Notice to Parents (especially those in APS schools): School Choice is Law

In doing some research, I came across the following provision within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended and authorized as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  This provision concerns school choice for parents and families that attend a Title I school if the school is categorized as a school in need of improvement. 

Perhaps this helps some families, especially given the volitile state of some Title I schools in Atlanta Public School System.  Check first to see if the school is on the "needs improvement" list.  If so, these federal requirements should apply.  The information shared below is from the Congressional Research Service and was presented to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce committee in June of 2011. (Internal citations omitted.)  For reference, AYP is Adequate Yearly Progress and LEA is local educational agency (like a school district).

After not making AYP for two consecutive years, a Title I-A school is identified for school improvement.  Being designated for school improvement carries with it the requirement to develop or revise a school  plan designed to result in the improvement of the school. LEAs are required to provide schools within their jurisdictions with technical assistance in the design and implementation of school improvement plans. Schools identified for improvement must use at least 10% of their Title I-A funding for professional development. All students attending Title I-A schools identified for school improvement also must be offered public school choice—the opportunity to transfer to another public school within the same LEA.
Under public school choice, students must be afforded the opportunity to choose from among two or more schools, located within the same LEA, that have not been identified for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, and that also have not been identified as persistently dangerous schools. LEAs are required to provide students who transfer to different schools with transportation and must give priority in choosing schools to the lowest-achieving children from low-income families. LEAs may not use lack of capacity as a reason for denying students the opportunity to transfer to a school of choice. In instances where there are no eligible schools in the student’s LEA, LEAs are encouraged to enter into cooperative agreements with surrounding LEAs to enable students to transfer to an eligible public school.
Emily Barbour, Jody Feder, and Rebecca Skinner, CRS 7-5700, Secretary of Education’s Waiver Authority with Respect to Title I-A Provisions Included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Congressional Research Services (June 28, 2011) at 8-9, http://edworkforce.house.gov/UploadedFiles/June_28_2011_CRS_report.pdf.

No comments: