What is the flexibility in the staffing allocations for Title I and Focus schools? How are the allocations differentiated?
BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: Chapter 1-1
While some staffing is based on enrollment, other staffing is needs-based or program-based. Needs-based staffing is allocated so that schools with greater needs receive more staffing. Program staffing is based on a school having a program housed at that location. This includes immersion programs, highly-gifted centers, signature programs, Pre-Kindergarten programs, special education programs, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs. Our most highly impacted elementary schools are Title I schools. Focus schools are schools impacted by poverty, but not to the degree that Title I schools are impacted. Staffing allocations differentiate for needs in Focus and Title I school as follows:
- Kindergarten teacher positions are staffed at a ratio of 18:1 versus 26:1 in other schools.
- Grades 1 and 2 classroom teacher positions are staffed at a ratio of 18:1 versus 27:1 in other schools.
- Focus teacher positions are allocated using a differentiated formula (per pupil allocation for Title I schools and sliding scale for focus schools), so that schools with greater needs are allocated more staffing. The position may be used differently depending on the school needs. Focus teachers provide support beyond the classroom teacher, provide small group instruction, implement interventions, and serve as a coach to other teachers in the school. For Title I schools, the focus teacher positions are funded through the Title I, Part A grant, while for focus schools, MCPS funds the positions locally.
- Focus paraeducator positions are allocated using a differentiated formula (per pupil allocation for Title I schools and sliding scale for Focus schools), so that schools with greater needs have more staffing. The positions may be used differently depending on school needs. The paraeducators work in classrooms with teachers to provide support to students with needs, provide interventions, and work with small groups of students. For Title I schools, the paraeducator positions are funded through the Title I, Part A grant, while for focus schools, MCPS funds the positions locally. Schools also have the flexibility to trade Focus paraeducator positions for Focus teacher positions, depending on the school needs. Also, all Focus schools have an assistant principal no matter how small the school.
- Academic intervention teacher positions are allocated to provide intensive support to students who need it. Schools are allocated positions based on impact and enrollment, so those schools with more impacted students are allocated more staffing. By having the flexibility to assign resources, schools identify a plan to use the positions to support student needs.
- ESOL teacher positions are allocated to schools based on ESOL student enrollment. Schools with large ESOL enrollment are allocated more staffing than those with smaller enrollment. The MCPS schools that are more highly impacted often have higher ESOL enrollments than other schools, so these schools will have more ESOL staffing than other less impacted schools.