Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced that local education agencies (LEAs) will be notified of their Title I allocations next week due to efforts taken by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE).
The State Auditor General and the United States Department of Education (ED) identified several audit findings with respect to Title I that first occurred under the previous administration in FY2013-14. ADE confirmed these findings, uncovering additional issues related to the Title I allocation process.
ADE staff made LEAs aware of an issue with Title I entitlements as early as the Committee of Practitioners and Spring Coordinators meetings in April 2017. In response to the findings, ADE has established an action committee to solve the issue for this year and replaced the parties responsible for the misallocation of Title I funds. ADE additionally procured Afton Partners Inc., a third-party, independent fiscal consulting firm to analyze and validate the processes, policies and procedures used to calculate the allocations. These processes have been reviewed and validated by staff at ED.
Also, ADE’s policy manual that includes proper procedures and approval authorities are being enhanced, while specialized training of certain Title I staff and cross-training backup personnel is being developed. ADE has been working to minimize the impact to Title I LEAs as these findings are resolved, to ensure LEAs are not adversely impacted.
“I am proud of my staff for working diligently to uncover and solve these issues,” Superintendent Douglas said. “Fortunately, these findings have not impacted our statewide Title I appropriation for Arizona from the federal government. There is nothing more important than ensuring our most socio-economically disadvantaged students are accurately provided the resources they need to thrive.”
Although all money was spent on Title I services, the misallocation may result in how future funds are allocated. ADE will continue to work in conjunction with ED to ensure all individual LEAs accurately receive the funds in which they are entitled.