The question

A frequent question to our team is, “Can Title IIA funds pay for attending the FACTS Elevate conference?”

FACTS Elevate is our annual user conference for clients. With registration opening September 16 for Elevate 2020, there is no time like the present to begin investigating how to access your Title IIA funds. After all, for professional development we’re sure there is no place you’d rather be than with the FACTS team at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando on July 14-17!

Yes, FACTS Elevate qualifies as a Title IIA appropriate conference with sessions offered to improve “the quality and effectiveness of educators” as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for Title IIA expenditures.

The obstacle

However, different public school districts (LEAs) allow some, part, or all of the costs associated with FACTS Elevate to be covered and some LEAs do not. LEAs are allowed to differ from each other with their rules for conference travel as long as those rules are applied equitably across both the public and non-public schools inside that LEA.

Another issue that can make this a bit of a challenge is that the conference is held in mid-July and often the LEA closes its fiscal year on June 30 and hasn’t quite provided allocations for the new school year.

Before a private school educator registers for Elevate, the following steps will be helpful in answering the question, “Can Title IIA funds pay for FACTS Elevate?”

How to know

  1. Tell your school site administrator that you’re interested in using Title IIA funds to attend and ask him/her to contact the person in your LEA who handles Title IIA. In larger districts, there is often a person who liaisons directly with the private schools.
  2. Be prepared to show sessions that will enhance effectiveness and increase student achievement. While many of the sessions are “how to” with regard to certain functions of the Student Information System (SIS), there are other sessions offered on curriculum mapping, strategic growth planning, and the SIS dashboard for data-driven leaders.
  3. Once approved, be sure to find out what the process is to attend a conference. Ask what documentation the LEA requires as proof that you attended the conference.
  4. Typically, you should be prepared to pay upfront, using your personal credit card for the registration fee, travel, hotel, meals. Save all your receipts because when you return home, you’ll need to submit them to the LEA for reimbursement. Reimbursement is by check payable to you. ESSA funds cannot be paid to your school.

For questions and assistance, contact FACTS Education Solutions.