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Legislative Update

DPI clarifies collection of “in-person hours” data for allocating ESSER II distribution

by | Mar 29, 2021 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue | 0 comments

In an email to district administrators last Friday (3/26), the DPI clarified how it will calculate the allocation of certain federal ESSER II funds to 174 Wisconsin local education agencies (school districts). 

This calculation affects the distribution of so-called “set-aside” funds under Joint Finance Committee Motion #16., which altered of the DPI’s proposed allocation of the 10% set-aside of funds provided under the December 2020 federal COVID relief act knows as the CRRSA Act.

Following the adoption of that Joint Finance motion, the DPI sought clarification from the JFC co-chairs on the definition of “in-person instruction” and how data would be collected.  That clarification was received last week, paving the way for the DPI to communicate with school districts.

According to the DPI’s email to district administrators:

“For this collection, in-person instructional hours are defined as hours in which pupils are together in the same physical location, being taught by a licensed teacher who is in the same location. Hours of virtual or other remote instruction may not be counted under any circumstance, including but not limited to:

    • Virtual charter schools
    • Simultaneous virtual participation in classroom instruction (the pupils participating virtually may not be counted, but those in the classroom with the teacher are counted)
    • Splitting pupils among two classrooms, with the second classroom having an aide present and a live screencast of the teacher in the first classroom (hours for pupils in the first classroom, where the teacher is present, may be counted)
    • Hybrid models with virtual days (only the in-person days may be counted)
    • Temporary closure due to local public health orders, active COVID-19 cases, quarantines, or similar circumstances.”

The email to administrators also included information about how school districts will report the data to be collected to the DPI:

“Based on those clarifications, we have developed a plan for this data collection under a method similar to the PI-1804 Summer School Report. Eligible LEAs will be provided a workbook to compile their hours of in-person instruction by class, using an average daily in-person attendance. Each LEA will compile and report a single total number of in-person hours to DPI. A list of the affected LEAs is available in the Excel workbook on ESSER II allocations.


Note: As we reported in an earlier blog post, ninety percent of the funds provided for K-12 schools under the CRRSA flow to districts in proportion to their share of Title I-eligible pupils in the state. The remaining ten percent of funds were set-aside by Congress for the DPI to allocate. For those funds, the DPI proposed setting a $100,000 per district floor for every school district as well as a $395 per pupil floor for districts whose Title I allocation was below that amount per pupil.  However, Motion #16 replaced the proposed $395 per pupil floor with a formula based on the total number of in-person instructional hours provided during the entirety of the 2020-21 school year, prompting the DPI to seek clarifications.  Motion #16 did not affect either the $100,000 per district floor. 





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