Title I


Published: Published: September 12th, 2018

ADE Finalizes Favorable Resolutions for Audit Findings

Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced that the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has reached final agreements with the United States Department of Education (ED) to correct audit findings related to its federal Title I and special education (IDEA) allocations.

The finalized resolutions mark the end of a thorough review and recalculation process conducted by ADE staff and third-party, independent consultants since the findings and their underlying causes were initially identified in State Auditor General and ED audits. In addition to recalculating allocations, ADE has also implemented internal policy and staff changes to ensure that future funding awards are accurate and reliable.

Under the finalized resolution agreements, any underfunded schools will be made whole over a period of one or more fiscal years and no overfunded schools will be required to repay any monies. Final revised allocations for fiscal year 2019 will be available to schools before the end of September.

“I am pleased that we have at long last completed this process with the U.S. Department of Education, bringing needed closure to our schools and districts and building a solid foundation for our allocations process in the future,” Superintendent Douglas said. “It is a testament to the hard work of my staff that we were able to resolve these issues without any additional adverse impact to Arizona students. We look forward to working with impacted schools to ensure they have the support they need.”

Specific information related to the two resolutions is available below.

Title I

The resolution of this finding required a full recalculation of all Title I allocations for fiscal years 2014–2017, and the creation of an updated, vetted and validated allocation process for fiscal year 2018 and future years.

LEAs that were overfunded during the impacted fiscal years will not be required to repay any previously awarded funds as a result of the findings. All underfunded LEAs will be made whole over a period of one to four years beginning in fiscal year 2019. 90 percent of all underfunded LEAs will be made whole in one year. LEAs that were cumulatively underfunded between $100,000-$150,000 will be made whole over three years, while LEAs that were cumulatively underfunded over $150,000 will be made whole over four years.

Special Education (IDEA)

This resolution requires ADE to make entities whole for the affected fiscal years of 2015, 2016, and 2017. The repayments will begin in fiscal year 2019 and will be completed in fiscal year 2023, spread evenly over five years. School districts and charter schools that were overfunded will not be required to return funds previously awarded.

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Published: Published: October 13th, 2017

ADE Correcting Title I Funds Allocation Process

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.

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