Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

How Title I shifts in Pinellas will affect individual schools

16

April

There’s anxiety at some Pinellas elementary schools (and giddiness at some middle and high schools) about the changes that Pinellas Superintendent Julie Janssen is recommending to the district’s Title I allocations. This chart may help explain why.

Slice of pie As we reported last week, Janssen is proposing to slice the Title I pie differently so struggling middle and high schools get a share of federal money that has traditionally gone exclusively to elementary schools. Under the plan – which must be approved by the school board – the number of high-poverty schools dividing the money would grow from 48 to 68, including 9 high schools and 13 middle schools - which means that many elementary schools are not going to get as big a share next year.

The chart, put together by St. Petersburg Times researcher Connie Humburg, shows how much Title I money individual elementary schools received this year – and are slated to receive next year. Many show decreases. Many show increases.

But keep this in mind: Unlike in past years, the district is proposing to no longer fund four Title I positions at each school “off the top” (reading coach, math/science coach, Title I facilitator and invention unit). If schools want to keep those positions, they’ll have to dip into their Title I allocation, find other money, or work out creative arrangements with other Title I schools, such as co-funding and “sharing” some of those positions.

Clearly, positions will be lost – and there is potential for some people to be out of work. The schools have until May 7 to submit plans for how they will use the Title I money.

This chart includes all the schools that are slated to get a cut of Title I money next year, including the middle and high schools, and how much they’re supposed to get.

(Image from tofufortwo.net)

UPDATE: Pinellas Title I director Mary Conage offered this clarification for anyone who's looking at the chart we put together. Here it is in its entirety:

As a point of clarification, it is important to note that a school’s basic Title I allocation may not be decreased by more than 15% from one year to the next, if the school is in Corrective Action or Restructuring. This information was shared with Board members at the April 6th workshop.
 
When the percentage of decrease is calculated based on the total allocation, which includes dollars from the parental involvement set-aside, it results in decreases greater than 15% for San Jose (Corrective Action), Seventy-Fourth Street (Restructuring), and Walsingham (Restructuring). If someone’s eyes are drawn to that last column (% change total allocation) they might misinterpret this.

Conage also noted this:

The factors below also will affect allocations.

* School allotments (per pupil funding) will differ based on level of need and number of students.

* Title I, Part A funds comprise the largest allocation of Title I funds to schools. In addition to Part A funds, schools identified as “in need of improvement” also receive an allocation of Title I School Improvement funds and Title I Corrective Action funds.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:58am]

    

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