Frequently Asked Questions About IDEA Grant Funding (including IDEA Recovery Funds)

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Top 10 FAQ | Application Procedures | Use of IDEA Recovery Funds | Use of Funds for CEIS | Parentally Placed Private School Students | MOE | Use of Freed Up Funds | Reporting and Accountability | Claims

A. Application Procedures

A1.What are the procedures for receiving IDEA Recovery funds?
A2.How does an LEA submit an application for Recovery funds?
A3.What amount of IDEA Recovery funds will each LEA receive?
A4.May an LEA refuse IDEA Recovery funds?
A5.Must all IDEA budgets, regular IDEA entitlement and IDEA Recovery budgets, be submitted before an LEA may use IDEA Recovery funds?
A6.May an LEA budget just part of its IDEA Recovery allocation if it has not yet decided how to use the entire allocation?
A7.How soon after a budget is submitted will it be reviewed?
A8.Will LEAs be able to apply an indirect cost rate for IDEA Recovery budgets?
A9.How are indirect cost rates determined?
A10.I don’t remember my password for the Special Education Portal. What should I do?

B. Use of IDEA Recovery Funds

B1.What are the timeframes for use of IDEA Recovery funds?
B2.What does it mean to obligate funds?
B3.How should the IDEA Recovery funds be used?
B4.What are allowable costs for IDEA Recovery funds?
B5.How can you determine if a cost is an excess cost of providing special education services?
B6.Will the provisions for the permissive and the required use of flow-through funds for coordinated early intervention services (CEIS) apply to IDEA Recovery funds?
B7.May regular IDEA entitlement funds and IDEA Recovery funds be used to retain staff slated for layoff?
B8.Can IDEA Recovery funds be used to purchase or lease equipment?
B9.Can IDEA funds, including Recovery funds, be used to purchase a bus?
B10. Can IDEA funds be used for construction or alteration of facilities?
B11.Are there special requirements for the use of Recovery funds for construction?
B12. Can IDEA funds, including Recovery funds, be used for alterations to a classroom that will house an integrated 4K/EC program?
B13. Can IDEA Recovery funds be used to pay for substitute teachers for regular education teachers?
B14.Can IDEA Recovery funds be used for classroom technology like SMART boards?
B15.Why is account 436000 the only function available for purchased instructional services in the Purchase Services section (300 objects)?
B16. May IDEA funds be used for construction or remodeling for a timeout room?
B17. Are IDEA Recovery funds exempt from time and effort reporting requirements of OMB Circular A-87?

C. Use of Funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)

C1.May IDEA Recovery funds be used for coordinated early intervening services (CEIS)?
C2.May Recovery funds be used for interventions and progress monitoring in a system of CEIS?
C3.May Recovery funds be used to fund Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS)?
C4. How may RtI activities, including an RtI coordinator, be funded?
C5. May Recovery funds be used for all components of an RtI system, including universal screeners or other costs associated with core programming?
C6. If an LEA does not plan on submitting a CEIS budget until later in the summer, but before the November 1 deadline, where should the LEA budget the amount that might be used for CEIS?

D. Parentally Placed Private School Students

D1.Will the provisions for equitable service set-aside calculations be affected by the Recovery funding?
D2.Are expenditures of local funds included when determining whether an LEA expended the required amount on equitable services?
D3.Must LEAs consult with private schools and parents on the use of IDEA Recovery funds to provide equitable services?
D4.Where do LEAs budget for equitable services set-aside for parentally placed private school students?

E. Maintenance of Effort (MOE)

E1.Will the current rules for MOE apply to IDEA Recovery funds?
E2.Will expending IDEA Recovery funds increase an LEA’s required MOE for subsequent years?
E3.What are the provisions permitting reduction of required MOE?
E4. What is the 50% rule?
E5. Does the 50% rule apply whether the increase occurred because of an increase in the regular IDEA allocation or because of the IDEA Recovery funds?
E6.Doesn’t the “supplement not supplant” requirement prevent the use of IDEA Recovery funds for costs that were supported with local dollars during the previous year?
E7. Does reducing required MOE using the 50% rule mean an LEA is reducing special education services?
E8. How does reducing required MOE by shifting special education costs from local funds to IDEA impact the LEA's state special education categorical aid?
E9. Which LEAs may reduce MOE with the 50% rule?
E10. Where can I find the MOE reduction permitted for my LEA?
E11. Where do LEAs report a reduction in required MOE?
E12. Will the 50% rule apply to Recovery funds in 2010-2011?
E13. What effect will using the 50% rule and other provisions for reducing required MOE have on MOE for future years?
E14. What impact will the end of Recovery funding have on 2011-2012 LEAs budgets?
E15. Will a reduction in the amount required for MOE affect an LEA’s IDEA allocation in subsequent years?
E16. What effect does the voluntary expenditure of funds for CEIS have on reducing required MOE using the 50% rule?
E17. Is there an advantage to reducing MOE and not using IDEA funds for CEIS?
E18. When reducing local MOE, may LEAs use more than one of the options available for MOE reduction?
E19.If an LEA (with significant disproportionality) fails to use the required 15% of IDEA funds for CEIS in 2008-2009 and expends these funds in 2009-2010, does the expenditure affect the LEA’s calculation of its required MOE for 2009-2010?
E20. How does the DPI ensure LEAs meet the MOE requirement?
E21. What is the MOE eligibility test?
E22. What do the entries in the MOE Eligibility Report under “50% Rule Calculation” and “Free- up Funds” mean?
E23. If an LEA fails all four tests, is the only way to meet the MOE requirement through the 50% rule?
E24. What documentation does the DPI require to demonstrate an LEA meets the MOE eligibility requirement through one of the exceptions listed in question E18?
E25. How does receipt of Medicaid funds affect an LEA’s MOE calculations?
E26. How do expenditures for students attending the LEA under the full-time open enrollment law affect the MOE calculations?
E27. What is the impact on local MOE if an LEA stops contracting for CESA special education services and provides the services directly?
E28. What should the LEA do if accounting adjustments made after the close of the fiscal year would affect the MOE calculations?
E29. What action will the DPI take if the LEA has not complied with the MOE requirement after the end of the fiscal year?
E30. If an LEA has a $3000 short-fall in local fiscal effort and DPI recovers this amount from the LEA, is the LEA’s required local fiscal effort reduced by $3000 for the next fiscal year?

F. Use of Funds Freed Up Through the 50% Rule

F1.Must local funds freed up using the 50% rule be expended or may the amount be cut from the LEA’s budget?
F2.For what purposes can funds freed up with the 50% rule be used?
F3.Does an LEA have to be eligible for Title or Impact Aid in order to use the freed-up local funds on these activities?
F4. May local funds freed up under the 50% rule be used to retain staff slated for layoff or contract reduction?
F5. Must the LEA already be using ESEA funds to support the activity that freed-up local funds will support?
F6.May freed-up funds be used for expenses previously paid by ESEA funds?
F7. Must LEAs expend funds freed up in 2009-2010 through the 50% rule in the same year?
F8. If an LEA reduces MOE through the 50% rule, can the LEA move the previously locally funded special education costs to the regu
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