Hillsborough seeks a waiver on spending federal Title 1 money
TAMPA -- Hillsborough County school district officials are seeking more leeway from the federal government on spending Title 1 dollars to entice its best teachers to work in high-poverty schools.
And they're asking for public help in making the case.
In a press release today, the district is asking for public comment on its application to the federal Department of Education for a waiver on the 5 percent cap on spending such money "for the purpose of recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers to schools that are in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring." Florida received such a waiver as part of the federal stimulus program, but that money -- and the flexibility goes with it -- will expire this fall.
Hillsborough has drawn national attention for its efforts to recruit and retain teachers at its Renaissance Schools, in which the vast majority of students receive a free or reduced-fee lunch. And it makes that point to the federal DOE, suggesting that such flexibility in spending Title 1 dollars is essential in carrying out the seven-year, $202-million partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has endorsed.
The public comment period on the waiver runs through May 2; the form can be found at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/title1/waiver.asp.