TITLE I APPLICATION UNDER THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT (ARRA)
General Questions and Answers:
Q. What are the time lines for release of Title I, Parts A and D; School Improvement Grants under Section 1003(a); and, Title I ARRA?
A. The preliminary allocations for Title I, Parts A and D, and ARRA funds are now posted on the Department website. They can be accessed at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/allocations/0910/titleiallocpre. The funding dates for the regular Title I, Part A and D, and for School Improvement grants will be September 1, 2009 - August 31, 2010. As was done last year, LEAs are invited to access Webinars regarding the different Title programs and sections of the application as they become available. The initial project period for ARRA funds will be July 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010. LEAs will only be required to submit a signed set of Assurances, a budget narrative, and an original and three copies of a budget (FS-10).
Q. Are there any new reporting requirements under ARRA?A. Yes. The available information from the USDOE indicates that there will be some specific reporting requirements for the ARRA funds. We also know that LEAs will be required to provide some information and reports at the individual building level. The USDOE has begun providing guidance regarding these new reporting requirements. The NYSED has been hosting a series of webinars and technical assistance sessions regarding the reporting requirements for all ARRA funds.
Q. How will ARRA funds affect required set-a-sides?
A. All the laws and regulations currently in place for Title I, Part A apply to the Title I ARRA funds. However, Section 9401 of NCLB allows the Secretary of Education to consider and approve waivers to some of the legal and regulatory requirements. NYSED plans to request some waivers, specific to Title I ARRA funds:
- The 20 percent setaside for FY 2009 Title I, Part A, transportation for public school choice and SES.
- The 10 percent professional development setaside for schools/LEAs in Improvement status.
- Calculation of the per-pupil amount for SES based on its FY 2009 Title I, Part A, ARRA allocation (ESEA section 1116(e)(6); 34 C.F.R. § 200.48(c)).
- The 15 percent carryover limitation.
Q. How will the existing 15% waiver provisions be affected by ARRA funds and funding timelines?
A. The USDOE has indicated that they will be issuing new guidance regarding the carryover provisions under Section 1127 of NCLB. NYSED will provide more information in the future regarding the calculation of carryover for regular Title I and Title I ARRA, as well as presentation of excess funds/carryover into 2010-11.
Important Things to Consider:
- All Title I, Part A rules apply for the use of these funds, including ARRA funds. In simplest terms, it’s “business-as-usual” with Title I, except there are considerably more funds for most LEAs for 2009-10. Of particular note is the potential for a higher Per Pupil Amount and therefore increased equity level for services for eligible nonpublic school students. The most recent USDOE guidance available (September 2, 2009), item B-6 references services to eligible private school children under Section 1120 of ESEA and the required consultation.
ARRA funds will only be available for two years (through 9/30/11). As such, plan to invest one-time ARRA funds thoughtfully to minimize the "funding cliff." ARRA represents a historic infusion of funds that is expected to be temporary. These funds should be invested in ways that do not result in unsustainable continuing commitments after the funding expires.
Besides the NYSED Web sites on ARRA, it is helpful to review the guidance documents provided by the USDOE at: (http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/title-i.doc ) , fact sheet (http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/factsheet/title-i.html ) and other related documents for Title I, including the September 2nd guidance on Using Title I, Part A Funds for Grants to Local Educational Agencies…which is available at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/titlei-reform.pdf
Most questions that people have raised are addressed in these documents. Also available on the USDOE site are the same type of resource documents for the other components of ARRA. Specific questions regarding other components should be addressed to the respective program offices. New York State also has an ARRA Website that provides current information: (http://www.recovery.ny.gov/).
- Project Numbers: Two separate project numbers will be used: one for the regular Title I, Parts A + D (code 0021) and one for the ARRA funds, Parts A + D (code 5021).
- Project period: July 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010 for ARRA (code 5021) Funds. The full ARRA Allocation is available for use in the 15-month 2009-10-budget year. The second budget year for ARRA funds will be 10/1/10 to 9/30/11; at which point the ARRA funds expire. The project period for regular Title I, Parts A + D (code 0021) will still be 9/1 – 8/31. The School Improvement Grants will run from 9/1/09 to 8/31/10.
- Ability to obligate funds: No funds can be obligated until a "substantially approvable" application is submitted to NYSED. NYSED plans to seek clarification or a waiver from USDE to allow LEAs to expend these ARRA funds for pre-award costs incurred on or after July 1, 2009 and prior to submission of the LEA's application. If an LEA does not plan to use the funds for pre-award costs, the standard submission timeline can be used. ARRA funds must be fully obligated by 9/30/11 or returned to the federal government.
- Provision of Equitable Services to Nonpublic School Students, Parents and Staff under Section 1120 of ESEA:
With respect to both Title I ARRA funds and Regular Title I funds, LEAs are required to provide equitable services to eligible students attending eligible non-public schools. As such, LEAs are required to adhere to the consultation requirements under Section 200.63 of the Title I Regulations and the April 2009 ARRA guidance and Section 200.63 of the Title I Regulations specifies the requirement of LEAs to consult with non-public school officials regarding the implementation and assessment of Title I services. These requirements are also specified in the USDOE Non-regulatory Guidance of October 2003 titled "Title I Services to Eligible Private School Children" (see item A-6); and, they also are addressed in the April 2009 USDOE Guidance regarding the use of "Funds under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 Made Available Under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." (see items D-6 through D-8) and in Section 1120 of the ESEA "Provision of Equitable Services to Nonpublic School Students, Parents and Staff.
- Payment schedule:
- Twenty percent of the approved budget total will be paid after the FS-10 budget is approved.
- Additional payments up to 90% of the approved budget total will be available through the FS-25 process. When requesting funds through the FS-25 process, LEAs may only request the amount required to meet the immediate cash needs of the project; LEAs must minimize the time between the receipt and disbursement of Federal funds. (Please review Grants Finance advisory at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/guidance/payments.html for more details.)
- Final payment for the budget period is contingent upon submission of a properly completed FS-10-F Long Form. Please note that the FS-10-F Short Form will not be available for use with ARRA funds, even if the report is submitted timely. Final payment may also be contingent upon completion of other program reports.
- Set-asides for School Improvement Grants: All LEAs that receive an increase in the base allocation plus ARRA funds over 2008-09 contribute four percent of their total allocation to the School Improvement Grant pot.
- 15% Carryover limitation into 2010-11: Will be applied to the sum of both Title I allocations. NYSED has received additional guidance from the USDOE regarding waivers and we anticipate asking USDOE if this waiver can be granted universally to all LEAs that had not previously requested such a waiver for 2008-09 or 2009-10, thus eliminating the need for each LEA to request such a waiver. If necessary, LEAs that actually need the use of the waiver would be counted as having used one for 2010-11.
- Supplement, not Supplant: The September 2, 2009 USDOE Guidance “Using Title I, Part A ARRA Funds for Grants to Local Education Agencies to Strengthen Education, Drive Reform, and Improve Results for Students” provides a comprehensive review of the Supplement Not Supplant requirements of Title I, Part A and the use of ARRA funding. Item B-4 of the guidance provides an overview of this requirement in both Schoolwide and Targeted Assistance school settings and also provides examples of how this requirement can be met while meeting the requirements and objectives of the ARRA. You are strongly encouraged to review this guidance which is available at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/titlei-reform.pdf
- Maintenance of Effort (MOE): Sections 1120A and 9521 of the ESEA continue to apply. The combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of the LEA and the State for the provision of a free public education by the LEA for the preceding fiscal year must not be less than 90 percent of such amounts for the second preceding year. See the USDOE Guidance, “Funds under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, item C-1, for a detailed description of this requirement.
- Special Reports: Review the Webinar presentations and other guidance available on the Department’s ARRA Web site (http://usny.nysed.gov/arra/).
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Requirements for DUNS Numbers and CCR Registration: To be eligible for funds, ARRA calls for each local agency to have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and to register with Central Contractor Registration (CCR). Grants Finance has developed frequently asked questions about DUNS and CCR that may be helpful to those working to meet the requirements.
Last Thought: There are several different strands to the ARRA legislation, each with their own set of rules. Be sure to follow the specific rules for each program area.