C3 Project Update (Dec. 2016)

Posted on December 15, 2016
C3 and DESE staff members working on CTE State Funding Formula Revision

Missouri CTE State Funding Formula Revision

Missouri has a career education delivery system that provides both academic and occupational skills training to prepare students for a career beyond the classroom. The system includes 444 comprehensive high school districts, a broad network of 57 area career centers, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs serving around 179,000 students. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) CTE Director requested the assistance of the Central Comprehensive Center (C3) at the University of Oklahoma in two primary areas to better align Missouri’s CTE program and goals with its college and career readiness state definition, its state accountability system (the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP), and its strategic plan (10x20 Plan); and revise how it calculates and distributes state-appropriated funding fairly and equitably to CTE programs across the state.

The funding formula and accompanying criteria for Missouri’s CTE state funds have not been reviewed or revised since 2005 despite major changes to the state level data that inform these criteria, including labor market needs, number and types of programs and campuses served, state-level student participation rates, and appropriation level. To reach its goal to ensure these funds are allocated so all programs receive adequate resources to support student needs, DESE realized the need to bring stakeholders together across Missouri to create a new CTE funding structure for the 2017-18 school year. The process for aligning the broader college and career-ready goals and revising the CTE funding formula included mapping college and career readiness policies, programs, and funding streams using external expertise in process facilitation to gain consensus from the stakeholders.

C3 garnered support from the College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) and the Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL) to serve as content experts and to assist in facilitating small group input and feedback sessions. DESE's CTE Director created an internal core leadership committee. A DESE Ad Hoc CTE Funding Committee of 30 key external stakeholders, including Missouri CTE program leaders was also formed. DESE now has a revised method to allocate state CTE funds better aligned to state, local workforce, and programmatic needs. C3, CCRS Center, and CIL supported both committees by providing targeted support and facilitation expertise in 20 planning calls and 7 meetings.

“The services provided by the Central Comprehensive Center in conjunction with the College and Career Readiness and Success Center and the Center on Innovations in Learning have been invaluable. When we began this work, it was clear that we needed outside facilitation because we were convening a diverse group of educators who we knew would have varying opinions and viewpoints depending on the area of CTE they represented. The staff assigned to our project kept us on track by hosting weekly conference calls, developing comprehensive agendas for meetings, and providing excellent facilitation during our face-to-face meetings. I’m quite confident that we couldn’t have carried out this work without their excellent assistance," said DESE Office of College and Career Readiness Coordinator of Career Education Dennis Harden.

The expected result will be the improved distribution and subsequent use of fiscal funds at the local and state levels to serve CTE programs and students across the state. The revised criteria and funding formula was presented to DESE’s leadership team for approval to move forward with communication and outreach across the state. If approved, C3, CCRS Center, and CIL will continue to support DESE during the 2016-2017 year with development of a communication plan and new guidance for state CTE stakeholders involved with local decision-making on allocating these CTE fiscal resources to serve the needs within local service areas. 

Supplement information for this project is also available here.