On June 29, 2012, Virginia received a waiver of certain No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. One of the waivers exempts Title I schools currently in improvement status from the obligation to offer Public School Choice (PSC) to its students. However, a student who is already taking advantage of Public School Choice must be allowed to remain at his or her school of choice until he or she completes the highest grade in that school (ESEA section 1116(b)(13)).
Beginning next year with the 2013-14 school year, bus transportation will not be provided for students remaining in their school of choice. Your child(ren) may remain at their current school of choice, but you must provide transportation to and from school each day. Your other option is to return to your child(ren)’s base school.
In order to begin planning for school year 2013-2014, the Title I Office needs to know which of the following options you will be choosing for your child(ren) in the next school year. Intent letters and forms will be sent to parents and are due back in the Title I Office on February 1, 2013.
Please note that any sibling(s) who transferred to a School of Choice during this school year (2012-2013), transferred under the regular transfer process according to Regulation 721-1. Parents will need to complete a regular transfer application for these siblings and follow the timelines outlined in the Regulation 721-1.
Please call the Title I Office at 703.791.7248 with any questions you have related to the phase out of Public School Choice.
WHAT IS THE SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAM?
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires school divisions to identify for Title I School Improvement any elementary or secondary school served under Title I that, for two consecutive years, does not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in the same subject area. These schools are designated as in Year One Title I School Improvement Status and must offer the public school choice option to parents. Title I schools that do not make AYP for three consecutive years in the same subject area must continue to offer public school choice and, additionally, provide supplemental educational services to eligible students. These schools are designated as in Year Two Title I School Improvement Status. The obligation to offer the public school choice option ends when schools have made AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject area in which they were identified for Title I School Improvement.
Specially, no later than the first day of the school year following Title I School Improvement identification, the school division must provide all students enrolled in a Title I School with the option to transfer to another public school served by the school division, including a public charter school, that has not been identified for Title I School Improvement. In providing students the option to transfer to another public school, school divisions must give priority to the lowest achieving students from low-income families.
The Virginia Public School Choice Guidelines state:
The public school choice program shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin,
sex, disability, or age and must be consistent with applicable civil rights commitments.
The school division is obligated to fund transportation for the student to attend the selected school.
The obligation of the school division to provide, or to provide for, transportation for the student ends at
the close of a school year, if the school division determines that the school from which the student
transferred is no longer identified for Title I School Improvement or subject to corrective action or
A school division must permit a student who transferred to another school to remain in that school until
the student has completed the highest grade in that school.
If a school division demonstrates that it cannot provide choice to all students in low-performing
schools, the school division must permit as many students as possible to transfer to a school not
identified for Title I School Improvement, with priority given to the lowest performing students in the
highest poverty schools.
If all public schools served by the school division to which a student may transfer are identified for
Title I School Improvement, corrective action or restructuring, the school division shall, to the
extent practicable, establish a cooperative agreement with other school divisions in the area
WHAT IS ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS OR AYP?
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is academic progress made on an annual basis from a defined starting point that results in all students being proficient on state tests by 2013-2014. Some of the important features of AYP include:
AYP requires 95% tested by content
Applies to all students and subgroups
AYP is applied to individual schools, districts, and states
Rewards and sanctions will be applied to schools on the basis of making or not making AYP. The
sanctions for Title I schools are more severe. The first sanction for Title I schools is to
offer school choice in Title I schools that fail to make AYP for two consecutive years.