U.S. Department of Education Seeking Input on Supplement not Supplant

Jennifer Smith

By Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Oct. 19, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education is currently seeking public comment on its proposed regulations regarding supplement not supplant under Title I. These regulations will affect the way local districts, particularly those with a high percentage of low-income students, spend state and local dollars. The idea is that the Title I funding will supplement, not supplant the state and local funding, and districts must demonstrate that they are spending equal amounts of government dollars.

Concerns have been raised regarding the regulation requirements on how to demonstrate supplement not supplant compliance. It creates four ways to demonstrate compliance and a district can use any of these, however, education groups at all levels, including the National School Boards Association and the Michigan Department of Education, have concerns with the one-size-fits-all nature of the criteria. The regulations could undermine local equity and the way your district currently operates under Title I.

MDE has issued a memo outlining the four criteria and questions to consider when reviewing the federal proposed regulations. Due to the effect these regulations will have on local districts, we urge you to consider submitting feedback to USDOE. You can submit a formal comment through a link at the top of the federal register page through Nov. 7, 2016.

Also this week, the Senate Education Committee adopted Senate Resolution 214, which urges the President and Congress to "curb and clarify the role and authority of the U.S. Department of Education as it relates to the 'supplement not supplant' provisions..." The resolution was supported by multiple education groups, including MASB, and was adopted unanimously.

This will be an ongoing issue and MASB will monitor it closely, along with our counterparts at NSBA, and keep you informed of further action by the USDOE.

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