The U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host two webinars regarding a new pilot to afford local educational agencies (LEAs) flexibility to create equitable, student-centered funding systems Wednesday, February 21 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM Eastern Time and Thursday, February 22 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM Eastern Time. The intended audience is LEAs, though other interested parties are also welcome. The webinars will include identical information, and the Department will take questions using the chat feature. To join a webinar, please select the link for the relevant session. Pre-registration is not required. The webinars will be recorded, and the recordings – as well as the slides – will be posted at

The webinars will clarify the opportunity interested LEAs have to apply for flexibility to implement a student-centered funding system as part of a pilot authorized by section 1501 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The official application became available on Friday, February 9 on the Department’s web site, and the application deadline is Monday, March 12 for those LEAs planning to implement in school year 2018-19 or July 15 for those LEAs expecting to implement in school year 2019-20. We anticipate posting frequently asked questions at as soon as possible in the coming days, so please check back for that information.

With this flexibility, LEAs can combine eligible federal funds with state and local funds to create a single, student-centered funding system. In the context of the pilot, a student-centered funding system is a system based on weights that allocate substantially more funding for students from low-income families, English learners, and other educationally disadvantaged student groups. The Department can approve not more than 50 LEAs to participate in this pilot.