Alliance Districts* are school districts with among the lowest Accountability Index measures in the state or those previously designated as Alliance Districts for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2013 through June 30, 2017. The Alliance District program was initiated in 2012-13 in accordance with C.G.S. 10-262u. The initial cohort of 30 districts were identified for a period of five years. Beginning in 2017-18 there are 33 Alliance Districts. The steps used for identification are included below:
Steps to Identify Alliance Districts
Step 1: Include local and regional school districts only. This excludes the following district types:
CT Technical High School | Endowed Academies | Public Charter Schools
Regional Educational Service Centers | Unified School Districts
Step 2: Include districts with at least 1000 students in the same data year as the Accountability Index (in this case 2015-16).
Step 3: Sort based on 2015-16 Accountability Index scores from low to high and select the 30 lowest.
Step 4: Add any district previously identified as an Alliance District for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2017, inclusive, that does not meet the criteria outlined in Steps 1-3.
Connecticut General Statue Section 10-262u establishes a process for identifying Alliance Districts and allocating increased Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding to support district strategies to dramatically increase student outcomes and close achievement gaps by pursuing bold and innovative reforms.
Pursuant to C.G.S. § 262u, each Alliance District’s receipt of its designated ECS funding is conditioned upon district submission and the Commissioner of Education’s approval of a plan, district progress and performance relative to that plan, and subsequent annual amendments, in the context of the district’s overall strategy to improve academic achievement. The CSDE reviews district plans on an annual basis and approves plans aligned to the goals of the program. Annual plan approval is predicated upon district implementation and performance during the prior year. Under Connecticut General Statute Section 10-262u(d), the following focus areas for spending are defined for Alliance District funds that may include, but not be limited to the following:
- A tiered system of interventions.
- Foundational reading programs (Grades K-3).
- Additional learning time, either extended day of extended year.
- A talent strategy designed to “attract, retain, promote and bolster the performance of staff,” including allowable $500 stipends for mentor teachers in the TEAM program.
- Training for school leaders and staff on new teacher evaluation models.
- Coordination with early childhood education providers, including funding for Head Start.
- Coordination with governmental and community programs for student support and Wraparound Services.
- Implementing and furthering statewide education standards and associated activities and initiatives.
- Minority teacher/administrator recruiting.
- Enhancement of bilingual education programs.
In total, the Alliance Districts serve over 200,000 students and over 410 schools. Through this program we have the opportunity to transform the educational experiences and outcomes of thousands of traditionally underserved students and families across the state.
*Opportunity Districts are a subset of Connecticut's Alliance Districts. Opportunity Districts are the 10 lowest performing districts in the state based on the Accountability Index.