Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTTT-ELC) Fiscal Committee Spending Update January 6, 2014
RTTT-ELC Grant Overview Overarching goals: • Improve the quality of early learning and development programs and services, and to close the achievement gap for children with high needs. • Ensure that more children, especially children with high needs, enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
Accountability to USDOE and USHHS • Federal Expectations of Grantees: • Increase the numberof children (especiallyhigh needs children) in QRIS programs at highest levels of quality. • Meet targets on performances measures. • Successful completion of projects. • Share best practices and innovative strategies.
Massachusetts RTTT-ELC Budget This is the RTTT budget approved by the federal government as of October 2013. • $50M Federal USDOE grant allocated over four years beginning January 1, 2012 and concluding December 31, 2015. • Supports five EEC priority areas: Program Quality, Educator Quality , Screening and Assessments, Family and Community Engagement, and Infrastructure. • The grant consists of over 50 budgeted activities spanning four calendar years and 5 state fiscal years.
RTTT-ELC Spending: the End of Year 2 • Overall, there is $23.3M budgeted in Years 1 and 2 of the grant. • Only $11.7M of what was budgeted in Years 1and 2 has been spent (through 12/10/13). • Only 70% of Years 1 and 2 budget has been committed (total expended plus total encumbrance remaining). • It is unclear at this time if the remaining encumbrance in Year 2 will be spent. • The remaining unspent balance at the end of Year 2 of no less than $7.2M (and likely more because the encumbrance will not be spent) will be moved into Years 3 and 4 of the grant. • Right now, we have spent only 22% of the $50M.
Project 1: Systems Infrastructure • This project’s budget supports 12 EEC FTEs (including anticipated additions of a Project Manager and MKEA Coordinator). • This project also supports costs associated with administration of the grant (EEC payroll, travel, fringe & indirect) and RTTT-ELC mandated technical assistance facilitated by USDOE or USHHS. • Nearly 80% of Years 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been committed. There remains several pay periods and associated fringe & indirect costs not factored in the spending. • Remaining tasks: Finalize EEC’s Indirect cost reimbursement process with the state Comptroller’s office for Year 3 and 4.
Project 2: Tiered Quality, Rating, and Improvement System (QRIS) • Activities Supported: QRIS Program Improvement grants, Scholarships for Educators in QRIS programs, QRIS Health Advisors, Business Planning Course, and QRIS Online Courses. • Only 40% of Years 1 & 2 budgeted funds has been spent through 12/10/13. • Roughly 77% of Years 1 & 2 budgeted funds has been committed; therefore, no less than $1.1M will be carry forward into Years 3 & 4 of the grant. • Activity 2.2 QRIS Grants ($330K) and Activity 2.3 Educator Scholarships ($1M) have fully expended Year 1 and 2 budgets. • Activity 2.5 (QRIS Program Improvement Grants) has one of the largest budgets of all the activities. The four year budget totals $8.7M, or 17.4% of the total $50M grant. To date, over 89% of the four year grant has been committed.
Project 3: MA Early Learning and Development (MELD)Assessment • Activities Supported: Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA), ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) toolkits with Training for CFCE Grantees, DHCD shelters, Assessment Tools for Public School Teachers in MKEA . • Nearly 49% of Years 1 & 2 budgeted funds has been expended (through 12/10/13). • Only 56% of Years 1 & 2 budgeted funds has been committed.
Project 4: Family Engagement Evidence Based Practice • Types of Activities Supported: Financial Education for Families, Family and Adult Literacy, Partnership with Museums and Libraries, and Brazelton Touchpoints training. • Over 63% of Years 1 & 2 of budgeted funds has been expended (through 12/10/13). • Over 91% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been committed.
Project 5: Sustaining Program Effects in the Early Elementary Grades • Activities Supported: Birth to Grade Three strategy development for Family/Community Engagement and Educator Quality. • Only 39% of Years 1 & 2 budgeted funds has spent (through 12/10/13). • Nearly 65% of Years 1 & 2 budgeted funds has been committed; therefore, no less than $868K of funds allotted in Years 1 & 2 will need to carry forward into Years 3 & 4.
Project 6: Standards Validation and Alignment • Types of Activities Supported: QRIS validation study, English language development standards. • Nearly 63% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been expended (through 12/10/13). • Nearly 77% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been committed; therefore, at least $483K of Years 1 & 2 funds will need to be pushed into Years 3 & 4.
Project 7: Interagency Partnerships • Types of Activities Supported: Partnerships with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Office for Refugees and Immigrants (ORI). • Under 60% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been expended (through 12/10/13).
Project 7: Interagency Partnerships • Above is a breakout Project 7 by the partnering state agency.
Project 8: Workforce Knowledge, Skills, and Practice-Based Support • Types of Activities Supported: Validation study of educator competencies, post-master’s certificate, peer mentoring and coaching, higher education for educators who are English language learners. • Under 40% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been spent (through 12/10/13). • Only 67% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been committed.
Project 9: Developing a Common Measure for Kindergarten Entry Assessment • Types of Activities Supported: Development of a Common Metric Based on Assessment Data from Multiple Formative Assessment Tools. • Only 37% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been expended through 12/10/13. This will result in $387K in uncommitted funds, which may need to be transferred to another Project since Project 9 was scheduled to conclude after Year 2 .
Project 10: Implementing Early Childhood Information System • Types of Activities Supported: Development of an Early Childhood Information System (ECIS) which links to the State's Longitudinal Data System (LDS). MA Executive Office of Education IT staff use these funds for IT infrastructure development. • Under 29% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been expended through 12/10/13; however, EEC is confident that all funds will be liquidated in this project.
Project 11: Pre-K to Grade Three Alignment Communications • Activity Supported: Brain Building in Progress Campaign. • Only 48% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been expended through 12/10/13, but 100% of the budgeted funds have been committed.
Project 12: Pre-K to Grade Three Alignment Content Based Media Partnership • Activity Supported: Working with WGBH to create early learning resources for educators and parents. • Nearly 89% of Year 1 and 2 budgeted funds has been expended through 12/10/13; however, all of Year 1 and Year 2 funds have been committed.
RTTT-ELC Grant Summary • It has been stated in an earlier slide, but it is worth mentioning again to impress the reality of the state of the grant (at least through a budget lens): Years 1 and 2 of the grant will have NO LESS THAN $7.2M remaining uncommitted. • The UNEXPENDED balance at the conclusion of Year 2 will likely be much higher if all of the encumbered funds are not spent. • To fully liquidate the $50M grant, EEC will need to expend NO LESS THAN $34M, or 68% of the entire grant, in Years 3 and 4. This portion will grow if all the currently encumbered funds for Year 2 are not liquidated. • To accomplish this high rate of spending, Years 3 and 4 will have to perform with incredible efficiency and focus. Years 1 and 2 underperformed (in terms of spending) by 31.2%. With the added carry forward from Years 1 and 2, the final half of the 4 year grant will have to perform at a 127.25% success rate over the currently approved Years 3 and 4 budget.
RTTT-ELC: Immediate Plans • Efforts to hire a Program Manager have three times been unsuccessful. We will redouble our efforts to hire a manager. • We have interviewed candidates to fill the vacant Interagency Liaison position. • We are posting to hire the newly created MKEA Director position. • The RTTT Project Director (Chau Ly) and the RTTT Fiscal Analyst (Tom O’Rourke) will meet once a month with each Project Activity Director to review expenditures. • Each RTTT Project Activity Director will be required to meet at least once per quarter with the vendor to review activity achievement and program expenditures. • The RTTT Fiscal Analyst will complete within the next six weeks the summary of budget amendments at the conclusion of Year 2 to be presented to the Commissioner for review and approval prior to submission to the federal government.