Understanding Response to Intervention Funding Sources
As states implement the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework, questions on how to fund RtI initiatives are of increasing importance for decision makers. Principals, superintendents, and state education agencies (SEAs) face the challenge of funding RtI in a manner that complies with the funding regulations guiding various federal and state programs.
SEDL’s Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) convened key leaders from state education agencies in six southeastern states at a summit in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss various approaches to funding RtI. Based on information from the SECC's evaluation and debriefing session on the summit, these important lessons were learned:
- States need assistance to ensure that local education agencies (LEAs) have options in how they spend funds to implement RtI.
- A decision-making tool for LEAs to use when making RtI funding decisions is essential.
- The ability to review other states’ RtI funding frameworks creates opportunities for cross-state conversations that lead to the formation of ideas that can be adapted for various contexts. Also, this process helps validate states' efforts and helps educational leaders understand that they are not alone in dealing with the issue of how best to fund RtI initiatives.
- Cross-divisional staff within SEAs value time to plan together on this topic. Structuring state teams to ensure that the "right" staff—fiscal management staff and program staff—participate builds internal capacity around the topic.
- Staff benefit from learning about additional resources to inform work on RtI funding frameworks (e.g., sample RtI funding matrices and guidance) and how to access them (e.g., by contacting SEA staff from other states or expert consultants).
- Convening SEAs around RtI funding gives states the impetus to move forward on addressing this issue and provides the stimulus to plan next steps.
- The next areas of focus for the SEAs should be providing more information on RtI models in middle and high schools as well as secondary interventions, because the coordination of different programs and funding sources makes RtI harder to implement at the secondary levels.
Learn more about SEDL's RtI expertise