter 5 or Part 65.
In short, two separate requirement have to be met when it comes to teachers. First, teachers must average 40 hours of professional development per year. Also, 1/3 of the teachers must receive professional development each year. It is up to the school, in consultation and collaboration with the District, to determine how best to meet those requirements for the teaching staff of the school. We recommend that you refer to QEIA for more information.
What is the training requirement for instructional paraprofessionals? What documentation is required?
The QEIA statute does not require that instructional paraprofessionals receive an average of 40 hours per year of professional development. The statute does note that county superintendents must ensure that one third of all teachers and instructional paraprofessionals must receive professional development in each of the first three years of full funding. Therefore, it is the intent of the statute that instructional paraprofessionals receive professional development. Each district and school should determine the amount and content of the professional development necessary for their instructional paraprofessional staff and the teacher requirements noted above can serve as a guide. We recommend that the documentation for instructional paraprofessionals be similar to the documentation developed for teachers.
Is professional development required for teachers of severely handicapped students and their instructional assistants? Physical Education teachers?
All teachers who teach academic subjects are expected to complete 40 hours of appropriate professional development per year.
Can we use time with county office personnel who will assist with analysis of data as part of the 40 hours?
Many of our teachers have attended 40 or more hours of (formerly) AB 466 ELA and math training's. Can this be counted towards the professional development requirement?
The requirement applies to training completed during the years of QEIA program implementation. Training shouldn't be redundant, but prior training does not apply to program requirements.
What is the relation of the professional development requirement and the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program activities?
BTSA mentoring activities may apply toward the professional development requirement, provided all other requirements are met.
Can staff from non-QEIA schools attend professional development opportunities if their participation is paid for with other funds?
Yes. Collaborative professional development of other staff is encouraged where applicable and allowable.
One of the program requirements for both the regular and alternative program participants is to exceed the API schoolwide growth target for the school averaged over the first three full years of funding. How is that calculated?
A school’s growth targets in 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 are summed and divided by three, then compared to the growth scores also summed over the same time frame and divided by three. If the averaged growth score is greater than the averaged growth target, it has met the requirement for the first three years of full funding.
One of the program requirements for the regular program participants is to meet the API growth target beginning in the fourth year of full funding (fifth year of participation) and every year thereafter. How is that determined?
A school’s growth target for the 2011-12 and subsequent school years is compared to the growth score for the corresponding year. If the growth score is at least equal to the growth target, it meets the requirement.
What is the baseline year for determining whether API targets are being met?
Monitoring the API target requirement began in 2008-09. That year’s target was based on performance in 2007-08.
One of the program requirements for the alternative program participants is to exceed the API growth target beginning in the fourth year of full funding (fifth year of participation) and every year thereafter. How is that determined?
A school’s growth target for the 2011-12 and subsequent school years is compared to the growth score for the corresponding year. If the growth score is greater than the growth target, it meets the requirement.
Are the schoolwide and significant subgroups growth targets used to determine if a school has met or exceeded its growth target or is it limited to the schoolwide growth target?
The schoolwide growth target is used to determine if a school has met or exceeded its growth target. Significant subgroup API growth targets are not part of the QEIA accountability requirements.
The average teachers experience index... will that change each year or remain set at the original average as determined by the district?
The Teacher Experience Index target will be based on average teaching experience in 2005-06, so the target will not change over time.
Where can I find more information about the Teacher Experience Index (TEI)?
We recommend that you refer to QEIA for more information.
Has anyone created a user-friendly e-method (Excel, etc.) for doing the TEI calculation?
One or more private companies have developed software to assist with this calculation.
Does the average years of teaching experience requirement at EC Section 52055.740(a)(4) apply to the alternative program?
The teaching experience requirement does apply to the alternative option schools. The authority for alternative programs that are subject to the teaching experience requirement is EC Section 52055.750(a)(10).
A California School Board Association advisory on the QEIA program noted that QEIA recipients must participate in a SAIT style study and write an HPSG-style action plan. Did they have to do this prior to applying to the grant, or must they do this next year, or is it even true? If true, must they obtain a bona fide SAIT team to provide the SAIT self study?
The statute does include a requirement that the school undertake a SAIT-like review process that assesses current school conditions. The specific language is in Education Code Section 52055.750(a)(1). The expectation is that the district and school conduct a review of school conditions to identify needs, using for example the 9 Essential Program Components (EPCs), and then prepare or modify the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) to address and improve conditions that affect student academic performance. Ideally, the new school plan would incorporate strategies to meet QEIA requirements into the general school improvement effort, and to incorporate QEIA funds into a coherent fiscal approach to support that effort. The "how" is a bit more flexible than what is required in the SAIT process, and does not require or preclude hiring outside expertise to assist the school and district in the review of current school conditions or the development or modification of the SPSA.
For high schools with alternative program, if they begin implementation in 2007-08, are they held accountable for that? In other words, what are the benchmarks for alternative program and how are they monitored?
No. All QEIA schools will begin to be monitored in 2008-09. However, part of the planning completed in 2007-08 will be to clarify each school's benchmarks for implementation of its alternative plan.
Does the “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirement at EC Section 52055.740(a)(3) apply to the alternative program?
Yes, this is an NCLB requirement that supersedes the language of SB 1133.
Does the “exemplary administrator” requirement at EC Section 52055.750(a)(3) apply to the alternative program?
Under what conditions is funding terminated?
Funding can be terminated after the second or third year of full funding if interim requirements applicable in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 are not met. If a school fails to achieve the final requirements by the end of 2010-11, and any year thereafter, funding is terminated.
When could a school participating in QEIA become state monitored?
A school in the regular program is subject to state monitoring if it fails to meet its annual growth target, beginning in 2011-12.
EC Section 52055.740(c)(1) states in part….” If all of the interim and final requirements are not met by the end of any subsequent school year, the Superintendent shall terminate funding for that school”. What level of the requirements must a school meet after the third full year of funding?
A school must continue to meet the final or third full year requirements specified in each provision every year after the third full year of funding. If in any year they do not maintain the required level their funding is terminated.
Do districts have discretion in developing incentives to entice veteran teacher transfers?
Yes, as long as it is allowable under state and federal law and local bargaining unit agreements.
If a QEIA funded school has a staff member who does not want to comply with the requirements of the program, and there is language in the bargaining agreement prohibiting involuntary transfers, how should this situation be handled?
Local bargaining unit agreement processes and procedures apply in this type of situation. The contract language may need to be reviewed and revised as necessary.
EC Section 52055.740(a) states in part….“the county superintendent of schools shall annually review the school and its data to determine if the school has met all of the following program requirements by the school by the end of the third full year of funding: have an average experience of classroom teachers in the school equal to or exceeding the average for the school district for this type of school.” What is the definition for “this type of school”?
Schools will be designated by type according to their designation on the API reports. E = elementary, M = middle school or junior high, and H = High School. Refer to question 35 for further information on school type designations.
Can a district withhold QEIA funds and use those funds to transport students to other schools if the QEIA school enrollment is capped?
No. QEIA funds must be spent directly on behalf of the QEIA funded school. A student that no longer attends the QEIA school for any reason is no longer eligible to receive support from these funds.
Will CDE make available a list of approved consultants or providers to assist with the QEIA implementation?
What are the County Office of Education responsibilities related to the QEIA related schools and districts?
Please review EC Sections 52055.730 through 52055.740 for a precise description of the County Office of Educations' (COEs) responsibilities. Generally, each COE will be expected to annually review its QEIA funded school(s) and data to determine if the school(s) have met all of the following program requirements by the end of the third full year of funding:
- Class size reduction requirements
- Not increased other class sizes above the 2005-06 classes sizes
- Achieved a pupil-to-counselor ratio of no more than 300:1 in high schools
- Hired or retained qualified teachers according to NCLB and the TEI
- Meet API growth target requirements of QEIA
The county offices must annually review each school to ensure that it has completed 1/3, 2/3, and then fully met the program requirements 1-5 above in 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11, respectively. In addition, the COEs must insure that the schools have provided the prescribed hours of professional development to its teachers and paraprofessionals and have met all of the Williams Act settlement agreement requirements.
Will the County Offices of Education receive funding for the oversight activities described above?
Each county that has a QEIA funded school or schools will receive some portion of $2 million annually. The formula that will be used is the most recent Williams funding distribution formula. The revised formula is described in a letter dated March 13, 2007.