Great Public Schools Criteria for MontanaGreat Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.
Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Montana.
Readiness to LearnFull-day Kindergarten:
- State Policy: A definition of the minimum number of hours for full-day kindergarten is not specified in Montana state statutes. Districts are not required to offer full-day kindergarten and children are not required to attend. Montana provides the same level of funding for full-day kindergarten as for half-kindergarten.
- Definition, District Offering and Pupil Attendance: Montana requires districts to offer 90 days/360 hours of kindergarten per year as compared to 180 days /720 hours per year in grades 1-3 and 1,080 hours per year in grades 4-12.
(Education Commission of the States [ECS] Kindergarten Database, 2007)
Requires an independent evaluation of the program to:
- determine the performance and effectiveness of the program;
- identify effective Even Start programs; and
- provide technical assistance to States and subgrantees to ensure that local evaluations provide accurate information on the effectiveness of the program.
Requires States to develop indicators of program quality (some are specified in the law) and use them to monitor, evaluate, and improve Even Start programs within the State. (States were required to submit these indicators to the Secretary by June 30, 2001 in order to receive program funds.)
Requires a subgrantee to provide for an independent program evaluation that is to be used for program improvement.
EVEN START (Title I, Part B, Subpart 3)
Overview. This program supports family literacy programs that integrate early childhood education, adult education, parenting education, and literacy activities for low-income families, including parents eligible for services under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and their children from birth through age 7.
Changes from the Current Law. This program was reauthorized in December 2000 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001 (P. L. 106-554), with the following major changes:
In years where the appropriation exceeds the amount appropriated for the previous fiscal year, the Secretary is required to reserve $2 million or 50 percent of the excess amount, whichever is less, for the National Institute for Literacy to carry out scientifically based reading research that focuses on adult literacy. In years where the appropriation is equal to or less than the amount appropriated for the previous fiscal year, the Secretary may reserve only what is needed to continue multi-year activities.
- Statewide Family Literacy Activities
Authorizes $1 million for competitive grants to States for Even Start statewide family literacy initiatives in years when the appropriation increases over the previous year. Prior to this reauthorization, as part of the Reading Excellence Act, the Department was required to reserve $10 million annually for this purpose.
- Technical Assistance for Family Literacy Services
Adds a provision that allows States to use a portion of program funds to help subgrantees to improve the quality of family literacy services.
- Staff Qualifications
Requires that, within four years, the majority of individuals providing academic instruction in Even Start whose salaries are paid in whole or in part with Even Start funds have an associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degree in a field related to early childhood education, elementary or secondary school education, or adult education, and, if applicable, meet State qualifications requirements for those areas; all new personnel must meet these requirements beginning on the effective date of the reauthorization (12/21/00). In addition, within four years, the individual responsible for the local administration of family literacy services must have received training in the operation of a family literacy program, and paraprofessionals who provide support for academic instruction must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Scientifically Based Reading Research
Requires that instructional programs be based on scientifically based reading research.
- Eligible Participants
Allows Even Start programs that collaborate with Title I, Part A programs to expand Even Start services to children who are 8 years of age or older if funds from the Part A program are used to contribute to the cost of providing programs for these children.
The NCLB Act includes one amendment: Under the 2000 reauthorization of the program, States may reserve up to 6 percent of funds for State-level activities, including administration, technical assistance for program improvement through a grant or contract, and administering the Indicators of Program Quality requirements in the law. The reauthorized ESEA allows States to also use these funds for improving the quality of family literacy services provided under Even Start programs.
- Federal to State
Formula allocations are based on each State’s current-year share of Title I, Part A funds, with a minimum State allocation of the greater of $250,000 or _ of 1 percent.
- State to Local
SEAs make competitive subgrants to partnerships of LEAs and other organizations, giving priority to proposals that target areas designated as empowerment zones or enterprise communities or that propose to serve families in other high-poverty areas.
Requires six percent of the annual appropriation for programs serving migrant children, the outlying areas, and Indian tribes and tribal organizations if the appropriated amount for the program exceeds $200 million (or five percent when the appropriation is $200 million or less). Requires a grant for an Even Start project in a women's prison. Allows up to three percent for evaluation and technical assistance.
In years in which the appropriation exceeds the amount appropriated for the preceding fiscal year, requires $2 million, or 50 percent of the excess, whichever is less, for the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) to carry out scientifically based research on family literacy. When the appropriation is the same or less than the preceding year’s appropriation, requires "sufficient funds" for NIFL to continue multi-year research projects.
Authorizes $1 million for competitive grants to States for Even Start statewide family literacy initiatives in years when the appropriation increases over the previous year.
Allows SEAs to reserve up to six percent of their allocation to administer the program; provide technical assistance for program improvement and replication through subgrants or contracts; develop indicators of program quality and monitor, evaluate, and improve programs based on the State’s indicators; and (beginning with the 2001 amendment) improve the quality of family literacy services provided under Even Start programs. An SEA may use up to half of this reservation for program administration.