In the absence of real coordination, we see redundant assessments, multiple plans being developed, endless meetings, an inefficient documentation process, divergent accountability systems, and mixed results.
Even with the good intentions underlying the frequent use of the word, “coordinate” and its derivatives in the Senate bill, I fear that not much will change because of the silos and politics at the local level. "Coordinate" is a vague term. Youcould do almost anything to comply – send an email, make a phone call, or include somebody in a meeting. Of course, if those involved in serving at risk and vulnerable children took the coordination provisions in ECAA seriously, they could devise ways to save time and money, reduce stress on parents and staff, and accomplish more. Although the U.S. Secretary of Education may opt to regulate on the term, I would recommend other options – with discretionary funds in ECAA, (1) establish websites where people can share effective approaches to coordination and (2) support one-stop shop demonstrations, where grantees have maximum flexibility as they experiment with family-friendly coordination.
Do these two ideas require amendments to ECAA when it reaches the Senate floor? No. But, amendments laying out how they would happen would make them more likely.