Under the new Every Student Succeeds Act, there is no longer a separate School Improvement Grant program. State Education Agencies will set aside 7% of their Title I funding in order to serve struggling schools. States often refer to this set-aside as "Section 1003(a)" funds.
Distribution of funds: It is a state-level decision whether to distribute 1003a school improvement funds by formula or by competitive grants. States will identify their lowest performing schools:
Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI): the lowest-performing 5% of Title I schools, high schools with graduation rates below 67%, and Title I schools with chronically low-performing student subgroups
Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI): schools with one or more consistently underperforming student subgroups
Use of funds: Interventions, strategies, and activities provided by section 1003(a) school improvement funds must be evidence-based. According to States’ ESSA plans, some states plan to develop an approved list of evidence-based interventions for schools identified for CSI and TSI.
After your district has identified local needs, it is time to determine which evidence-based strategies will best serve your student population. The chart below aligns to ESSA's four evidence categories and outlines the types of research studies completed on Pearson programs.