Under Section 3114(b) of NCLB Act of 2001, a state educational agency (SEA) shall not award a Title III subgrant to a local educational agency (LEA) if the amount is less than $10,000. Local educational agencies that do not meet the $10,000 threshold may form a consortium to qualify for these funds. LEAs that are interested in forming a consortium must agree and commit to the following:
The LEAs must designate a member of the group to serve as the fiscal agent.
The fiscal agent will:
• Submit a Notice of Intent to Form a Title III Consortium to MDE in a timely manner.
• Develop an application, in collaboration with its consortium members, detailing the activities that meet the common needs of the consortium’s English Learner (EL) population.
• Ensure that the consortium members fulfill their fiscal and programmatic responsibilities under Title III, including meeting the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs).
• Assure that the funds may be used to supplement but not supplant other federal, state or local public funds.
Consortium members must:
• Agree to a three-year commitment of consortium membership.
• Identify and develop a plan of activities in collaboration with the fiscal agent that meet the needs of the EL population. The plan of activities must include:
o How member districts will improve services for ELs relative to English proficiency and the English language development standards and academic achievement in content areas.
o How professional development will be provided for teachers, administrators and staff to improve instruction for ELs; a portion of the funds must be allocated to professional development.
Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) are determined using these components:
• Annual increase in the percentage of ELs making progress in learning English.
• Annual increase in the percentage of ELs attaining English proficiency.
• Making AYP targets in reading and math, attendance, and graduation for the EL subgroup.
The determination of whether a Title III consortium meets AMAOs is done at the consortium level. Accountability for meeting the AMAOs as a consortium is determined by the overall performance of ELs of all member districts of the consortium for all three AMAOs (Sections 1111(b)(C), 3114(a), 3122(b) and 3141.
The fiscal agent must ensure that parents of ELs are notified of their children being placed in language instruction educational program and if the consortium fails to meet the AMAOs in any given year. The fiscal agent may either delegate this responsibility to the member districts, or the fiscal agent may choose to notify all the parents of ELs served by the consortium.
A consortium that fails to meet AMAO targets for two consecutive years must develop an improvement plan that addresses factors that prevented the consortium from meeting AMAO targets. It is the responsibility of the fiscal agent to develop the improvement plan in collaboration with its member districts and submit it to the SEA. The plan should specify the responsibilities of both the fiscal agent and the member districts with regard to developing and implementing the improvement plan.
Upon dissolution of the consortium, any unspent funds are reallocated to participating Title III districts. If the consortium is adding or losing members the following year, the funds generated by the current members should be expended in the same (current) grant year. For example, if Consortium ABC generated $10,000 for 2012-2013, the $10,000 should be expended during 2012-2013, before changing membership in 2013-2014. Otherwise, the LEA leaving the consortium forfeits the Title III funds generated by that LEA and those funds are applied to the newly reconfigured consortium.