College Readiness Block Grant FAQsFrequently asked questions with answers regarding the College Readiness Block Grant
1. Is an application required to receive College Readiness Block Grant Funds?
No. CDE will automatically make apportionments to county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools (both direct and locally funded).
2. Who is eligible to receive CRBG Funds?
Funding is available to eligible local education agencies (LEAs) that reported at least one unduplicated pupil [as defined in Education Code (EC) Sections 42238.01 and 42238.02] in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data Systems in grades nine through twelve during the 2015–16 fiscal year.
3. How much funding will LEAs receive and how will allocations be made?
$200 million is allocated to the College Readiness Block Grant. The allocation is based on an equal amount per unduplicated pupil enrolled in grades 9 through 12 during the 2015–16 fiscal year [as defined in EC sections 42238.01 and 42238.02], attending a school that is currently accredited or in the process of obtaining accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. No school district, county office of education, or charter school serving at least one unduplicated pupil in grades nine through twelve shall receive an allocation of less than $75,000.
4. Are there conditions placed on LEAs receiving these funds?
As a condition of receiving these funds, a school district, county office of education, or charter school is required to:
- Develop a plan describing how the funds will increase or improve services for unduplicated pupils to ensure college readiness [EC Section 41580(e)].
- The plan shall include information regarding how it aligns with the school district’s local control and accountability plan (required pursuant to EC Section 52060), the county superintendent’s local control and accountability plan (required pursuant to EC Section 52066), or the charter school’s local control and accountability plan required pursuant to EC Section 47605, or 47605.6, and EC Section 47606.5. [EC Section 41580(e)].
- The plan shall also include a description of the extent to which all pupils within the school district, county office of education, or charter school, particularly unduplicated pupils, as defined in EC Sections 42238.01 and 42238.02, will have access to A–G courses approved by the University of California. (EC Section 41580(e)).
- In order to ensure community and stakeholder input, the plan shall be discussed at a regularly scheduled meeting by the governing board of the school district, county board of education, or governing body of the charter school and adopted at a subsequent regularly scheduled meeting. [EC Section 41580(e)].
- On or before January 1, 2017, LEAs are required to submit information to the Superintendent, on how the LEA will measure the impact of funds received on their unduplicated pupils’ access and successful matriculation to institutions of higher education, as identified within their plan. [(EC Section 41580(f)].
5. Does a recipient of funds have to submit its local plan for the College Readiness Block Grant?
No. However, the local plan for the use of CRBG funds needs to be heard in a public meeting of the governing board of the school district, the county board of education, or governing body of the charter school, before its adoption in a subsequent public meeting. The CDE will not collect the local plan.
6. Is a template available for the plan LEAs are required to develop and adopt delineating how the CRBG funds will be spent?
No. Each LEA should develop its own plan. The CDE does not intend to provide a template for the plan.
7. What are the appropriate uses of the College Readiness Block Grant funds?
Funds allocated to LEAs may be used for, but are not limited to, the following purposes that directly support pupil access and successful matriculation to institutions of higher education. As identified in EC Section 41580(d), eligible activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Providing teachers, administrators, and counselors with professional development opportunities to improve pupil A–G course completion rates, pupil college-going rates, and college readiness of pupils, including providing for the development of honors and Advanced Placement courses.
- Beginning or increasing counseling services to pupils and their families regarding college admission requirements and financial aid programs.
- Developing or purchasing materials that support college readiness, including materials that support high performance on assessments required for admittance to a postsecondary educational institution.
- Developing comprehensive advising plans to support pupil completion of A–G course requirements.
- Implementing collaborative partnerships between high schools and postsecondary educational institutions that support pupil transition to postsecondary education, including, but not limited to, strengthening existing partnerships with the University of California and the California State University to establish early academic outreach and college preparatory programs.
- Providing subsidies to unduplicated pupils, as defined in Sections 42238.01 and 42238.02, to pay fees for taking advanced placement exams.
- Expanding access to coursework or other opportunities to satisfy A–G course requirements to all pupils, including, but not necessarily limited to, pupils enrolled in schools identified by the department as high schools with 75 percent or greater enrollment of unduplicated pupils, pursuant to subdivision (g). These opportunities may include, but shall not be limited to, new or expanded partnerships with other secondary or postsecondary educational institutions.
8. When can LEAs expect to receive the CRBG funds?
The first apportionment of approximately 50 percent of the funds will occur in fall 2016, with the remainder to be issued in spring 2017.
9. How long do I have to spend the funds?
Funds may be expended anytime during the 2016–17, 2017–18, and 2018–19 fiscal years.
10. Will these funds be subject to a state audit?
The CRBG funds are subject to the annual audits required by EC Section 41020, but currently there are no specific audit procedures for this program.
11. Where can I find more information on the CRBG funds?
Language governing the allocation and use of the CRBG funds can be found in EC Section 41580.
12. What required reporting information does my LEA have to submit?
LEAs must submit reports to the Superintendent as required by EC Section 41580(f).The instrument will allow LEAs to submit a brief statement (100 words or less is sufficient) about how each LEA will be measuring the impact of CRBG funds received on their unduplicated pupils’ access and successful matriculation to institutions of higher education, as identified within their plan. For schools that are not WASC-certified or in the process of certification, the LEA must still submit a report, and list the school’s CDS code.