A Guide to State Compensatory Education
Table of Contents
State Compensatory Education (SCE) is defined in the law as supplemental programs and services designed to eliminate any disparity in performance on assessment instruments administered under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, or disparity in the rates of high school completion between students who are educationally disadvantaged and students who are not educationally disadvantaged. SCE is also defined as supplemental programs and services designed to eliminate any disparity in performance on assessment instruments administered under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, between students at risk of dropping out of high school and all other students (Texas Education Code section 29.081 and TEC section 48.104).
Educationally disadvantaged students and students that meet one of the 15 at-risk criteria below are eligible for the same SCE-funded supplemental programs and services.
TEA determines which students are at-risk based on specific eligibility requirements. An at-risk student must be under 26 years of age and meet at least one of the 15 criteria below. Please note that students are NOT considered at-risk solely based on economic disadvantage, disability, dyslexia, homebound, 504, or special education.
These students are considered at-risk only if they meet one of the 15 criteria below.
1. The student is in prekindergarten, kindergarten, or grade 1, 2, or 3 and did not perform satisfactorily on a readiness test or assessment instrument administered during the current school year.
2. The student is in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 and did not maintain an average equivalent to 70 on a scale of 100 in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum during a semester in the preceding or current school year or is not maintaining such an average in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum in the current semester.
3. The student was not advanced from one grade level to the next for one or more school years.
4. The student did not perform satisfactorily on a state assessment instrument administered to the student under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, and has not in the previous or current school year subsequently performed on that instrument or another appropriate instrument at a level equal to at least 110 percent of the level of satisfactory performance on that instrument.
5. The student is pregnant or is a parent.
6. The student has been placed in an alternative education program in accordance with TEC section 37.006 during the preceding or current school year.
7. The student has been expelled in accordance with TEC section 37.007 during the preceding or current school year.
8. The student is currently on parole, probation, deferred prosecution, or other conditional release.
9. The student was reported previously through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) as having dropped out of school.
10. The student is an emergent bilingual student, as defined by TEC section 29.052.
11. The student is in the custody or care of the Department of Family and Protective Services or has been referred to the department by a school official, officer of the juvenile court, or law enforcement official during the current school year.
12. The student is homeless, as defined by 42 USC section 11302 and its subsequent amendments.
13. The student resided in a residential placement facility in the district during the preceding or current school year.
14. The student has been incarcerated or has a parent or guardian who has been incarcerated within the lifetime of the student in a penal institution, as defined by section 1.07, Penal Code.
15. The student is enrolled in a school district or open-enrollment charter school, or a campus of a school district or open-enrollment charter school, that is designated as a dropout recovery school under Section 39.0548.
State Compensatory Education funds constitute 15% of state revenue. MISD uses the funding to support District initiatives and at-risk programs. The majority of SCE funding is allocated at the District level under the program intent codes (PICs):
SCE Non-Disciplinary Alternative Education
SCE Disciplinary Alternative Education (Basic)
SCE Disciplinary Alternative Education (Supplemental)
Title I Schoolwide Activities
Pre-K (Extended Education)
Campus SCE allocations are assigned to PIC 24. To access your campus allocation, look for the descriptions below on Skyward Segment Find.
Every expenditure using SCE funds must:
• Support the intent and purpose of the program
• Be aligned to the comprehensive needs assessment (CNA) and be allocated in the campus improvement plan (CIP).
• Be allowable under statute and guidance
If a campus receives SCE funds, its comprehensive needs assessment (CNA) must address the needs of educationally disadvantaged students, and its campus improvement plan (CIP) must describe the State Compensatory Education program if the program is implemented at the campus level. Because the district receives SCE funds, the State Compensatory Education program must be described in the district improvement plan if the program is implemented districtwide. Supporting documentation must be maintained to ensure all required planning occurred prior to expending SCE funds.
- Attendance officer to assist in reducing the dropout rate by identifying situations that jeopardize student attendance so that appropriate measures can be taken
- Instructional coach to raise success in state assessments at a campus in which educationally disadvantaged students are enrolled
- Supplemental counselor whose primary responsibility is working with at-risk students and/or social worker
- Supplemental positions whose primary responsibility is working with at-risk students (teacher assistants, computer lab assistants, educational aides, part-time/ hourly classroom support)
* SCE-funded employees shall not perform lunch duty, hall duty, bus duty, and other non-SCE-related duties. Positions may be provided by SCE if they:
1) provide direct instruction or services tied to the foundation curriculum to educationally disadvantaged students and/or at-risk students;
2) are supplemental to the basic instructional program;
3) are identified in the district improvement plan and campus improvement plan; and
4) meet a need identified in the comprehensive needs assessment.
The activities below are allowable for intended beneficiaries, as defined in statute.
• Classroom management assistance
• Programs that build skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions
• Computer-assisted instruction
• Computer lab assistance
• Extended day, week, or year instructional services
• Specialized reading and mathematics programs
• Individualized instruction
• Specialized training for personnel working with at-risk students (Training expenses must be aligned to the CNA and CIP and must be reasonable, necessary, related to, and beneficial to the at-risk program.)
• Instructional support under direct supervision of a teacher
• Mentoring program
• One-to-one tutoring
The more removed an activity or service is from the student, the more the resources are diluted – and the more difficult it becomes for the District to defend its use of SCE funds and justify the effectiveness of its program in improving student performance.
• Instructional items used to support supplemental academic activities
• Specialized supplemental curriculum materials
• Specialized supplemental software, staff, and equipment
• Supplemental educational services associated with House Bill 4545
• STAAR remediation
When faced with the question of whether a certain position, program, activity, or item may be funded with SCE dollars, answer the following questions:
• Is it supplemental to the basic instructional program?
• Will it further the goals of the SCE program?
• Will it support a strategy identified in the CIP?
• Does it have a clearly demonstrative and legitimate purpose?
• Is the cost nominal, prudent, and justifiable?
Although not specifically addressed in the TEC or TEC-authorized rules, incentives are allowable only when reasonable in cost and necessary to accomplish program objectives, as identified in the CIP. Incentives should be inexpensive, limited to academic progress in foundation subjects, and linked to instructional strategies and activities.
• Additional planning periods for teachers
• Administration costs
• Afterschool programs (unless the purpose of the program is to provide tutoring specifically for at-risk students)
• Amusement park visits
• Athletics and physical education (PE) activities, aides, equipment, programs, supplies, teachers, uniforms, and so forth
• Bike racks
• Bilingual program (approval is required for supplemental purposes)
• Campus marquee
• Campus publications (newsletter, newspaper, student handbook, yearbook)
• Celebrations (award ceremonies, banquets, door prizes, food, graduation, pep rallies, prom)
• Clinic supplies, nurse supplies, nurse positions
• Construction costs
• Crime prevention program, including PA systems and security mirrors, monitors, and cameras
• Custodial equipment, staff, supplies, uniforms
• Die cutting machines
• Display cases
• Drug, gang, and bullying prevention programs, including drug dogs, drug testing, drug treatment, and red ribbons
• Dual enrollment and dual credit courses and exams
• Entertainment expenses, including recreation, reward trips, and social events
• Events unrelated to the SCE program
(athletics, cheerleading, fine arts, music, UIL)
• Family and adult literacy programs
• Family involvement centers, community involvement centers, and youth involvement centers
• Field trips as rewards (e.g., amusement parks, restaurants, swimming pools, theaters)
• Fire alarm inspections
• Food (meals and snacks)
• Furniture, door mats
• GED and adult basic education
• Gifted and talented programs
• Gifts, promotional items, memorabilia, or souvenirs for staff, students, parents, administrators, coaches, board members, or community members (e.g., caps, imprinted pens, key chains, tote bags, T-shirts)
• Graduation, including caps and gowns
• Health fairs
• ID badges
• In-school suspension programs
• JROTC programs
• Laminating machines
• Lawn maintenance
• Library books, equipment, supplies, or yearly budget unrelated to the SCE program
• Mass communication for parents
• Pest control
• Plant maintenance
• Rock-climbing walls
• Safety resource officers
• Salaries for the following positions: assistant principal, attendance clerk, dean, office staff, principal, psychologist, safety personnel, superintendent
• Signage, including banners, murals, marquees, and outdoor signs
• Staff development unrelated to the SCE program, including teacher certification
• Study hall or study period
• Supplemental duties or positions unrelated to intensive instruction
• Testing of gifted and talented students, special education students, or other programs unrelated to the SCE program
• Translation of student transcripts and other documents
• Transportation costs
• Trophies for attendance, student of the month, A honor roll, A/B honor roll, and all end-of-year events
• Visiting teachers
The items in the lists above are not all-inclusive, and they are subject to revision when changes are made at the state and local levels.
The SCE direct cost allocation must be used for services and programs to improve instruction, reduce the dropout rate, and increase academic performance for educationally disadvantaged students and at-risk students [TEC section 48.104 (k)].
State Compensatory Education (SCE) is a state-mandated program. Whether funds are expended at the District or campus level, budget managers must be able to respond appropriately to and maintain documentation for six critical questions to determine whether an expenditure would be allowable. Joint decision-making allows staff members to collectively justify how the expenditures align with the intent and purpose of the SCE program.
Before expending SCE funds, make sure the six questions below have been answered.
1. Reasonable and Necessary
How is the expenditure reasonable and necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of the SCE program? (Is it a good use of the money? What is the cost? How many students will benefit from this expenditure?)
2. Addresses a Need
When conducted properly, the comprehensive needs assessment (CNA) helps schools identify their strengths and weaknesses and specify priorities for addressing student achievement and meeting challenging academic performance standards. How will the proposed expenditure address one of the needs identified in the CNA? (If the expenditure is a position, is it supplemental? Does the job description address the intent and purpose of the SCE program?)
3. Use of Funds
Provide the description, as written in the campus improvement plan (CIP) of the program, activity, or strategy that will be addressed by the expenditure requested. (Will the purchase or position be used to provide direct services to improve instruction, reduce the dropout rate, and increase academic performance for students identified as educationally disadvantaged or at-risk?)
4. Availability of Funds
How would the position, program, activity, or strategy be funded if SCE funds were not available?
5. Program Improvement
How will the position or purchase be used to support a supplemental program implemented to ensure that students, particularly those who are low achieving or educationally disadvantaged, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on state academic achievement standards?
How will the expenditure be evaluated to measure the positive impact on student achievement?
Expenditures for activities or purposes other than regular public education may not be paid from the SCE (55%) direct cost allocation. SCE funds must be used to support programs and services that supplement the regular education program so that the intended beneficiaries can succeed in school. SCE funds must be expended for programs, activities, and strategies that are evidence-based and meet the needs identified in the CNA and allocated in the CIP.
The primary goals of the SCE program are:
• Decreasing the achievement gap between at-risk students and their peers
• Decreasing the achievement gap between educationally disadvantaged students and their peers
• Decreasing the dropout rate
Students are identified and coded as at-risk at the campus level. Records are updated nightly to ensure that students receive the resources they need to succeed academically.
State law provides additional flexibility with the use of SCE funds to support Title I schoolwide campuses. At these schools, SCE funds can be used to benefit all students, particularly those who are low-achieving. SCE funds used to support a Title I, Part A, schoolwide program must be part of the campus budget and all SCE expenditures must be tracked back to the SCE fund code (see page 7). All generally accepted accounting principles must be followed.
SCE funds remain supplemental, and like Title I funds, they must be used to meet the same guidelines required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): funds may only be used to incorporate instructional strategies that are evidence-based and have shown to be effective when used in pro-grams and services for low-achieving students.
The Texas Education Agency website explains State Compensatory Education at this link.
SCE FAQs compiled by TEA are available at this link.
SCE FAQs compiled by the 87th Legislature are available at this link.
Statutes and correspondence related to the SCE program are listed below.
Texas Education Code (TEC) §28.0217, relates to satisfactory performance on state assessment instruments and providing accelerated instruction to certain students.
TEC §29.081, defines the purpose of the SCE program and the statutory criteria for determining if a student is at risk of dropping out of high school.
TEC §29.089, allows school districts and charter schools to fund mentoring programs with SCE funds.
TEC §48.104, provides the method for TEA to calculate school district and charter school allotments and establishes certain additional uses for SCE funds.
19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §61.1027 is related to the eligible student count for the compensatory education allotment.
SCE funds in MISD are managed by the Division of Finance. Questions and comments about SCE funds will be answered promptly by a MISD Division of Finance employee through email.