Program Authorization: R.S. 17:3781-3784
As part of the department's function of providing assistance to schools and school systems, the Regional Service Centers (RSCs) provide to the Local Education Agencies services that can best be organized, coordinated, managed, and facilitated at a regional level. The RSCs provide a structure for establishing a shared partnership between the state Department of Education, the institutions of higher education, and the Local Education Agencies. The partnership joins the different educational units together to form an appropriate and effective working relationship to improve the effectiveness of schools increasing the opportunity for all students to achieve at a higher level.
The mission of the Regional Service Centers Program is to provide leadership and support to schools and school systems in the use of quality information as a basis for informed decision-making directed toward the improvement of student outcomes.
The goals of the Regional Service Centers Program are:
1. Provide services that assist in the implementation of the objectives for educational initiatives designed to improve student achievement as established by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Legislature.
2. Provide relative services and resources affecting student achievement based on needs/priorities at the regional level, as identified by the Local Education Agencies.
OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
The Regional Service Centers provide leadership and support in the Department of Education. The success of the Regional Service Centers is reflected in the success of other activities in the centers. Performance information consistent with this program's strategic plan and with the statewide model for administration/support service programs will be reported next year. The Regional Service Centers did provide the following information for FY 1998-99.
1. By the end of SY 2000-01, the Regional Service Centers, through the local school improvement and assistance activity, will provide the training and support necessary to increase the level of student performance as measured in the state criterion referenced test and by benchmarks used for satisfactory performance in the school accountability program.
1 While the performance of the RSC activities cannot be directly linked individual student achievement, it is recognized that improved student achievement is the indirect desired outcome of all education service oriented activities, therefore, indicators relative to students' performance were selected as outcomes.
2 While data for this indicator are available, it has never been accumulated at the regional level. During FY 1997-98 the date will be accumulated and reported by region according to average scores for grades tested.
3 Actual data for this indicator will not be available until FY 1999-2000 when baseline data for schools are established through the accountability system.
2. By the end of FY 1998-99, the Regional Service Centers Program, through the local school improvement and assistance activity will increase the number of training/assistance opportunities by 8.9%.
1 Updated number.
3. By the end of FY 1998-99, the Regional Service Centers Program, will provide the required leadership, support and assistance for the successful implementation of state mandates as demonstrated by 90% of the external performance assessments indicating a satisfactory or above rating.
1 External performance assessments have not been routinely conducted throughout all regions and cross all programs. A format, criteria for rating and a sampling audience must be established. The process will include a system for LEAs to provide feedback on regional staff performance and an overall evaluation of the benefits of services provided by the RSC staff.
4. The Regional Service Centers Program will train, monitor and have local education and prevention training in drug abuse education and prevention that will reach 100% of students, teachers and administrators and others in the LEAs as required by federal mandates in FY 1998-99.
SOURCE OF FUNDING
The source of funding for this program is general fund, statutory dedication and federal funds. The statutory dedication is provided through Act 478 of the 1997 Regular Legislative Session authorizing establishment of the School and District Accountability fund. (Per R.S. 39:32B.(8), see table below for a listing of expenditures out of each statutory dedicated fund.) The federal funds are provided through Title 1/Helping Disadvantaged Children Meet High Standards; Title 6/Innovative Program Strategies (Effective Schools); Title 4 (Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994; and Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act.
ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION
The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 174.9% of the existing operating budget. It represents 71.2% of the total request ($4,907,236) for this program. The increase in general fund is primarily attributable to the replacement of statutory dedication with general fund and additional general fund of $273,946 to provide adequate recurring funding for duties associated with implementation of the School and District Accountability law. The increase in federal means of financing is primarily attributable to the transfer of the Drug Free Schools Program, including five (5) positions, to the Regional Service Centers. Federal funds were also added as a result of departmental reorganization. Six (6) positions were added to provide staff for duties associated with the Accountability initiative. Fourteen (14) positions were transferred from other offices as a result of reorganization.
ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS
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