A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.
October 19, 2011
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Amendment to Extend Time Period for Obligating Fiscal Year 2009 Federal Funds and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funds
The United States Department of Education (USDE) is allowing states to request a waiver, that if granted by USDE, would extend the September 30, 2011, deadline for local educational agencies (LEAs) to obligate any remaining regular federal and ARRA funds for fiscal year (FY) 2009 grants under certain ESEA grant programs. At this time, TEA is determining whether to request the waiver.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) may request an extension for one or more grants. In order to request a waiver, TEA must provide all LEAs affected by the potential waiver with notice and a reasonable opportunity to comment on the request. The list of eligible ESEA state-administered formula grant programs that received FY 2009 funds under the regular federal appropriation or ARRA is as follows:
TEA records indicate most of these grant funds were obligated by LEAs by the required September 30, 2011, obligation deadline. Therefore, if the waiver is requested and granted, TEA anticipates that a minimal amount of funds will be available. Any LEA seeking to obligate funds pursuant to the extension would be required to comply with significant reporting requirements and other administrative burdens. This significant administrative impact on LEAs would come without the availability of any new funding to comply with these mandates and would affect all LEAs regardless of whether LEAs appropriately spent money by the deadline of September 30, 2011. This administrative impact on LEAs could include the following:
· additional applications
· additional amendments
· additional federal program and expenditure reporting
· additional jobs reporting on all grants (ARRA and non-ARRA)
· assurances and reporting on how funds were used toward program objectives and to increase the quality of education and improve student academic achievement
· additional participation in sub-recipient fiscal monitoring and audit work
· continued efforts to assure state annual measurable objectives are met
· simultaneous management of multiple overlapping grants and budgets that are duplicative in nature
· compliance with additional federal requirements that have not been announced
The deadline for TEA to apply for this extension is October 31, 2011. To provide comments, please send an email with your name, title, comments, and an indication of whether you will comply with all reporting and other administrative requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, October 25, 2011. If you have questions about this letter or the opportunity for the extension, please contact Thomas Howe at the email address above.
Commissioner of Education
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