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Other Budget Issues

Last Updated: 4/17/2013
Budget Issue: The Administrator Training Program (ATP) and the California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP).
Program: Teacher/Administrator Issues
Finding or Recommendation: Recommend Legislature adopt Governor’s January proposal to shift $1.3 million in Title II funds from ATP to CSMP. Additionally, recommend Legislature adopt budget bill language requiring the University of California to submit a CSMP budget plan to the Legislature and administration by November 1, 2013.
Further Detail


Federal Title II State-Level Activity Funding. The federal government provides states with Title II funding that can be used for a variety of services for teachers and principals. Of a state’s total Title II allotment (less administration), 2.5 percent must be set aside for state-level activities. Title II state-level activity dollars can be used for a wide range of activities, including reforming teacher and principal certification, carrying out professional development programs, and recruiting teachers. In each of the last few years, the set aside for Title II state-level activities has been $6.8 million. Of this amount, the state has designated $3.6 million for the California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP), $1.3 million for the Administrator Training Program (ATP), $995,000 for the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, and $945,000 for the Compliance, Monitoring, Interventions, and Sanctions program.

The ATP. Since 2002-03, California has designated some Title II state-level activity dollars for ATP. Though in some previous years, ATP was supported with both federal and state dollars, in recent years ATP has been funded solely with federal funds. While statute authorizing ATP sunset on January 1, 2013, the program was funded in the 2012-13 Budget Act ($1.3 million). When operative, the ATP gave priority for training to administrators working in hard-to-staff schools and schools with low Academic Performance Index scores. The State Board of Education (SBE) determined which training providers were eligible for ATP funding, and providers were reimbursed $3,000 per participating administrator.

The Administrative Services Credential (ASC). The ATP is one way school administrators can fulfill a requirement relating to the ASC. To obtain the ASC, an individual must hold a valid preliminary administrator credential, be a full-time administrator in a California school, and complete an approved professional development program. Professional development options for meeting ASC requirements include completing: the ATP, an individualized program, a master’s degree program, or a guidelines-based program. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) has the option of developing an exam for obtaining the ASC, but it has not yet adopted one. With the exception of ATP, CTC approves all other administrator professional development options.

Pathway to ASC Changing. In 2010, CTC appointed a panel to review the requirements for the ASC. In 2011, the panel recommended that all ASC professional development programs be mentor-based (commonly called induction programs). The commission approved this recommendation and is in the process of developing standards for administrator induction programs. The commission anticipates adopting the new induction standards in the spring of 2013. Once the standards are adopted, professional development providers can develop induction programs and apply to CTC for approval. Although CTC believes new induction programs could begin as early as the fall of 2013, it is unlikely a significant number of programs would be developed and approved during the budget year. Once induction programs are approved, ATP and other ASC professional development programs will be phased out over the next two years.

The CSMP. Since 2003-04, California has designated some Title II state-level activity dollars for CSMP. The CSMP also receives state General Fund monies. The CSMP is a statewide network of subject-specific professional development programs designed primarily for K-12 teachers. Administered by the University of California (UC), CSMP currently has nine subject matter projects (including the art, mathematics, and writing projects), operating at 92 sites throughout the state and serving over 27,000 teachers. The projects must reserve 75 percent of slots for teachers working either in low-performing schools or schools with high dropout rates. Some projects require participants and/or school districts to pay a program fee, with fee rates varying by project. In the last few years, CSMP has begun to focus on providing support for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). California is part of a consortium of states that elected to adopt the CCSS, which when fully implemented will result in states having a generally uniform set of K-12 academic content standards. 

Governor’s Proposal

Shift Federal Funding From ATP to CSMP. Under the Governor’s proposal, $1.3 million in Title II funds would shift from ATP to CSMP. As a result of the shift, ATP would be defunded whereas total CSMP state and federal funding would increase from $8.6 million to $9.8 million. The Governor’s budget includes provisional language stating that the additional funds must be used by CSMP to “address the content areas” of CCSS. It is not clear if the proposed redirection of federal funding would be ongoing.

LAO Assessment and Recommendation

Adopt Governor’s Proposal to Shift Funds Away From ATP. Given (1) ATP has sunset, (2) new administrator induction standards are in the process of being developed, and (3) new corresponding training programs have not yet been created and approved, we recommend shifting $1.3 million away from ATP. Once the new administrator induction programs have been approved, we recommend local education agencies (LEAs) pay for associated activities using their unrestricted funds. With the exception of ATP, this is how most administrator training options currently are funded. Additionally, providing funds specifically for administrator induction through a new categorical program would be inconsistent with the Governor’s overall K-12 funding proposal, which gives LEAs considerable discretion over their funds by eliminating many existing K-12 categorical programs.

CSMP Indicates Additional Funds Could Serve Additional Teachers. Given (1) the state must spend 2.5 percent of Title II funds on state-level activities, (2) the other existing Title II state-level activities do not require additional resources in the budget year, and (3) creating a new Title II categorical program would be counterproductive given the effort to consolidate most other programs, we recommend the Legislature approve the shift of $1.3 million to CSMP. Neither UC nor the Governor, however, has developed a CSMP budget plan detailing how the additional $1.3 million would be used. Given the provisional language in the Governor’s budget directing CSMP to focus on CCSS professional development, CSMP likely would use the augmentation for the mathematics, writing, and/or reading and literature projects. An increase of $1.3 million would allow CSMP to (1) increase the number of participants (potentially through some combination of expanding existing sites and opening new sites) or (2) decrease the cost to participants and districts. Since no detailed plan for the use of the additional funds currently exists, we recommend the Legislature adopt budget bill language requiring UC to submit a budget plan to the Legislature and the administration by November 1, 2013. As part of the plan, we recommend the Legislature require UC to describe how it will allocate the additional funds among projects, the number of new sites it intends to operate, and the number of additional teachers expected to be served, as well as any impact on fees charged to participants/districts. The Legislature can use this information to help guide how it designates Title II state-level monies moving forward.