While interviewing David Page about his advocacy as a parent, I asked him: How did he learn all the rules on federal funding for disadvantaged kids? Page said the key pieces of information are actually pretty simple and each takes just over and hour of training to understand well.

“If you know these things, there’s not much else to it,” he said.

Here is his primer for parents who want to know what the heck is going on with those dollars. (I’ve included links to as many terms as I can):

  • Understand the Uniform Complaint procedure. This is basically how parents complain formally about discrimination, harassment or violations of federal or state law.
  • The structure and the support available for the School Site Councils, which help create plans for using the funds at each school.
  • The Consolidated Application that school districts submit to get those federal funds.
  • How the state monitors whether school districts are complying with the law on federal funds for disadvantaged kids. It’s called Categorical Program Monitoring.

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