K12 Strong Workforce Program (K12 SWP) Questions and Responses

Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from regional K12 SWP engagement meetings. More questions and answers will be added as they arise. If you have a question not posted here, please send it via email to k12swp@cccco.edu.

Note that “LEA” stands for Local Education Agencies and “CC” stands for community college(s).

1.1  Can an LEA submit more than one LOI?

Yes, an LEA can submit multiple letters of intent. You can also edit an LOI once submitted, and this is encouraged until the final submission date on February 15, 2019.

1.2  If we have ideas for three pathways will we be required to submit three LOIs?

We encourage you to submit LOIs that present a coherent strategy for pathway improvement. If the strategy for development and improvement of the three pathways is integrated across the three pathways and the proposed investments are dependent on that integration, then a single LOI would make sense. If, on the other hand, each of the pathways could stand alone, it might make more sense to propose them as separate LOIs.

1.3  Will the LOIs be made public?

Yes, the LOIs will be made public at some point in the process in order to meet the level of high-quality career education this funding seeks. The LOI period also aligns with the beginning of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) engagement and planning period.

1.4  What is the connection between the LOI and application?

LOIs will not be assessed but are a development tool to foster more deliberate collaboration. So, the LOI and application are not connected as one helps to develop the other – an LOI is required in order to submit an application. The actual application could combine other LOIs for example. LOI submissions will not be judged but are required to submit an application.

1.5  Are you required to identify the community college with whom you work on the LOI?

Yes, this is required. The intent of the K12 SWP funding is to increase deliberate collaboration between secondary and post-secondary education with the goal of increasing the number of students who successfully make this transition.

1.6  Is the CTEIG LOI the same as the LOI for K12 SWP?

No, they are two different applications. The timelines have been aligned to ease with first year implementation.

1.7  Can you choose more than one sector on your LOI?

Yes. An LOI may include separate multiple sectors. An LEA needs to only choose a CDE specific sector. The LOI tool will automatically crosswalk to the related CCCCO sector.

1.8  Will we get feedback on our LOIs?

Yes, we are looking to increase deliberate collaboration, and encourage you to request feedback. Regional Chairs will assist you in further developing your LOIs into an application and making connections to community colleges. Once hired, the Workforce Pathway Coordinators can also assist you in this process going forward.

1.9  Can a high school submit an LOI?

A high school should roll up to the District LEA in the LOI tool.

1.10  I belong to a charter school that has multiple sites statewide that are located in different regions. For example, my charter school is assigned to the North Far North region, but we have a site located in the Los Angeles region. How can the charter school that is located in Los Angeles submit an application for the Los Angeles region as the lead applicant?

During the application process, LEAs will be allowed to self-select their region in order to address this situation. Unfortunately, the LOI process was not developed with this circumstance in mind. You should submit an LOI for the North Far North region so that you will be allowed to submit an application. When the time comes to submit your application, you should change your region to the one in which your school is located. In the example above, you would change your region from North Far North to Los Angeles in the application.

1.11  I belong to an LEA that borders multiple regions. How can I submit an application as the lead applicant for both regions? 

During the application process, LEAs will be allowed to self-select their region in order to address this situation. Unfortunately, the LOI process was not developed with this circumstance in mind. You should submit two LOIs (or as many that are necessary) under the region that has been assigned to your LEA so that you will be allowed to submit an application. When the time comes to submit your application, you should change your region to the one that applies.

1.12  Will the information submitted in the LOI be included in the scoring process that determines if our application will be awarded funding?

The LOI is the first step in the application process and is intended to provide a general idea of the number of applications and proposed project scopes that will be submitted. While the LOIs will be analyzed to identify themes and trends, it will not be considered as part of the rubric that determines whether or not an application will be funded.

1.13  I would like a paper version of the LOI to share at an upcoming meeting. How can I generate one?

Navigate to the Preview & Submit section of the LOI, and click on the “Share PDF” button located at the top right side of the screen. This will allow you to send a copy of the LOI to yourself and others. The PDF will populate with any information you have already entered in the system.

2.1  Are the metrics to measure success set?

All metrics will be made public and informational webinars, materials and trainings will be available for LEAs. It is important to note that the K12 SWP metrics are what LEAs and colleges currently collect through CalPADS and MIS. The Joint Workforce Pathways Advisory Board will meet on November 26, 2018 to review the recommended metrics and suggest any changes to Department of Finance. We will launch the informational metric webinars after November 26, 2018.

2.2  How do we contribute our voices to the process that determines what is on the metrics that will be used to assess success?

The metrics are currently in a public board forum, and the K12 field has provided some comments in that forum. It is important to note that we will review the metrics again next year and will continue to solicit input from the field on achieving of the metrics, and obstacles to reach those outcomes. We encourage you to follow the CA Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee website for upcoming meeting and agenda.

3.1  Is funding for K12 SWP “ongoing”?

Yes, K12 SWP funding is an ongoing part of the California state education budget. LEAs will receive $150 million annually as the state budget is enacted each year.

3.2  How much are the K12 SWP funding levels per LEA?

The CCCCO will publish a range that LEAs can apply for under the K12 SWP funding. It is important that each LEA to complete a Letter of Intent to be eligible for funding.

3.3  If funding is “ongoing” do you have to re-apply for funding for each cycle?

Yes. K12 SWP will allow for up to a 30-month spending period for each awarded grant. An LEA can apply in year 2, year 3 and so on to continue scaling your pathway improvement, and transitioning students from secondary to post-secondary. LEAs should plan strategically for how to roll out and ramp up pathway improvements over multiple cycles of funding, and to braid funding with other sources.

3.4  Since this offers multi-year funding, do we ask for all the funding in our application up front or ask for funding each cycle?

Funded applications have 30 months in which to expend the funds. (Eg, grants awarded in the spring of 2019 will have from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021) Obtaining a grant in the first year will not preclude you from applying again when second- and third-year funding is released. Subsequent funding requests could be to augment, add to the pathway improvement, or to scale. The 30-month window is a way to add stability to enable funding decisions.

3.5  Can we use community college SWP funds as match?

Yes. The $248 million SWP funding for community colleges can be used as matching funds.

3.6  Can funds be used for code upgrades or to improve facilities?

No, funds cannot be used for code upgrades or facility costs, but you can use K12 SWP funds to purchase equipment.

3.7  Can we use career education facilities funds as match?

No, facilities funding (eg. Prop 51) is restricted from being a match.

3.8  What is the breakdown of LEA size (enrollment) and funding allocation? Do we know how much is earmarked for small LEAs?

K12 Strong Workforce Program sets aside the following percentage of funding in a region by ADA:

  • 4% of funding is designated for total ADA 140 or less
  • 8% of funding is designated for total ADA 141-550
  • 88% of funding is designated for total ADA above 550

But allows the K-12 Selection Committee to determine otherwise in consultation with the regional consortium.

3.9  If we don’t receive funding in the first round, can we re-apply during the next funding cycle?

Yes. LEAs are encouraged to apply for future funding cycles.

3.10  If the grant application ask is too much, would the awarded amount be adjusted or would the grant application be declined in whole?

Yes, you can expect the award amounts to adjust (on occasion) according to how well it meets the priorities for funding and the outcomes for students.

3.11  Credentialed teachers for many pathways are difficult to find. Does funding allow for paying a non-credentialed career education teacher?

All LEA requirements for credentials are applicable with this funding.

3.12  What percentage of award amount should we/can we invest in personnel?

Financially strong districts have a rule of thumb to not spend more than 75% of a categorical on personnel cost. In a few years’ time, your career education programs may need a monies retool/upgrade to keep them relevant. So, it is best to give yourself some financial flexibility by not committing all your pathway improvement funds to ongoing personnel cost.

3.13  Can the award of CTEIG funds preclude you from receiving SWP funds? Are these truly separate?

No, applications and awards for CTEIG and K12 SWP are separate. Applications should address how the two sources can complement each other.

3.14  We want to continue the good work that we started with the structure of this grant. How do we hold on to talent when we have multiple funding streams with different timelines and outcomes? Need clarification and guidance.

Funds are designed to help an LEA think strategically about programs, and to reach the intended outcomes for student attainment called out for under K12 SWP. The 30-month expenditure window, allowing LEAs to submit applications each year, and the on-going nature of these funds may enable LEAs to attain some increased stability over previous funding streams for productive investments. LEAs are encouraged to become actively engaged in their region’s planning process. The regional plans are an important determinant of how grants are awarded. Over time a region may craft plans that move towards greater stability for particularly successful investments. LEAs should avoid supplanting funds.

4.1  Are there dollars aligned to WIOA?

Yes. Funding and metrics are aligned with WIOA collaborate with Workforce Development Boards where doing so strengthens pathways.

Workforce or WIOA aligned funding can be used as a match. Legislation also encourages the use of philanthropic dollars.

4.2  Can community colleges match funds?

Yes, and this type of blending is encouraged to leverage funding for a successful pathway improvement.

4.3  What are the matching expectations?

Matching funds can come from many sources, including your district, industry, community colleges. You can also have matching funds that are “in kind.” However, you cannot use CTEIG funding as a match.

5.1  Can we establish K12 Selection Committees for each of our sub-regions?

Per Education Code §88829, each Strong Workforce Program regional consortium shall establish one Selection Committee. We suggest using a regional model that ensures equal representation from sub-regions one the one K12 Selection Committee if so desired.

5.2  What is the process for choosing the K12 Selection Committee?

Joint guidance is forthcoming from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and California Department of Education in late November.

5.3  Who will be on the K12 Selection Committee? New committee each year? How do you ensure impartiality?

The K12 Selection Committee participants are called out in legislation is made up of LEA, CC, and industry representatives. Guidance for formation of the committee will be released in late November. The K12 Selection Committee is an autonomous group who will receive training on NOVA (LOI, application and reporting platform for K12 SWP) and use a rubric to award funding. February through March will be a critical time for training the committee. K12 Selection Committee members will sign a letter of confidentiality and be held to an ethical threshold as called out in legislation to avoid conflict of interest. Members are asked for a two-year commitment to ensure institutional knowledge of pathway improvements and the intended outcomes. The region will rely on professionalism but will also put some process safeguards in place.

5.4  If you apply to be on the K12 Selection Committee is your LEA ineligible to apply?

Your LEA still may apply for funding, but the K12 Selection Committee member should not vote on funding their own pathway improvement application. It will be the responsibility of the Selection Committee to ensure that all applications are reviewed without bias, and that all LEAs are provided access to K12 SWP funding.

6.1  Who hires the K12 Workforce Pathway Coordinators?

The K12 Workforce Pathway Coordinators are employees of the community college district at this time (we are considering whether a subcontract could be used).

6.2  How many will be hired?

Legislation calls for 72 K12 Workforce Pathway Coordinators. We are seeking to increase the number, up to 114, and will announce those openings in January.

6.3  Are K12 Workforce Pathway Coordinators paid the same all over the state?

Community college districts will offer a salary range depending on the local salary schedules, and funding for positions will likely be in a range.

7.1  How many Technical Assistance Providers will be hired per region?

Legislation calls for 8, one per region.

7.2  Regarding allocations of funding for pathway coordinators, will funds for these staff come from the $14 million, or the $150 million? Is the $14 million going to the CC to identify who they want in place to put in the positions?

Yes, the funding for the coordinators is capped at $12 million statewide.

Legislation calls for a joint CDE/CCCCO process be developed to identify staff. More information will be available in January 2019.

7.3  If the workload varies between a large district and a small district, will the coordinator be paid the same?

The distribution of K12 Workforce Pathway Coordinators is being reviewed and planned. More information will come in the form of field communication.

8.1  Does the pathway have to be in the LCAP specifically or does it just have to align with the LCAP goals?

The pathway improvement must be in the LCAP specifically and should always consider LCAP goals. The regional priorities and other targets are also important considerations for the LCAP.

9.1  Is there a budget section in the application?

Yes. The budget page in the application will require a budget by object codes and match information. The lead LEA will need to consent to assurances for use of funds on career education only.

9.2  With ADA numbers automatically populating the application, how do applicants address it when based on applying on behalf of subsets of schools (as opposed to an entire LEA/district)?

There will be an opportunity in the application to edit the ADA that was auto-populated. Legislation calls for the P2 ADA number.

9.3  When will you be issuing user names and passwords?

When you fill out the LOI, you will submit your name and provide a password. You can add as many names as needed, and each will receive an invitation to sign up for NOVA.

9.4  Will NOVA let us edit our application over time?

Yes, it is intended to support edits and flexibility, and it is intended to be a collaborative tool for you and your partners. Use the same username and password to login.

10.1  We’ve worked hard to align our career education courses with the industry sectors. Will the pulldown options for choosing pathways be aligned to the industry sectors?

Yes, CDE and CCCCO created a crosswalk to align industry sectors.

You are invited to select an area that is outside of your region’s priority sector, especially, if efforts or partnerships have already begun and you can tell us what growth you expect to see. Please use your advisory information or other labor market information to justify your investment idea.

10.2  Are “sectors” in the Strong Workforce the same as “pathways” in K12?

California Community Colleges use the term “sectors” to describe each of the 15 priority areas, which often translate to “pathways” in high schools. The sectors between the systems have been crosswalked.

10.3  How can we learn about what industry sector programs currently exist in California high schools?

To learn more about the different industry sectors visit the sector crosswalk.

10.4  Can we do a pathway improvement if it doesn’t match the career education available at the local CC, but rather the region?

Yes, if the industry data sector supports the need for the region. Always look for making a connection between secondary and post-secondary.

11.1  How should we decide if we should apply individually or collectively as a larger group?

Submit an LOI and see if the region has recommendations for collaborative opportunities that might help inform or even help drive your pathway improvement. We recommend that you initiate a pathway improvement that will move the outcomes and let the configuration follow. The CCCCO is seeking full access to funding for LEAs.

11.2  If a group wants to come together as a consortium to apply, do they submit a single LOI? And if one member of the consortia also wants to go it alone, do they submit a second LOI?

Yes. They can submit a single LOI, listing all of the partners. An LEA can be a partner on one application, and a lead on their own.

11.3  Could multiple LEAs apply under a consortium?
Yes. The K12 SWP funding encourages deliberate collaboration among LEAs and CCs when the pathway improvement applies.

11.4  Do charter school organizations with sites around the state need to submit a proposal for each region?

The physical location the charter school site will determine what geographic region they can apply. The site must be geographically located within the region for which it applies. A statewide charter may not use funding from one region in another region without written consent of both regions.

12.1  What is the role of the community college?

The role of the CC is to be a collaborator and communicator in this process, to talk about how they are spending their funds, what’s working, what isn’t and to support LEAs to see how they fit in.

12.2  Our LEA is partnering with our local CC. Who is the lead agency?

For the K12 SWP the LEA is always the lead agency. It is implicit that there is a partnership between the CC and the LEA.

12.3  In the LOI, can you align with multiple community colleges?

Yes, include multiple CCs in your LOIs and applications. We want to understand all the ways you are partnering so that we can publicize and share this data with industry and state to continue supporting these policies. The goal of funding is to increase the transition between secondary to post-secondary.

12.4  Is there an advantage to applications aligned to a CC? If so, what does that collaboration look like? What can CCs do now to foster these relationships?

We recommend a deliberate collaborative model that includes leadership from both CCs and LEAs. Frequent communication and meeting are needed. A shared leadership model is desired.

12.51  If we have more than one CC in our region do we choose one to partner with? Or more?

Chose the CC with which you can build the secondary to post-secondary pathway for students. Target the intended student outcomes. Students should have multiple on-ramps and off-ramps for learning as a goal.

13.1  Do career education teachers need to be credentialed?

Yes, all state credentialing rules apply. Please check with your district or county credential analyst for more information on the appropriate credential.

13.2  Where can we find submission planning timelines/deadlines?

All information regarding timelines for the K12 SWP can be found on the K12 Strong Workforce Program website.

13.3  How does this look for continuation education?

Continuation education and other alternative models can be used to build the pathway improvement. Target students in your application that continuation education serves.

13.4  Are there considerations for county offices that support incarcerated youth?

Yes, if the pathway can lead students into college and career, then consider pathway improvements that might serve this population.

13.5  Are the deadlines presented statewide or for our region?

Deadlines are statewide.

13.6  Is there a cost for signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for CALPASS?

No cost for the MOU.

13.7  What are the data analytics used for?

They are used to measure the metrics called out in the legislation. We will employ data to tell the story of pathway improvement and other goals for K12 SWP funding.

13.8  Do CA Partnership Academy grants still exist?