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Supplemental Educational Services - School Districts

1. What are supplemental educational services?
    According to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, supplemental educational services are free tutoring and other supplemental academic enrichment services that are in addition to instruction provided during the school day. These services must be of high quality, research based, and specifically designed to increase a studentĎs academic achievement on the stateís academic assessments toward proficiency in meeting the stateís achievement standards.

2. Why are supplemental educational services important?

Supplemental educational services provide low-income families the opportunity to choose free tutoring services for their children. The program offers children who may be struggling in school an opportunity to obtain extra academic help and individual instruction to be successful.

Studies suggest that academically-based programs offered outside the school day can help students improve their achievement and work habits. Tutoring can help children improve achievement by building on the learning that takes place during the school day. Students at risk of academic failure have the most to gain from tutoring programs. Some of these students may not be successful in traditional classrooms and may be able to learn in different ways through tutoring. By helping individual students improve, supplemental educational services support teachersí and principalsí efforts to improve their schools.

3. What role do district policymakers play in SES?

District superintendents and administrators play a crucial role by:

  • notifying eligible families regarding supplemental educational services and about local provider options
  • entering into contracts with providers selected by families
  • paying providers
  • working with providers to set achievement goals for students
  • encouraging local organizations to apply to be supplemental educational services providers
  • helping the state monitor the performance of providers

  • 4. Who is eligible to receive supplemental services?
        Eligible students are all students from low-income families who attend Title I schools that are in their second year of school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. If funds are insufficient to provide services to each eligible student, priority must be given to providing services to the lowest-achieving eligible students. The district must use objective criteria to determine the lowest-achieving students. For example, the school district might focus services on the lowest-achieving eligible students in the subject area (reading or mathematics) that caused the school to be identified as in need of improvement.

    5. What is a state-approved provider?
        A state-approved provider of supplemental educational services is a non-profit or for-profit agency that has a demonstrated record of effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement; is capable of providing supplemental educational services that are consistent with the instructional program of the school district and the stateís academic standards; and is financially sound.

    6. How are providers selected for approval by the department?

    The department annually notifies potential providers and approves providers of supplemental educational services through a Request for Applications (RFA) in which potential providers submit an online application.

    A committee of state and school district educational administrators, program specialists, and instructors familiar in the selection of applications and with the NCLB, Title I, Part A provisions and in supplemental educational services instruction and delivery of services will review each application and make recommendations for the approval of providers of supplemental educational services for upcoming school year. Selection will be based on accurate completion of requested information and data, compliance with all provider eligibility requirements, and agreement with assurances set forth in the RFA document. Successful applications are those that obtain at least 70 points out of the maximum 100 points for the application narrative.

    7. Is the school district required to notify parents about the availability of supplemental educational services?
        Yes. Each school district must notify parents on an annual basis that their children are eligible for supplemental educational services. The notification must be understandable and, where practicable, in the parentís language. The notice must inform parents of their childrenís eligibility and provide a list of approved providers within the district with a brief description of the services, qualifications, and demonstrated effectiveness of such providers. Districts must also help parents select a supplemental educational service provider if the parents request such assistance.You may access additional information regarding parent notification and outreach at:

    8. Is a district required to provide parents the list of providers?
        Yes. Districts must notify parents regarding all of the providers approved to provide services in the school district. Districts may not limit the list of available providers for parents to choose. Many districts sign the contract with providers before making the list available to parents to ensure that all of the providers on the list are committed to providing services in the district.

    9. Can a district set a deadline by which parents must apply for their child to participate in supplemental educational services?
        Yes. Each district may specify a deadline for parents to apply for their child to participate in supplemental educational services. The district must ensure that parents have sufficient time, information, and opportunity to make decisions related to their children. Most districts have chosen to provide parents with two to four weeks to choose a provider and submit the application/enrollment forms to the districts.

    10. Who selects the approved provider for supplemental educational services?
        Parents select a provider from an approved list of providers. If funds are not sufficient to provide services to all eligible students whose parents request the services, the district must give priority to the lowest-achieving children.

    11. What happens after a parent selects a supplemental service provider for his or her child?
        The school district must develop, in consultation with the parents and the provider, a Parent District Provider Agreement (PDPA) that includes a statement of specific achievement goals for the student, how the studentís progress will be measured, and a timetable for improving achievement. The PDPA must also describe how the provider will regularly inform parents and teachers regarding the studentís progress. The PDPA should include specific activities and services designed to meet the individual needs of students. In the case of a student with a disability, the PDPA must be consistent with the studentís individual educational plan.

    12. Does the law apply to charter schools?
        If a charter school receives Title I, Part A funds and is identified as in need of improvement for the second year, corrective action, or restructuring, the charter school must comply with the same guidelines as all public schools and must provide free tutoring services to eligible students.

    13. Is the school district responsible for providing transportation to the service provider?
        No. School districts are not required to provide transportation to or from supplemental educational services. Services may be provided in a student's school or at another location. If a school district pays for transportation to service providers, the transportation costs may not be used to satisfy federal minimum expenditure requirements.

    14. Are there any circumstances under which a district would not have to provide supplemental educational services to eligible students?
        At the request of the district, a state may waive the requirement of supplemental educational services if the district demonstrates that none of the approved providers can make their services available within the district or via distance learning and provides evidence that it is not otherwise able to make those services available.

    15. How long should supplemental educational services be provided to eligible students?
        The school district must provide supplemental educational services to a student receiving such services until the end of the school year in which such services were first received or until the per-pupil allocation is expended for that student. The school district is required to make supplemental educational services available to eligible students on an annual basis until the Title I school in which the student is enrolled makes adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years.

    16. Can a parent switch to another provider during the school year if they are not happy with the services their child is receiving?
        Yes, although some districts may only allow this to occur under certain conditions. For example, the parent might be asked to file a complaint and receive services only after a new Parent District Provider Agreement is signed.

    17. Can parents choose to transfer their child to another public school AND obtain supplemental educational services for them?

    18. Who coordinates supplemental educational services at the local level?
        Each district school superintendent has designated staff to coordinate and manage the implementation of NCLB school choice options in the district. In addition, many districts have hired part time staff to coordinate the services at the school level. The part time coordinator may be a current school district employee, such as a teacher or administrator that is responsible for coordinating services at the school site.

    19. How much must a school district spend on supplemental educational services?
        A school district must spend an amount equal to 20% of its Title I, Part A funds on public school choice options for parents. An amount equal to 5% of its Title I allocation must be used to pay for choice with transportation; an amount equal to 5% of its allocation must be used for supplemental educational services; and an amount equal to the remaining 10% must be spent on choice with transportation, supplemental educational services, or both, as determined by the school district.

    20. Must all of the funding for supplemental services come from Title I funds?
        No. The statutory phrase ďan amount equal toĒ means that the funds required to pay the costs of choice-related transportation and supplemental educational services need not come from Title I allocations, but may be provided from other Federal, State, local, and private sources. However, the amount must be equal to 20% of the school districtís Title I, Part A allocation.

    21. In addition to Title I, what other federal funds may be used to pay for supplemental services?
        School districts may use funds from Title V, Local Innovative Education Program; and funds transferred to Title I from other federal education programs under Section 6123 of ESEA, including funds from Title II, Part A Improving Teacher Quality State Grants; Title II, Part D Educational Technology State Grants; Title IV, Part A Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants; and Title V, Part A State Grants for Innovative Programs.

    22. How is the 20% set aside to be allocated for public school choice options?

    As provided in the Title I Regulations, an amount equal to 20% of the total district allocation, including transfers and before any other reservations are made, must be used for the two choice options, unless a lesser amount is needed. Further, the regulations provide that a school district must spend at least 5% of the total allocation on choice with transportation, 5% on state-approved supplemental educational services, and the remaining 10% on one or both options, dependent upon demand. The set-aside funds may not be used for administrative costs associated with either choice with transportation or supplemental educational services and may not be used for transportation for supplemental educational services.

    If the demand or actual cost of implementing the options with fidelity is less than the amount reserved, and the district can document that it has implemented the requirements for providing the two choice options, the remaining funds may be released for reallocation. Prior to the departmentís release of these funds for reallocation the district must document that it has fully met the demand for choice with transportation and state-approved supplemental educational services. This documentation must be maintained at the district office and presented to the department upon request.

    23. How much money can be spent per pupil?
        The district can spend the lesser of the per-pupil Title I allocation or the actual costs of providing the supplemental educational services.

    24. How will school districts find out which providers are approved to serve eligible students in their districts?
        The Florida Department of Education is responsible for reviewing and approving applications for providers to provide supplemental educational services in the state. The department will notify approved providers and school districts and post a list of the state-approved providers on the departmentís website prior to the beginning of the school year.

    25. Is there a list of providers identified as statewide providers that might serve rural counties?
        A chart showing statewide providers is available on the departmentís website at

    26. When should districts begin communicating with providers?
        District staff should contact providers approved to provider services in their district as soon as the state-approved provider list is released. Generally, the department notifies all school districts regarding the AYP designation for all schools by mid-June of each year. This notification will identify the Title I schools identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. District staff may wish to contact providers approved to provide supplemental educational services in their district as soon as possible following the release of the approved provider list and the adequate yearly progress status of Title I schools to begin negotiating the contracts between the district and providers.

    27. Can the school district determine timelines for providers to sign the contract with the district and begin services to students?
        Yes. School districts can set timelines that providers are required to meet, such as signing contracts, completing background checks, and submitting invoices and other reports. Timelines must be reasonable. If a provider is unable to meet the timelines, the district has the authority to reassign students to another provider based on parentsí second or third choices. Districts have the authority to require providers to begin tutoring students within a specified reasonable time following the signed contract or the students assigned to the provider will be reassigned to another provider.

    28. Will providers that serve multiple districts be able to vary their fees for services, as some districts will have more money available than others?
        All contracts between school districts and providers must be consistent with the rate in the approved application submitted to the department by the provider.

    29. What are district policies related to the use of school facilities by supplemental educational services providers?
        School districtsí policies vary around the state and the use of facilities must be negotiated at the local level. However, if the district charges fees to providers for the use of school facilities, they must be consistent with fees charged to other community groups.

    30. Who sets the exact hourly rate to be paid to providers? May this rate vary from provider to provider?
        The department establishes a range for the hourly rate within which an applicant must specify the rate for its services on the application. The hourly rate that a provider may charge must be consistent with the rate in the approved application. Rates may vary from provider to provider based on such considerations as cost of employing staff, delivery model of tutoring sessions, instructional materials, leasing of facilities, and assessment instruments.

    31. How are providers paid?
        Providers will be paid from district business offices. The exact procedures for submitting invoices or other paperwork to receive payment for services will vary across the state. Student attendance is an important consideration in the invoice and billing process. Districts will only pay for the actual hours of instruction delivered to students. Therefore, accurate recordkeeping of attendance and all billing practices are critical to the process. It is recommended that these issues are addressed in the contract between the district and provider.

    32. What restrictions are placed on providers for marketing and recruiting students?

    Districts need to promote supplemental educational services to their eligible schools and families, while providers may need to market their specific services to schools and parents. The department strongly encourages school districts and providers to coordinate their efforts through such activities as Provider Fairs, information packets, backpack mailings, and media packets to ensure that parents have information to make informed decisions that best meet the needs of their children.

    The use of incentives to enroll with certain providers is restricted. Providers may wish to follow the Code of Professional Conduct and Business Ethics for Supplemental Educational Services Providers adopted by the Education Industry Association in marketing their services in Florida school districts.

    33. What can providers expect by participating in district provider fairs or meetings?
        Districts may invite providers to participate and display materials at a provider fair in which many other tutoring groups will be available. Generally, provider fairs are events in which many tutoring groups are available at booths or tables for parents to browse, ask questions, and choose a provider for their child.

    34. Could the provider fair be set up for providers to recruit students from many schools in a district?
        Yes. Some districts have used fairs for providers to recruit students from feeder-pattern schools. Coordinating provider fairs for feeder-pattern schools may create a more family-friendly situation by providing parents with the opportunity to interview providers that could provide services to several children in the same family that are attending different schools within the feeder pattern. Combining fairs for feeder-pattern schools may also simplify the provider fairs process for district planners by reducing the number of fairs that need to be held by the district.

    35. What other ways might providers market their program in districts?
        Providers can create materials to leave with students and families that convey what is special about their program in a language that is easy for them to understand. In addition to providing these materials to schools and districts, providers may want to put them in places where families commonly go, such as community centers, places of worship, grocery stores, beauty salons, and barbershops.

    36. What happens after a parent selects a supplemental educational services provider for his or her child?
        The school district must develop, in consultation with the parents and the provider, a Parent District Provider Agreement (PDPA) that includes a statement of specific achievement goals for the student, how the studentís progress will be measured, and a timetable for improving achievement. The PDPA must also describe how the provider will regularly inform parents and teachers regarding the studentís progress. The PDPA should include specific activities and services designed to meet the individual needs of students. In the case of a student with a disability, the PDPA must be consistent with the studentís individual educational plan.

    37. Can a provider use its own assessment to identify student needs for writing goals for the PDPA?
        Yes, but the provider must verify with the district as to how and when the assessment can take place. The school district must provide student data regarding the students assigned to a provider. These data will include FCAT scores for students in third through twelfth grade. The FCAT is not a diagnostic tool, and providers must use assessment/diagnostic instruments to identify studentsí skill deficiencies in order to develop a PDPA that will specifically address a studentís individual academic needs.

    38. What are the contractual obligations of providers to a school district to continue services if their students achieve the goals originally agreed to in the PDPA?
        According to federal guidelines, a provider must continue to provide supplemental educational services to eligible students who are receiving such services until the end of the school year in which such services were first received. Beyond that, district and provider contracts should specify the conditions for continuation of services.

    39. What is required of providers in reporting student progress to parents and the studentís school and district?
        State-approved providers must provide information regarding the progress of the students in increasing achievement to parents and the appropriate school district staff. The provider should be prepared to evaluate, monitor, and track student progress on a continuous and regular basis.

    40. What if a student does not regularly attend tutoring sessions?
        The school district should ensure that the provider notifies parents if their child is not attending regularly. Parents must ensure that their children attend the supplemental educational services in which they are enrolled.

    41. How are providers of supplemental educational services held accountable?
        States must develop and apply objective criteria for evaluating providers and monitoring the quality of services that they offer. In addition, supplemental educational service providers must give parents, as well as the school, information regarding their studentsí progress.

    42. How will the public know if supplemental service providers are effective?

    Program providers must be able to show how their program has helped students. The state must use objective criteria to review and approve providers for inclusion on the state list to ensure that instruction is consistent with the instruction, content, and standards used by the district and the state.

    If a provider fails for two consecutive years to contribute to increasing the academic achievement of the students it serves, the state must remove it from the state-approved provider list.

    43. What is the role of the state in monitoring and evaluation?
        The Florida Department of Education is responsible for monitoring and evaluating NCLB public school choice for school districts and providers, which includes choice with transportation and supplemental educational services. The Department is also responsible for publicly reporting the results of the evaluation and for removing any provider that fails for two consecutive years to contribute to the academic achievement of students. The department has designed an evaluation plan based on studentsí learning gains.

    44. What is the role of districts in the monitoring process?
        Districts will be asked to complete self evaluation monitoring work papers that will be based on and aligned to Title I law and USDE guidance. Selected districts will be asked to submit verification documents to support their self-evaluation to the department for a desktop verification and in-depth review. Additional districts will be selected to participate in the departmentís onsite monitoring process. Districts may also be asked to assist the department in collecting data from providers related to monitoring and evaluation.

    45. What will providers have to do as part of the monitoring process?
        All state-approved providers will be required to conduct a self-evaluation and submit a report to the department. A select number of providers will be requested to submit verification work papers as well as participate in a department onsite-monitoring visit. Providers will be monitored against their approved applications. This monitoring would include checking to see if the instruction and assessments being used are consistent with the content and skills in Floridaís Sunshine State Standards. If any findings occur from the site visit, the provider will be expected to develop a Systems Improvement Plan.

    46. Does a district have to provide choice with transportation services to students whose parents chose for them to attend another school during the school year or can the district require them to attend the school within their attendance zone for summer school programs?
        According to USDE staff, Title I public school choice does not extend into summer school programs. While a district must ensure that transferring students have the same academic and extracurricular activities available to them as are available to all students in a school, the district does not have to give special rights to transfer students that extend beyond their original right to transfer into the school at the start of the school year. Therefore, if the district is not allowing non-transfer students to select their summer school program, it does not need to allow transfer students to do so.

    47. Can a provider round to the nearest half hour for total hours of tutoring for students within the districtís per pupil allocation?
        According to USDE, a provider may only get paid a maximum of the district's per pupil allocation. A district could allow a provider to serve students for the additional half hour but that half hour would not count toward the district's requirement to spend an amount equal to 20 percent on SES and choice. See question K-18 in the guidance for more details.

    48. Can teachers or paraprofessionals (aides) provide tutoring services to students with whom they work during the instructional day?

    According to USDE, the Federal statute or regulations do not prohibit teachers or paraprofessionals from being hired by private providers, or by the district, if the district is an approved provider and not in improvement status, to provide tutoring to their own students.

    However, consideration should be given to the issue that if a student is not being successful with a teacher during the regular school day, he or she may not be successful with that same teacher during an after school tutoring session. It may be in the best interest of the student to work with another teacher in the afternoon that may use different instructional styles, methods, and strategies that could enhance the student's ability to succeed. But, as you see from the USDE staff, there is not federal law or regs that prohibit a teacher from providing tutoring to his or her own students - and by extension this would