For a particular cost to be allowed, it must be an excess cost of providing special education and related services. Only allowed costs may be charged to the flow-through or preschool entitlement grants.
For a particular cost to be allowed, it also must be necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient performance and administration of the grant. A cost is reasonable if it does not exceed what a district would normally incur in the absence of federal funds. Additional guidance about standards for determining costs for federal grants is available from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-87.
Any individual charged to a federal grant must keep time and effort reporting whether or not it is a semi-annual certification or monthly personnel activity reports (PAR). Semi-annual certification is completed by those individuals who have a single cost object; monthly personnel activity reports are completed by individuals who have multiple cost objectives. Under IDEA, any individual who is not 100% special education would need to complete monthly PARs. Time and effort reporting are a part of the allowable costs as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.
Allowable Costs Guidance
Funding Special Education Costs from Multiple Sources
Private Vendor Contracted Instructional Services (eligible for State and Federal special education aid)
Two Wisconsin Acts, 2011 Act 105 and 2013 Act 255, amended WI Stat. §115.88(1) to expand the types of private vendor contractual services eligible for state special education categorical aid to include substitute teachers, paraprofessionals (aides),orientation and mobility training services, educational interpreter services, educational audiology, speech therapy, and pupil transition services for students ages 18 to 21.
These contracted services are now eligible for state categorical aid reimbursement (special education and high cost) and may also be charged to the IDEA grant. LEAs should be aware that all LEA employed staff or privately contracted staff must be highly qualified and hold appropriate licensure to be eligible for state categorical aid or IDEA reimbursement.
This is a very thorough technical assistance document that addresses the types of transportation costs that are eligible for state special education categorical aid when a student's IEP identifies transportation as a related service. The document helpfully identifies costs by object. It also provides examples of transportation routes and when costs within those routes are eligible for state special education aid. This document also outlines the necessary steps for ensuring that a vehicle purchased solely for special education purposes is eligible for state special education categorical aid reimbursement.
Equipment and Other Capital Costs
Questions on Allowable Costs may be directed to Rachel Zellmer
Further questions regarding IDEA Flow-through and Preschool Entitlement budgets should be directed to the DPI special education consultant assigned to the district. A listing of consultant assignments can be located at http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_sepcontact.