In 2014, charter system superintendents told us they wanted more flexibility in the way districts could use federal funds. The Foundation brought together a group of charter systems (Atlanta, Madison County, Calhoun City, Cartersville, Fulton County, Madison County and Warren County) to work with GaDOE to explore how more flexibility could be achieved regarding federal programs (recognizing that charter systems must comply with federal law).
Federal law allows schools to consolidate their federal program funds with state and local funds into a single pool. The federal funds lose their identity, and the consolidated funds may be spent with the flexibility to support a schoolwide program in the same manner state and local funds are spent, so long as the schoolwide program meets the intent and purposes of the federal programs that have been consolidated.
No more teachers identified as Title 1 teachers. No more property/equipment identified as federal. Schools can allocate resources in an effective and efficient manner to better meet the needs of the students under the schoolwide plan.
Districts that have consolidated funds have seen great benefits
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GaDOE has done an excellent job of establishing this program and has been recognized as a leader in the nation. The program has grown from a handful of systems in the initial pilot in 2016-17 to over 40 districts this year.