February 8, 2007
Dear Selected Superintendents:
The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce the availability of the Guidance and Application for the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) of 2006, which provides approximately $3 billion through 2013-14 to improve the quality of academic instruction at the lowest performing schools in the state. Schools ranked in decile 1 or 2 on the 2005 Academic Performance Index (API) with a valid API are eligible for funding and are posted on the QEIA Request for Applications Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/r16/qeia07rfa.asp. A list of eligible schools in your district is also enclosed.
This program provides a unique opportunity for districts and chartering authorities to apply for significant resources on behalf of eligible schools with the most critical needs. Districts or chartering authorities will be combining QEIA funding with other categorical fund sources to implement the program at the school level. Districts can apply under the regular or alternative program options dependent upon the specific needs of their schools. In addition, districts may prioritize their most needy schools when applying. The needs and conditions of all eligible schools should be carefully considered when determining the most appropriate prioritization for funding.
Please give careful consideration to what implementation of the QEIA program would look like for the schools that receive funding. The first partial funding year of implementation (2007-08) could be utilized to establish a strong infrastructure for full implementation beginning in 2008-09. In particular, districts might consider a phase-in of facilities, spending, and class size reduction in order to reserve some first-year monies for other infrastructure needs. First-year funding provides an opportunity for districts to enlarge the pool of qualified personnel as well as recruit from the existing pool. Also, it provides an opportunity for schools to plan and initiate professional development to help teachers learn how to modify and differentiate their instruction to effectively take advantage of QEIA’s class size reduction to improve student learning. Throughout the implementation of the program, I am hoping your district will collaborate with your county office of education for ongoing support in the development, implementation, and monitoring of the program.
Districts are also encouraged to gauge their capacity to support school improvement actions and coordinate necessary resources as well as consult with the school community and surrounding public when considering participation in this program. The QEIA program is designed to be a collaborative effort among districts, schools, and surrounding communities. Therefore, all parties should be included in the process throughout the duration of funding.
There are a number of statutory and implementation requirements each district must consider prior to applying on behalf of eligible schools. Several documents are available to you to help facilitate this process. The 2007 QEIA Guidance and Application provides general information about the program and specific application requirements, and describes the review and selection process. The document is available on the CDE Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/lp/qe/. Within the Guidance and Application is a section entitled School District Implementation Considerations (Appendix A) which outlines a number of issues for consideration for QEIA participation and implementation. Districts are highly encouraged to consider all elements of these documents prior to applying, as some of the statutory requirements and expectations of the program may be unrealistic for some eligible schools to achieve. With careful review and consideration of the documents provided, districts or chartering authorities will be better prepared to consider all elements relevant to their schools’ success in this program.
QEIA funding levels are determined based on enrollment numbers as reported in the most recent certified California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS). Commencing in 2008-09, the first full year of funding, $402 million is available to fund the project. Kindergarten and grades one to three will receive $500 per pupil; grades four to eight will receive $900 per pupil; and grades nine to twelve will receive $1,000 per pupil. Funding levels will be adjusted annually based on the prior year’s certified CBEDS enrollment numbers. For 2007-08, $268 million is available, and the per-pupil funding amounts will be prorated to reflect this lower funding base.
The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), Hewlett Foundation, CDE, and American Institutes for Research (AIR) will be co-sponsoring the following series of no-cost QEIA information and planning sessions for district teams.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Cyndi Kroeck at (916) 228-2672 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Districts and chartering authorities applying on behalf of eligible schools must ensure that their application materials have been approved by their local educational agency board at a public meeting prior to submission to CDE. Applications must be RECEIVED by the CDE no later than Friday, March 30, 2007 at 5:00 PM. This is a competitive process, therefore, late applications will be disqualified if they are not received by the CDE by the due date and time.
If you have additional questions regarding this process, please contact the School Turnaround
High Priority Schools Office at (916) 324-3236 319-0833.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction