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Dec 23 -- The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED), invites comments to OMB by January 24, 2022 regarding the proposed National Implementation Study of Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV, Part A).
 
This study will collect information about policy and program implementation of the grants administered under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to describe and report on districts' decision-making process for use of Title IV, Part A funds, how states help inform districts' decisions, and what topic areas and activities are funded with Title IV, Part A funds.
 
Title IV-A resulted from a consolidation of several programs as part of a congressional effort to allow more state and local decision-making about use of funds. Title IV-A encompasses three broad program priorities that are intended to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing districts’ capacity to (1) provide all students with a well-rounded education, (2) ensure that the school environment is conducive to learning, and (3) enhance and personalize learning through technology. The law also requires districts to consult with stakeholders, distribute Title IV-A funds to high-need schools, and in certain instances, to conduct comprehensive needs assessments, and it encourages districts to use evidence from research to pick strategies to fund. This evaluation will develop a national picture of how states and districts are implementing this program, particularly the ways in which it supports school systems as they seek to recover from the coronavirus pandemic during the 2021–2022 school year.  
 
IES has contracted with Abt and its partner, RMC Research Corporation to conduct this study. The study will collect data starting in Spring 2022 and will ask about school year 2021-22 activities (from FY 2021 funds that became available in July 2021) to answer and report on the following questions:

What guidance and technical assistance did states provide to districts to assist in local implementation of the Title IV-A program? What supports did the state provide to help districts effectively assess their needs?  What resources did the state provide to help districts select evidence-based programs or activities? Did states provide technical assistance or encourage work in specific topic areas? To what extent did the state use the national technical assistance center? What challenges did states and districts encounter during implementation?

How do districts decide how to use Title IV-A funds? How are districts assessing their needs? To what extent do they use stakeholder feedback and needs assessments to select the topic areas to fund? What resources do they consult to select particular programs or activities?  Do they rely on resources focused on identifying evidence-based programs or activities?

What are the primary services and activities districts are implementing with Title IV-A funds? Do districts transfer their Title IV-A funds to other federal programs or supplement them with funds from other programs? What is the proportion of funds used across the three Title IV-A main program priority areas? What topic areas are most often supported? Within each topic area, what are the funds used for – purchasing curricula, professional development, or technological supports? Do districts target high-poverty, low performing, or persistently dangerous schools? To what extent is information from the needs assessment consistent with what is implemented?

ED plans to use the study results to learn about districts’ decision-making process for use of Title IV-A funds, how states help inform districts’ decisions, and what topic areas and activities are funded with Title IV-A funds. Because there is no standardized reporting requirement for Title IV-A sub-grantees at the federal level, this study also will help inform technical assistance.

A summary of the purpose of each type of data collection is described below.  

Survey of the Census of State Title IV-A Coordinators. A web-based survey in the Spring of 2022 will be administered to 52 state Title IVA coordinators, including representatives from Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. To gain knowledge about how SEAs are supporting Title IV-A grants, the state survey will provide information on how SEAs use these funds, and the support and technical assistance SEAs provide to districts in their use of these funds, including for conducting needs assessments, engaging stakeholders, selecting evidence-based programs and practices, and using funds for particular topics. The developed survey instrument draws on the research questions, state plans, and ED’s 2019 survey of state Title IV-A coordinators.

Survey of a Nationally Representative Sample of School Districts. A web-based survey in the Spring of 2022 will be administered to a nationally representative sample of district Title IV-A coordinators, with the possibility of a follow-up survey in Spring of 2024. The initial survey will provide the government with comprehensive information describing funded programs and services, and the decision-making process Title IVA sub-grantees use to decide how funds should be used and how specific programs and practices are selected. A follow-up survey would provide information on changes in the program within a given sample of districts over time. The survey instrument draws on the research questions and findings from ED’s 2019 survey of state Title IV-A coordinators.
 
Title IV-A Program: https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/ESSA-TitleIVPartA-SSAE  
IES submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202107-1850-005 Click on IC List for survey instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit any comments through this site.
FR notice inviting comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/23/2021-27860/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-for  
  
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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