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e. 1. Describe how the State will use the funds to carry out the required State Leadership activities under section 223 of WIOA

Current Narrative:

The State distributes no more than 12.5% of Title II funds allocated to the state to carry out required and permissible leadership activities, as required under Section 223. While the state reserves the right to carry out any of the permissible activities authorized under Section 223, the permissible activities listed below will be the primary focus.

Required activities supported with Leadership funds:

·     Align adult education and literacy activities with other core programs and one-stop partners, including eligible providers, to develop career pathways and provide access to employment and training services for individuals in adult education and literacy activities.

·     Establish or operate high-quality professional development programs to improve the instruction provided pursuant to local activities, including instruction incorporating the essential components of reading instruction as such components relate to adults, instruction related to the specific needs of adult learners, instruction provided by volunteers or by personnel; and disseminate information about models and promising practices related to such professional development programs.

·     Provide technical assistance to eligible providers including the dissemination of instructional and programmatic practices based on research, the role of eligible providers as one-stop partners, and the use of technology to improve system efficiencies.

·     Monitor and evaluate the quality of, and improvement in, adult education and literacy activities, and disseminate information about models and proven or promising practices within the State.

Permissible activities supported with Leadership funds:

·     Develop and disseminate curricula, including curricula incorporating the essential components of reading instruction as such component relate to adults

·     Develop content models for integrated education and training and career pathways.

·     Provide technical assistance regarding the use of data to measure the progress of programs, evaluate program effectiveness, and guide program improvement, especially as such data relates to the State’s adjusted levels of performance described in section 116.

·     Develop and implement transition programs, including linkages with postsecondary education institutions

·     Integrate literacy and English language instruction with occupational skill training, including linkages with employers

·     Develop and pilot strategies for improving teacher quality and retention.

Alignment with Other Core Programs

Two key strategies for program alignment, as identified in Idaho’s Combined State Plan, Section (II)(c)(2), supports this requirement. The first is to establish a WIOA Advisory Group comprising key state-level staff from each of the programs covered by the plan. The purpose of the WIOA Advisory Group is to coordinate operational policies and partnerships at the state level between programs covered under the Combined State Plan. The WIOA Advisory Group will work with regional coordinating groups and with local programs to ensure consistency in the application of program policy throughout the state and to help local programs overcome operational and policy-related barriers to full collaboration.

The State Program Director for Adult Education is a member of this group and will provide technical assistance to local Title II providers as needed. Leadership funds may be used, as appropriate and allowable, to support local staff in attending any training or meetings hosted by the State to provide such technical assistance to local staff and leadership.

The second strategy identified in Idaho’s Combined State Plan is to coordinate training across workforce programs to enhance opportunities for professional growth and development. This might include, for example, inviting local Vocational Rehabilitation staff to training on adult learning styles, or inviting local Adult Education staff to training by Wagner-Peyser/Employment Service staff on the use of Idaho’s Career Information System to help students identify potential careers. Title II Leadership funds may be used, as appropriate and allowable, to support Adult Education program staff in attending such training.

High Quality Professional Development Programs

Given Idaho’s large geography and relatively small population, local Adult Education programs have historically been spread far apart. As a result, it is expensive and time consuming for local staff to travel to centralized training. The State has therefore designed a three-tiered approach to professional development in Idaho. The first tier is state-level training, the second is local routine/required training, and the third is local discretionary training. All levels of training are supported with State Leadership funds under section 223.

State-level training, while not mandatory, is highly encouraged for all programs.  The State generally chooses one or two such training options per year, these trainings will be centrally located and host a larger cohort of participants (20-30). These trainings will focus on instructional topics or practices, which will have the greatest impact for the most number of attendees across the state. In the past, this has included nationally recognized trainings like the Adult Numeracy Institute. To the extent that it is feasible, the State will prioritize trainings that use a model of sustained contact between trainers and a cohort of teachers throughout the year. This may include multiple in-person meetings, online discussion groups, and opportunities to try new practices in the classroom between meetings. However, the exact model of such trainings will depend on the needs and resources identified in the State each year.

More routine and required training, such as new teacher onboarding, training on the NRS and data collection, and assessment training, have been, and will continue to be handled locally. Under WIA, each program identified a staff member or members to serve as expert trainers, and employed a professional- development coordinator to track training needs and participation. This model has worked well, and will continue under WIOA. The State will provide guidance on the frequency and content of such local training and will host refresher trainings for these local trainers and PD coordinators as appropriate. The State may also explore options that allow programs to collaborate on such trainings, as well as tools that will help centralize the development and storage of training materials for use by multiple programs.

Finally, local programs can also apply for discretionary funds to support local professional development projects. Such projects should be aligned with local needs and supported with evidence. For example, a local provider may determine through teacher evaluation and observation that training on the use of contextualized reading would help improve instructional quality at its outreach centers. The program would then create a training plan and request funds from the State to support this plan.

Technical Assistance

The State provides technical assistance, as appropriate, based on the needs and performance of local providers. Such assistance may be provided directly to one program, or may be provided for the entire state. Such assistance may include:

·     Technical assistance for establishing transition programs, team teaching, and other areas where Adult Education programs connect with other core and partner programs and the One-Stops

·     Guidance from WIOA Advisory Group to ensure policy alignment between programs, training and technical assistance on these policies and their impact on programs

·     Training as needed or requested to address new and relevant technology in the classroom

Monitoring and Evaluation

The State will use a variety of methods to monitor and evaluate the quality of adult education and literacy activities. Such methods will include on-site monitoring, quarterly desk audits, continuous data-quality monitoring, annual program plans, and annual reports.

The State will make every reasonable attempt to conduct an on-site monitoring visit to each local provider at least once every three years. Such visits may occur more frequently if warranted by program performance or compliance issues, or if requested by a program. Monitoring will include a review of processes, practices and documentation related to program finances, administration, data collection, and instruction. A complete monitoring tool will be developed by the State to facilitate such visits and ensure consistency across programs.

Programs will also be evaluated based on regular submission of reports, applications, and program plans to the State. The State will monitor program data-quality through the use of the State’s Management Information System. Technical assistance will be provided on an ongoing, as-needed basis regarding compliance, program quality, and data quality. Leadership funds will be used to support training and other activities resulting from such evaluations. Programs that are found to be out of compliance with State or Federal policies or law, or which have demonstrated unacceptable administrative practices or consistently low performance will be subject to a Corrective Action Plan. “Consistently low performance” will be determined based on actual performance against program indicators, the extent to which state targets are met, past performance of the program, the relative performance of other providers, and mitigating program circumstances. Programs which fail to implement a Corrective Action Plan as determined necessary by the State may be subject to loss of funds.