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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

 
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED
 

 


April 26, 2011

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:   Survey of Local Educational Agency (LEA) Anticipated American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Expenditures – Re-posted and Now Available

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) originally posted the Survey of LEA Anticipated ARRA Expenditures to the TEA website on March 28, 2011, and requested that LEAs complete and submit the survey by Friday, April 8, 2011. However, due to feedback received from early-responding LEAs, TEA temporarily closed access to the survey on April 1, 2011, so that it could be revised and re-posted.

The Survey of LEA Anticipated ARRA Expenditures has now been revised and is re-posted in SurveyMonkey at the following address: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ARRASurveyRevised. TEA appreciates your patience in waiting for the survey to be revised. The new deadline date for completing and submitting the revised survey is Friday, May 13, 2011.

The revised survey will better assist TEA in determining LEA spending and draw-down levels for ARRA grants. While the survey is voluntary, in order to capture the most accurate data, TEA is requesting that all LEAs and fiscal agents of a shared services arrangement (SSA) complete and submit the revised survey, including those LEAs that completed the original survey. TEA very much appreciates the LEAs that responded early to the original survey and sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Summary of Major Changes to the Survey

  1. SSAs: The original survey instructed each member LEA of an SSA to complete and submit the survey independently. However, these instructions have changed for the revised survey.

    In the revised survey, an individual LEA should respond to the survey only for the programs that were awarded directly to the LEA as an independent grantee. Fiscal agents of an SSA should respond to the survey on behalf of all member LEAs for all of the ARRA grants that were awarded to the fiscal agent, in addition to any grants that were awarded individually to the fiscal agent. Thus, each independent LEA and each fiscal agent of an SSA will complete and submit the survey only once for all of the ARRA Notices of Grant Award (NOGAs) they received.
  2. SFSF: The original survey did not break the ARRA Title XIV State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) down by school year. In the revised survey, the SFSF grant has been split into two sections by school year—the 2009–2010 school year (Year 1) and the 2010–2011 school year (Year 2), respectively.
  3. Streamlined: The revised survey has been streamlined to ask (a) if your LEA/fiscal agent anticipates expending all awarded funds for each ARRA program by the end of the grant period (i.e., September 30, 2011); (b) how much your LEA/fiscal agent anticipates will remain unexpended by the end of the grant period, if applicable; and (c) the reason(s) your LEA/fiscal agent anticipates ARRA grant funds will remain unexpended by the end of the grant period, if applicable. The questions in the original survey related to anticipated unexpended funds at the end of the state fiscal year (August 31, 2011) have been combined into one question at the end of the survey that asks how much grant funds your LEA/fiscal agent anticipates will remain unexpended for each ARRA program by the end of the state fiscal year (i.e., August 31, 2011).

Purpose of Survey

TEA monitors LEAs’ timely spending of ARRA grant awards for patterns of low draw downs or no draw downs as part of its monitoring function. To encourage timely spending of ARRA grant funds, TEA communicates frequently and regularly with LEAs that received ARRA funds. As part of that monitoring effort, and to help determine why some LEAs’ spending and draw-down levels remain low for ARRA grants, TEA has developed the online Survey of LEA Anticipated ARRA Expenditures. The survey will assist TEA in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities related to monitoring and will also serve as a vehicle for continued communication with ARRA grant recipients. While completing the survey is voluntary, LEAs and fiscal agents of SSAs are strongly encouraged to do so.

Responses to the survey should include all anticipated unexpended ARRA funds through the end of the state fiscal year (August 31, 2011) and the end date of the grant programs (September 30, 2011). The “ARRA Grants with Remaining Balances by Grantee Report” that TEA publishes at the end of each month on the TEA website will be useful in answering survey questions. Completing the survey might require collaboration among different departments within the LEA/fiscal agent.

You will need to know the following for each of the ARRA grants your LEA/fiscal agent was awarded:

  • Total amount anticipated to remain unexpended by the end of the state fiscal year (August 31, 2011) and by the end date of the grant program (September 30, 2011)

·         The reason(s) your LEA/fiscal agent anticipates ARRA grant funds will remain unexpended by the end of the grant period, if applicable

For your reference, a PDF version of the survey is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=2147499635&libID=2147499632. Please note the survey can only be completed online, and each LEA/fiscal agent will complete one survey for all ARRA NOGAs received. Depending on how your computer is set up, you may not be able to save responses and may be required to complete the survey in one sitting. Additionally, SurveyMonkey will not provide you with an opportunity to print a copy of your survey responses. Therefore, it is recommended that you print the PDF and complete the survey on paper before logging in to answer the survey and that you retain the completed paper copy as a record of your responses. Once you have collected all the requested information regarding anticipated expenditures, completing the survey online should take approximately 15 minutes.

Please note that this survey is not in any way related to or impacted by ARRA Section 1512 quarterly reporting.

If you have questions, please contact TEA's ARRA staff at (512) 936-3647 or at ARRAstimulus@tea.state.tx.us. You are encouraged to submit your questions via email, as this facilitates a more rapid response. Include telephone contact information in your email if you would prefer a response by telephone.

Again, TEA apologizes for the inconvenience caused by temporarily closing the survey and posting a revised survey.

Sincerely,

 

Nora Ibáñez Hancock, EdD

Associate Commissioner

Office for Planning, Grants and Evaluation

 

Attachment

NH/em

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