Random Validations for Federal Program Compliance – Phase 2
Phase I of random validations for federal program compliance monitoring ended on November 12. If you dodged that bullet (yeehaw!), take heed — there is another round that begins December 1. For charters, this mainly concerns two areas of compliance: the Unsafe School Choice Option and the Title I Ed Flex waiver.
CSS has gathered the pertinent information on validation for all our compadres out there in the Charter world. Keep reading so that you don’t end up on TEA’s “most wanted” list!
What is being validated?
The Federal Program Compliance Division at TEA will notify LEAs on Dec 1, 2021, if they have been randomly selected to submit documentation of program compliance. The ESC for each LEA selected will also be notified in order to begin providing technical assistance. Dec 1 marks the start of Phase 2 of two phases for random validations. Phase 2 includes the following programs:
- Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO)
- Title V, Part B (RLIS) (not likely for charters)
- Title I, Part D (rare for charters)
- Title I, Part A Campus School-wide Ed Flex Waiver
LEAs selected for validation in 2020-21 will NOT be selected again. Instructions for submission will be included in the email notification, and documents will be uploaded via TEAL in the “ESSA Reports” application. If selected, documents will be due January 14, 2022.
Where is information on what is being validated?
Unsafe School Choice Option
If selected, your charter would need to produce a copy of a policy or procedure to allow transfers for students who become victims of a violent criminal offense (these are felonies the most common of which in school settings are assault or sexual assault). This is a challenge for charters because many don’t have any other campuses available to attend. In these cases, the law would require the offender to be removed from the campus, but the policy is that victims’ guardians must be notified of their right to request a transfer in writing. The USCO policy is most often located in the student handbook or discipline code of conduct. If no other campus is available in the LEA, the policy should provide for other types of services to ensure the safety of the student (virtual instruction, for example) or a cooperative agreement with another LEA to accept transfers.
When the LEA first completes schedule WV4004 in the Consolidated Federal Grant Application to request the Schoolwide Eligibility Waiver for a campus, the LEA is instructed to complete a Supporting Documentation Form, to be maintained locally and to be available on request. If selected for random validation, this form must be submitted to TEA.
Where can I find more information if I am selected?
Your ESC will provide technical assistance between 12/2 and 1/13 if you are selected. If you are found to be out of compliance and require an improvement plan/resubmission, the role of the ESC in supporting you will increase.
CSS strives to make sure our clients are always ready for validation, and we work in tandem with the technical assistance provided by your ESC in the event our clients are randomly selected!
The validation forms, handbooks, and training slides/recordings are posted at the following website. https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/grants/essa-program/essa-program-random-validations
CSS always advises that you be ready for validation even if you do not get selected! Reviewing the random validation documents and taking appropriate action are excellent methods to prepare for the compliance reporting that will come later this year.
Questions? Please contact:
- Sharon Benka, Federal Director email@example.com
- Dr. Sheila K. Sherman, Federal Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jean Cornelius, Federal Manager email@example.com