July 22, 2016
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: IDEA, P.L. 114-113, 2016-2017 Part B Sections 611 and 619 Subgrant Awards for Special Education
Attached are the 2016-2017 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B (Sections 611 and 619) federal allocations through the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for school divisions and state-operated programs (SOP) that qualify based on submission of an approvable 2016-2017 annual plan.
Please note that as part of your application for fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017, your school division or SOP has provided certifications that its application will comply with the IDEA Act of 2004, at 20 USC § 1413(a)(1), and its federal implementing regulations, at 34 CFR Parts 300 and 301, and that the school division or SOP will operate its Part B program in accordance with all of the required assurances and certifications that are consistent with the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE's) policies and procedures. It further certifies that the application is a material representation of its compliance with the provisions of Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), as applicable.
Virginia’s federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 grant award is $290,104,558 and $61,968,914 is currently available for award under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, for the IDEA Part B Section 611. The portion of the Section 611 flow-through allocation available through the reimbursement process as of July 1, 2016, is approximately 21.36 percent to school divisions and SOP that have submitted an approvable annual plan. The remaining 78.64 percent is available as of October 1, 2016, through the reimbursement process to school divisions and SOP that have an approved annual plan. The entire allocation for Section 619 funds is available as of July 1, 2016, through the reimbursement process to school divisions that have submitted an approvable annual plan.
Upon final approval of a school division or SOP application by VDOE, each sub-recipient will need to log on to the Department of Education’s Online Management of Education Grant Awards (OMEGA) system to review the grant’s status and to distribute the grant award budgets to the appropriate object code level. Questions regarding this process should be sent to OMEGA SUPPORT. You may also call (804) 371-0993 for assistance.
Approval of the annual plan establishes the eligibility of school divisions and SOP to receive funding under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 – P.L.114-113 for the IDEA Part B Sections 611 and 619. These funds are available for obligation from July 1, 2016 - September 30, 2018.
These funds are made available on the condition that sub-recipients operate consistent with all requirements of P.L. 114-113 and applicable regulations, and make such changes to existing policies and procedures as are necessary to bring those policies and procedures into compliance as soon as possible. School divisions are reminded that such changes must be submitted to their local school boards for approval.
2016-2017 Part B (Section 611) Flow-Through Funding
Amounts for each sub-recipient are listed in Attachment A. As noted above, the amount shown in your award for the Section 611 program is approximately 21.36 percent of the total federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 award. Of the $256,418,115.00 appropriated amount in (FFY) 2016 for sub-recipient awards, $54,773,190.13 is available for awards on July 1, 2016, and $201,644,924.87 will be available for awards on October 1, 2016. No funds may be obligated after September 30, 2018, and final claims for reimbursement must be submitted via the OMEGA system no later than November 15, 2018. Funds are provided to school divisions and SOP through an expenditure reimbursement process and funds must be expended in accordance with each sub-recipient’s approved application or subsequent amendments as approved by the VDOE. Because original grant applications were based on estimated amounts, most sub-recipients will need to submit (via OMEGA) a budget amendment addressing the difference between estimated Section 611 funds and funds actually awarded.
2016-2017 Part B (Section 619) Pre-School Funding
Amounts for each sub-recipient are listed in Attachment B. The amount in your award for Section 619 represents the full amount of funds to which you are entitled. No funds may be obligated after September 30, 2018, and final claims for reimbursement must be submitted via OMEGA no later than November 15, 2018. Funds are provided to school divisions and certain SOP through an expenditure reimbursement process and must be expended in accordance with each sub-recipient’s approved application or subsequent amendments as approved by the VDOE. Because original grant applications were based on estimated amounts, most sub-recipients will need to submit (via OMEGA) a budget amendment addressing the difference between estimated Section 619 funds and funds actually awarded.
Reimbursement for expenditures pursuant to these awards may not be honored if program or budget modifications are made without prior approval by the VDOE. Equipment purchases exceeding $5,000 (per item) and all out-of-state travel must be approved in advance by the VDOE. Please be reminded that as sub-recipients, you must consider the following factors when considering the use of funds for conferences or meetings:
- Ensure that attending or hosting a conference or meeting is consistent with the division’s approved application and is reasonable and necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of the grant;
- Ensure that the primary purpose of the conference or meeting is to disseminate technical information (e.g., provide information on specific programmatic requirements, best practices in a particular field, or theoretical, empirical, or methodological advances made in a particular field; conduct training or professional development; plan/coordinate the work being done under the grant); and
- Consider whether there are more effective or efficient alternatives that can accomplish the desired results at a lower cost, for example, using webinars or video conferencing.
Reimbursement for travel related conferences or meetings including food must follow all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements in determining whether costs are reasonable and necessary, especially the Cost Principles for federal grants set out at 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E of the “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.” It must also be limited to amounts stipulated by state travel regulations. Please also remember that alcoholic beverages and entertainment costs which include costs for amusement, diversion and social activities are non-allowable costs. Foods for the conference or meeting can only be reimbursed if it is necessary to accomplish legitimate meeting or conference business (e.g., working lunch might be allowable if attendance at lunch is needed to ensure full participation by attendees in essential discussions and speeches concerning the purpose of the conference and to achieve the goals and objectives of the project).
Funds available under the provisions of IDEA may be used to support only the excess costs of educating individuals with disabilities as outlined in your approved application or subsequent amendments approved by the VDOE. Reimbursement requests must be submitted electronically via OMEGA.
Required Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) Notification
A school division may voluntarily set-aside up to 15 percent of its IDEA Part B funds to provide Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS). A budget amendment must be submitted via OMEGA if a school division is required or chooses to voluntarily set-aside Part B funds for CEIS. The planned CEIS activities must be approved by the VDOE. Additionally, if the division is no longer required or chooses not to set-aside Part B funds for CEIS, a budget amendment must be submitted via OMEGA.
Amendments to the Annual Plan/Funding Applications
Amendments to the 2016-2017 annual plan and application for federal funds must be submitted to the VDOE for approval as they are adopted by each school division.
Any funding application amendment requests must be submitted via OMEGA.
The VDOE and auditors shall have access to sub-recipient records and financial statements as necessary to meet monitoring requirements in 2 CFR 200. This federal award is not for research and development. School divisions shall adhere to their approved negotiated indirect cost (IDC) rate that can be accessed at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/budget/index.shtml. If a rate has not been negotiated or approved, the school division or SOP may be eligible to use the de minimis rate of eight (8) percent as stated in §200.414 indirect (F&A) costs.
Questions pertaining to subgrant awards, including questions regarding annual plans, should be directed to the contact person listed in each attachment or to Tracie L. Coleman at Tracie.Coleman@doe.virginia.gov; telephone (804) 225-2704.
Questions about allowable CEIS activities should be directed to Joe Wharff at Joseph.Wharff@doe.virginia.gov; telephone (804) 225-3370.
Questions about identification of school divisions required to provide CEIS due to disproportionality should be directed to Angela Phenicie at Angela.Phenicie@doe.virginia.gov; telephone (804) 371-7582.
Questions pertaining to OMEGA should be directed to OMEGA Support at OMEGA.firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone (804) 371-0993.