Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)What is ESEA?
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) covers all states, school districts, and schools that accept Title I-A federal grants. Title I grants provide funding for supplemental education programs for children who attend high poverty public schools, and in some private school programs. Some components of ESEA apply to non-Title I schools as well as those that receive Title I funding.
ESEA emphasizes accountability (through testing, evaluation and school reporting) and improving the quality of teaching in classrooms (through teacher requirements and ongoing professional development). ESEA was recently reauthorized by the federal government as the "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA).
The major focus of Title I-A in ESEA is on reading and math achievement, although other subject areas and programs are sometimes included as well. Title I-A works to support activities to change the total school culture to one of continuous progress and improvement for all students. This includes the development by teams at each Title I school of Continuous Improvement Plans. Parents are always encouraged to be a part of this planning process—both by completing annual satisfaction surveys each spring and by participating on the planning teams.
Schools receiving Title I services in FUSD include:
• Cromer• Killip
• Puente de Hozho
Services vary between schools, but may include:
• intensive math or reading instruction through RTI (Response to Intervention);
• technology support in computer labs and classrooms;
• before or after-school tutoring;
• summer and intersession classes;
• family involvement programs and activities;
• ongoing professional development for staff.
In addition to Title I-A, the largest component of ESEA, the law also includes the following programs:
• Title I-D: Neglected & Delinquent• Title II-A: Teacher Quality• Title III: Bilingual Education• Title IV: Parent Choices• Title VI: Indian Education• Title IX: Homeless
Qualifications of Teachers and Paraprofessionals
Title II-A: Teacher quality sets minimum qualifications for all teachers—in both Title and non-Title schools, with an emphasis on equity across schools.
FUSD boasts a highly qualified staff across every grade level and content area.
All teachers must also hold a valid certification from the state of Arizona and have a current fingerprint clearance.
In addition to these requirements for teachers, paraprofessionals (instructional assistants in the classroom) who work in Title I schools must have completed two years of college or pass a state-approved test that assesses their ability to support teachers in reading, writing, and math instruction.
Parents' Right to Know Teacher Qualifications
You are entitled to information about your child's teacher and/or paraprofessional. You are entitled to know if the teacher:
• Meets Arizona state qualifications and licensing requirements;
• What degree(s) your child's teacher holds; and
• The qualifications of the paraprofessional working with your child.
School and District Letter Grades
Every year, each school and district in the State of Arizona is assigned a letter grade of A,B,C,D or F. The letter grade allows the Department of Education to measure student learning and academic growth using the same set of standards for all schools and districts in Arizona. The accountability system measures student learning and growth in several ways.
The A-F Letter Grade accountability system was suspended by the state in FY15 & FY16 to allow time to develop a new system using the new state standards and the AzMERIT assessment. The new system will be released sometime in the 2017 calendar year.
ESEA includes several right-to-know items specifically for parents and guardians.
Military Recruiters—ESEA requires high schools to release student contact information to military recruiters. However, parents have the right to request that the contact information on their children not be released to a military recruiter. A form to request that student information not be shared is included in each high school student handbook.
Prayer Policy—ESEA ensures that schools will not prevent or deny students’ participation in constitutionally protected prayer.
Other ESEA Programs in FUSD
Homeless Assistance—Title I provides services to families in transitional living situations, including those living in motels, shelters, campgrounds/forest/car, or doubled up with friends or relatives because of a hardship. Students living with someone other than a parent or legal guardian are also included. Students in transition have the right to enroll in school regardless of documentation (i.e. birth certificates, immunization records, proof of residency). They are eligible for the free breakfast and lunch program and have the right to stay at the school they attended before the transition, with the district providing transportation to and from school. Families needing assistance should contact the District’s HomeStart Liaisons at 606-1515, 606-3692 or 774-1103.
Family Resource Center—The FUSD Family Resource Center, located at 4000 North Cummings (across from the Flagstaff Mall), provides school and community information, family workshops and access to computers and the internet. Tutoring is also available. All services are free!
The FRC is open year-round from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and by appointment only on Fridays. Call 774-1103 or drop by anytime! Or, check us out online: www.fusd1.org/frc
Federal Education Resources
For more information and fact sheets, visit the U.S. Department of Education website at www.ed.gov
For more information on Arizona’s educational programs, visit the Arizona Department of Education website at: www.azed.gov