Hillsborough to feds: We need Title 1 money to meet goals under EET
This is not likely to generate controversy, but the Hillsborough County School District is seeking a federal waiver and, in doing so, needs to invite public comment.
Here's the deal:
Federal law limits how much Title 1 anti-poverty money can be spent on hiring and rewarding teachers, as the program is intended to supplement and not replace core educational spending. That cap is set at 5 percent.
The district, meanwhile, is finishing year two of Empowering Effective Teachers, the Gates-funded initiative that matches up with other priorities of the federal government.
As district officials try to get the most highly qualified teachers into the schools that are most in need of improvement, a process that could involve different rates of pay, they say they'll need flexibility in that 5 per-cent cap.
"Thirty-seven of the schools included in this project have a poverty rate of above 90 percent," superintendent MaryEllen Elia wrote in her waiver request.
"Four of the schools are above 80 percent, and two schools are above 75 percent poverty. All schools are either in need of improvement, corrective action or restructuring ... By matching the best leadership with the best instructional staff and creating an environment at each school where professional development is a natural part of the school culture, student achievement will be positively impacted and goals will be achieved."
The district has been successful in getting these waivers before. Here's the letter, with instructions to anyone who wishes to comment.