Consolidated Education Planning:

State Education Agencies' Implementation of Consolidated Planning at the Local Level

HEHS-99-33R: Published: Feb 16, 1999. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 1999.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
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GAO provided information on the impact of federal requirements on local school districts, focusing on how some states may not be fully implementing the provisions of federal law that allow local school districts to submit consolidated plans for federal funding.

GAO noted that: (1) under the 1994 Improving America's Schools Act, local school districts may submit a consolidated plan to the state when applying for funding from more than one of several major education programs; (2) however, although this federal law explicitly provides this option to school districts, some states may be denying their school districts the opportunity to use consolidated planning; (3) in GAO's survey of the 50 state education agencies, 7 states reported that they require school districts to submit separate plans for all the programs covered under the law; (4) consequently, local school districts in these states may be unable to take advantage of the increased program coordination and administrative savings that consolidated planning can provide; and (5) although GAO recognize that the Department of Education has provided guidance to the states on this topic, the Department may wish to consider increasing its technical assistance efforts in this area.

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