Educational grants authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) are not subject to the supplement, not supplant requirement that is normally a requirement of other educational grants, particularly formula grants. In addition, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) receiving ESSER funds may use the funds for:
Expenses related to special education staff reassignment to general education, special education teacher/administrator layoffs, and/or closure of a self-contained classroom/unit should be claimed under this exception. In addition, other LEA specific special education costs that are no longer incurred due to a decrease in enrollment should be claimed.
Because Federal funds are not considered in the federal fiscal compliance determinations for the above three requirements, the supplanting of state/local funds with ARP/ESSER funds has the potential to cause non-compliance findings. For example: An LEA in which all campuses are Title I, Part A campuses and that has a special education population makes the decision to supplant 50% of all educational aides’ salaries with ESSER III funds. As a result, a total of $200,000.00 of state and local funds was supplanted. As a result of this decision and because federal funds are not considered in the compliance determinations, the ESSA MOE; Title I, Part A Comparability; and IDEA-B LEA MOE all have the potential to be out of compliance due to the state and local funds being reduced from year to year, or from campus to campus. The IDEA-B LEA MOE, ESSA LEA MOE, Title I, Part A Comparability, and other grant related federal fiscal requirements still apply. LEAs must be cognizant of their state and local spending in relation to these federal fiscal requirements, especially if supplanting the ESSER funds locally.
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