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Answer: CDE's Office of Grants Fiscal is committed to working with Colorado schools, districts, and BOCES to provide them with the maximum operational flexibility necessary to continue operations as they recover from extended school or program closures due to public health crisis. The department has identified the following barriers which can impact the reimbursement for allowable grant expenditures during the recovery period:
- Documentation needed to support reimbursement of funds
- Reporting deadlines
- Cash Flow
- Availability of electronic infrastructure to access reporting systems
To the greatest extent possible, the department will take steps to address, find administrative relief, and develop strategies on a case-by-case basis with regard to the impact, estimated recovery period and flexibility within federal, state, and local regulations. We are committed to collaborating with districts and expediting necessary work necessary. CDE encourages all affected parties to contact the department with any requests for assistance. Contact Jennifer Okes, CDE's chief operating officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-866-2996.
Answer: There is some flexibility in the MOE provisions in the ESEA per the U.S. Department of Education (September 2018) "Non-Regulatory Guidance on Flexibility and Waivers for Grantees and Program Participants Impacted by Federally Declared Disasters (for Academic School Year 2018-19).
It is important to understand the delay in when the current year's expenditures are taken into account for MOE determinations. For example, expenditures in school year 2017-2018 (fiscal year (FY) 2017 funds) will not affect MOE determinations until school year 2019-2020 (FY 2019 funds). In 2019-2020, the "preceding fiscal year" for MOE determinations will be expenditures for school year 2017-2018; likewise, expenditures in school year 2017-2018 will be the "second preceding fiscal year" for MOE determinations for school year 2020-2021 (FY 2020 funds). Under the MOE provisions in section 8521(b)(2) of the ESEA, an LEA that does not maintain effort during school year 2017-2018 (i.e., based on expenditures during the July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 period) would not be penalized with a reduction in Federal FY 2019 (school year 2019-2020) ESEA funds unless the LEA also failed to maintain effort in one or more of the five fiscal years preceding July 1, 2017. If an LEA faces a reduction in FY 2019 ESEA funds, the LEA (or the SEA on the LEA's behalf) may request an MOE waiver under section 8521(c)(1), which gives the department the authority to waive the MOE requirements in the case of a natural disaster or another exceptional or uncontrollable circumstance.
Finally, we note that, under 34 CFR § 299.5(d)(2)(i), an SEA excludes from an ESEA MOE determination supplemental expenditures of taste and local funds made as a result of a Presidentially declared disaster. Therefore, if an LEA's expenditures increase significantly in school year 2017-2018 due to increased spending in response to such a disaster, the SEA will exclude these expenditures from MOE calculations, which will decrease the possibility that a one-time increase in school year 2017-2018 expenditures will cause an LEA to fail to maintain effort in school year 2018-2019 (affecting allocations for the 2020-2021 school year) when expenditures from school year 2018-2019 are compared to school year 2017-2018 expenditures.
Answer: Sarah Blumenthal in CDE's Health and Wellness Unit serves as the liaison between Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and school nurses. Sarah can be reached at 303-866-6779 or email@example.com.
Answer: Look up your local public health agency on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website.