Answer: The U.S. Department of Education has some good guidance on calculating the amount of the Title I, Part A set-aside. Specifically, the Department states that LEA set-aside amounts may be determined based on a needs assessment that reviews homeless student enrollment averages and trends over 2-3 years, and multiplies by the average per-pupil cost of providing Title I services. The guidance is available at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/160240ehcyguidance072716.pdf.
We recommend that formula as a floor, not a ceiling – basically, a rough starting point that could be fleshed out depending on other local factors, such as the need to increase staff time to better identify students and to meet the ESSA requirement that the liaison is “able to carry out” his or her McKinney-Vento duties.
The Department also recommends that the needs of McKinney-Vento students be reviewed at least twice per school year, and that each year’s set-aside include an evaluation of the effectiveness of past activities in accomplishing the goals of both Title I and McKinney-Vento for individual students and the overall programs. For more information, watch our archived webinar on this topic: https://www.schoolhouseconnection.org/archived-webinars/.