Every Student Succeeds Act

What California Charter Leaders Need to Know About Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Assistance

By Annice Weinstein, Senior Manager, Assessment Data & Analysis

February 18, 2020

The California Department of Education (CDE) just released the list of schools that qualify for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) assistance based on the 2019 CA School Dashboard. All schools in California qualify for either General Assistance, Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI). General Assistance is the standard assistance that every school receives, so we’ll focus on CSI and ATSI.

So, how does a school get identified for CSI?

California uses the CA School Dashboard to determine eligibility for CSI based on two categories of schools. The criteria for CSI are based on the performance of “All Students.” The categories are:

  1. Schools with a low graduation rate: High schools with a four- and five-year graduation rate of less than 68% averaged over two years; applies to high schools regardless of whether they receive Title I funds.
  2. Lowest-performing Title I schools (based on 2019 CA School Dashboard and Title I funds for the 2018-19 school year):
    • School with all red indicators
    • Schools with all red but one indicator of another color
    • Schools with all red and orange indicators
    • Schools with five or more indicators where the majority are red
    • Note: For 2019, an English Language Progress Indicator (ELPI) Status level of “Very Low” will be used as a proxy for “Red” in CSI criteria.

Schools can only be eligible for CSI in one of the two categories for a single school year. The criteria apply to Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) schools as well. Schools will be evaluated annually to determine continued eligibility for CSI or exit.

What is required of a school identified for CSI?

Schools that meet the criteria for CSI are required to develop and approve a plan for the school to improve student outcomes. That plan must be based on a needs assessment, include evidence-based interventions, and address any resource inequities through the implementation of the plan.

If your school is identified for CSI, you are eligible to receive additional funding to support the implementation of school plans. Eligible schools should log into the Grant Management and Reporting Tool (GMART) to submit their applications before 4 pm on February 28, 2020. The application timeline is short, so make sure you don’t miss out on this extra funding.

CSI charter schools also have additional reporting requirements for the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). CSI charter schools must complete CSI prompts #2 and #3 in the LCAP Plan Summary that describe the programs and supports implemented, as well as the process for monitoring program effectiveness. These schools will also detail how the CSI funds were used to implement related actions in the LCAP. CSI charters may utilize the LCAP to meet the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) requirement, provided they include evidence-based interventions in the “Actions” and the “Increased and Improved Services” sections of the LCAP.

How does a school get identified for ATSI?

The criteria for ATSI is based on the performance of student groups. Even if your indicators for “All Students” look good on the Dashboard, you can still qualify for ATSI based on your student group performance.

Schools that are not eligible for CSI can qualify for ATSI if they have one or more student group(s) that for two consecutive years (example: 2018 AND 2019), meet(s) the criteria listed above for “CSI-Lowest performing schools.”

The same student group would have to meet the criteria in both years, although the group may meet the criteria based on different color combinations in each of the two years. The school does not need to receive Title I funds to be eligible for ATSI. Schools identified for ATSI do not receive any additional federal funds for support.

How do I know if my school was identified for CSI or ATSI?

To see if your charter was identified for CSI or ATSI this year, click here. The list only shows charter schools identified for CSI or ATSI. If your school isn’t on the list, it only qualifies for General Assistance.

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