ESSER III contains new LEA Maintenance of Equity requirements regarding Per-Pupil Funding and FTE Staff in the highest poverty schools served by the LEA. These requirements must be met to receive ESSER III funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. LEAs may not reduce per-pupil funding (from combined state and local funds) or FTE staff in High Poverty Schools more than the rate that may be reduced across all schools in state FY2022 (SY21-22) and FY2023 (SY22-23)
NOTE: Rate=Total Reduction/Total LEA Enrollment
These requirements do not apply to all LEAs. LEAs with less than 1,000 students that operate a single school or that serve all students within each grade span with a single school are excluded from these requirements.
Based on these exceptions, Maintenance of Equity is only a requirement for 108 LEAs in Arizona. See the list of LEAs.
However, the U.S. Department of Education has provided an additional exception pathway for SY2021-2022 for LEAs that did not have an aggregate reduction in combined State and local per-pupil funding in FY2022.
Based on this additional exception pathway, no LEAs were required to identify “high poverty schools” and meet MoEquity requirements for SY2021-2022 based on a review of FY 2022 School Finance data. ADE further projects that this will continue for SY2022-2023 based on a review of preliminary FY2023 data.
The following information was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for LEA Maintenance of Equity (MoEquity), per the requirements of 2004(c) of the American Rescue Plan Act:
Step 1: Identify the number of schools that must be identified
Divide the total number schools served by the LEA by 4, and then round up. For example, and LEA with 9 schools must identify 3 High Poverty Schools (9/4=2.25; round up for 3 schools)
ADE has pre-determined the number of High Poverty schools that each LEA must identify.
Step 2: Determine the poverty rate for each school in the LEA
LEAs should use the same poverty data used to rank order and serve their schools for the FY22 Title I-A grant process.
ADE has provided the data used in the FY22 Title I-A grant application process to LEAs.
Step 3: Identify High Poverty Schools through choosing one of the following options:
In overall rank order from highest to lowest poverty percentage
In rank order within each grade span served by the LEA
Example: An LEA with 9 schools must identify 3 High Poverty schools. They may choose either their top 3 schools in rank order by highest poverty percentage, or they may choose the highest poverty school in each grade span served by the LEA (for this example, K-5, 6-8, 9-12).