Dear Religious and Independent School Colleagues,
The Non Public Safety Equipment Grant allocations for the 2016-17 (last year) have been posted to the Office for Nonpublic School Services/State Office of Religious and Independent Schools (SORIS) website. The new allocations for the current state budget year (2017-18) will be posted shortly. If your school is a nonprofit entity, the enrollment-based allocations and guidance can be found on State Office of Religious and Independent Schools’ website. Just search by the school name and/or BEDS code. For-profit schools are not eligible for this program.
In the 2016-17 Enacted Budget, the legislature and Governor expanded the list of eligible uses for the funds – based on suggestions from religious and independent school leaders. The 2017-18 funds will be available shortly, but since the 2016-17 program is ready to go, we think it best to make this available to you now.
As was the case in prior years, schools with allocations remaining from earlier years will continue to able to claim reimbursements using the prior years’ amounts until they are exhausted. However, the expanded eligibility adds a slight nuance. Funds remaining from a school’s allocations for the program before 2016-17 can ONLY be used for the narrower list of eligible items related to security issues. Funds from 2016-17 can be used for ANY eligible item from any of the years, but expenses from the expanded list need to have been made since April 1, 2016.
You might wish to keep in mind for planning purposes that although we don’t have the allocations for 2017-18 available yet, you will continue to be able to use those funds for the expanded uses when they do become available. We will continue to allow flexibility to use the 2016-17 and 2017-18 funds for expenditures on the newly eligible items for both years.
Finding your allocation:
As noted above, the enrollment-based allocation for your school can be found on the 2016-17 Nonpublic School Safety Equipment Grant Allocation Listing.
Once the file is opened, you will see the Total Available Funds in Column F. This amount is the sum of any remaining funds you may have had from your allocation for the 2013-14, 20104-15), and 2015-16 program years (Column D), plus the allocations from the year 4 2016-17 program year (Column E).
In program years 1-3 of the grant, (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16) many schools had projects whose costs were above their allocations for that year. For example, a school may have had a $2,000 allocation and completed a $12,000 door replacement project, leaving $10,000 in approved, but unreimbursed, costs for the school. If this is the circumstance of your school, you will see the APPROVED, UNREIMBURSED EXPENDITURES in Column H, next to TOTAL AVAILABLE FUNDS Column
If this is your situation, you can file for reimbursement for those expenses, up to the amount in Column H, using the reimbursement form which is also posted on the Safety Equipment Grant website. No additional documentation beyond the form is necessary for these funds, since you have already provided it and SORIS staff have reviewed and approved your applications.
If you wish to file based upon new or additional expenditures, you must submit the following:
1. Program reimbursement form,
2. Invoices listing the items purchased, and
3. Proof of payment such as cancelled checks or zero balance invoice
One note of caution if you are contemplating new work to be supported by this program: We would expect that the column F amounts will be re-appropriated by the legislature and Governor in future years (although this cannot be guaranteed). However, please do not do work that far exceeds your allocation if your school cannot support the costs without reimbursement. We cannot guarantee that new grant funds will continue to be made available in future years, and we would not wish any of our colleague-schools to overextend themselves financially in anticipation of receiving state funds that are not provided.
Once again, if it does not have one already, your school will need to obtain a vendor ID from the state to receive funds. If you need assistance with this matter, information is available at the Office of Grants Management website. If you have participated in either this program or received Mandated Services Aid or Comprehensive Attendance Program Aid in recent years, you have a vendor ID.
I hope this is helpful. Please contact the Office of Educational Management Services (which includes the State Office of Religious and Independent Schools) if you have any questions at 518-474-6541 or you can email the SORIS office directly at SORIS@nysed.gov.