Q: How can SIA grant funds be spent?
A: To receive grant money from the Student Investment Account (SIA), all Oregon school districts and eligible charter schools will be expected to meet the planning, needs assessment and authentic engagement requirements. All grant requests must have a spending plan focused in any, some or all of the allowable uses that are detailed in HB 3427. The categories (Reducing Class Size; Instructional Time; Health and Safety; and Well-Rounded Education) are helpful from a communications standpoint and the bullet points under each category are those outlined in the law and may be used as strategies to advance equity by reducing and eliminating disparities and by increasing health and well-being for students. School districts are encouraged to review the allowable uses as they engage with students and families from the priority populations and staff to discuss and inform and develop their SIA plan and application to ensure it meets the spirit and intent of the law.
Reducing Class Size
- Use evidence-based criteria to ensure appropriate student-teacher ratios or staff caseloads;
- Increasing the use of instructional assistants.
- More hours and/or days.
- Summer programs; before or after school programs.
- Technological investments that minimize class time used for assessments administered to students.
Health & Safety
- Social and emotional learning, trauma-informed practices; student mental and behavioral health.
- Developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive early literacy practices and programs in pre-K through third grade.
- Culturally responsive programs and practices in grades 6-8, including learning, counseling and student support that is connected to colleges and careers.
- Broadened curricular options at all grade levels including: Art, Music, PE, STEM, CTE, engaging electives, accelerated college credit programs, including dual credit, IB, AP, Life Skills, TAG, dropout and prevention programs, and transition supports.
- Access to licensed educators with a library media endorsement.
Q: My district is working to improve engagement in and access to extracurricular activities, after-school programs and sports. Can we use SIA funds to support these efforts? Including activities such as covering sports fees?
A: Your school district must be able to demonstrate how this focused investment meets the specific goals of the Student Success Act, is incorporated into the allowable uses (reducing class size; instructional time; health and safety; and well-rounded education), contributes to meeting the required performance growth targets, and is informed by the community engagement, needs assessment, and planning processes described in this document and the law.
Q: My district has gone through our continuous improvement planning process and would like to purchase curriculum with SIA funds. The curriculum is aimed at providing developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive early literacy practices and programs in pre-K through third grade. Is this an allowable use of funds?
A: Your districts’ focus on third grade reading fluency is a key target of the legislation and on track with the intent of the law. When considering the use of funds for curriculum, it is important to consider what informed this need:
- Needs Assessment from continuous improvement planning
- Focal engagement of targeted students and families
- Engagement of staff
The district teams should take appropriate steps to review disaggregated data, apply an equity lens to ensure the curriculum is responsive to the students in the focal groups mentioned in the law and also has a plan in place for implementation that includes staff training and support.
Q: Are Student Investment Account funds subject to supplement not supplant provisions?
A: While the Student Success Act does not contain any reference to supplementing and supplanting resources, the intent of the bill is to offer applicants maximum flexibility, in accordance with the requirements of the law. SIA funds are required to be spent within the allowable use categories and meet the intent of the bill: improving mental health outcomes and increasing academic achievement for historically marginalized student populations. For example, if a school district loses a federal grant that pays for a school nurse at a Title 1 school, it would be appropriate to spend SIA dollars to keep that nurse employed even though this expenditure does not expand or add to current staff. Additionally, if a district has been able to hire staff or expand programs temporarily with reserves or one time resources to meet the stated goals of the bill, it would also be appropriate to spend SIA dollars to retain those staff or programs and ensure continuity.
Q: My district wants to use the new money for teacher salaries. Is this allowed?
A: Your school district must be able to demonstrate how a targeted decision to increase teacher salaries meets the specific goals of the Student Success Act, is incorporated into the allowable uses (reducing class size; instructional time; health and safety; and well-rounded education), contributes to meeting the required performance growth targets, and is informed by the community engagement, needs assessment, and planning processes described in this document and the law. Students should be receiving additional support through the use of these funds.
Q: My district has a specific or unique question about the use of grant funds. Where can we direct our questions for a timely response?
A: We encourage districts to please send questions to SIA info for tracking and responses. Questions about possible allowable uses will continue to be added to this FAQ section. This FAQ is posted to the front page of ODE’s SIA webpage.