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Mandate Block Grant FAQs

Questions and answers regarding the Mandate Block Grant program.

Application Deadline and Submission

  1. What is the deadline for the 2015–16 Mandate Block Grant (MBG) Application?
    The deadline to submit the MBG Application is Monday, August 31, 2015. Local educational agencies (LEAs) that want to participate in the MBG should submit the MBG Application electronically to the CDE on or before August 31, 2015. The MBG Application represents the Letter Requesting Funding.
  2. How can the MBG Application be submitted?

    The MBG Application is web-based, therefore, LEAs will submit electronically to the CDE. Hard copy applications will not be accepted.

    LEAs will receive an e-mail notification, addressed to the contact identified on the California Schools Directory, containing a link to the MBG Application and other important MBG details. On CDE’s Mandate Block Grant Request for Application Web page LEAs may select the link titled “MBG Application” to find logon instructions and, if necessary, request a new password. LEAs that were issued a password for the 2014–15 Mandate Block Grant may use the same 2014–15 password to access the 2015–16 application.

    For technical assistance please contact CDE by e-mail at mandate@cde.ca.gov or by phone 916-323-6191.
  3. Who is authorized to submit the 2015–16 MBG Application?

    It is up to each LEA to determine the authorized representative who will submit the MBG Application on the LEA’s behalf. Passwords for the MBG Application will be issued to the LEA’s contact identified on the California School Directory; this is typically the County or District Superintendent or Charter School Administrator. In addition, if an LEA submitted a secondary contact in 2014–15, the secondary contact may also submit the application and, if necessary, request a new password. If an LEA wishes to remove a secondary contact, an e-mail from the contact identified in the California School Directory may be sent to mandate@cde.ca.gov.

  4. Does a signed MBG Application need to be submitted to the CDE?

    No.Only the electronic submission of the MBG Application is required. Please note that upon successful submission of the MBG Application LEAs will be prompted to “Print Submission.” The printed document includes a signature line and it is recommended that LEAs print, sign and retain the electronic submission for their records. The signed document does not need to be provided to the CDE.

  5. We did not receive instructions on how to access the MBG Application. How can we apply?
    An e-mail notification was sent to each school district, county office of education (COE) and charter school with a link to the MBG Request for Application Web page. The e-mail was sent to the superintendent, administrator, or contact listed in the California School Directory as well as to secondary contacts submitted through the MBG application in the prior year. Please check the junk mail or spam folder of that e-mail address and also make sure that the e-mail was not rejected by your server. If you cannot locate the e-mail, please send a request to mandate@cde.ca.gov.

    If the contact information on the California School Directory is incorrect, please notify the CDE of changes to ensure receipt of future correspondence. Updates to school and district information may be requested by authorized LEA personnel using the OPUS-CDS application, or the CDS forms posted on the CDE website.

    Once the contact information is confirmed, LEAs may select the link for “MBG Application” to find logon instructions and, if necessary, to request a new password. LEAs that have been issued a password for the 2014–15 Mandate Block Grant may use the same 2014–15 password to access the 2015–16 application.
  6. How can we verify that the CDE has received our application?
    Upon electronic submission of the MBG Application, LEAs will receive an e-mail confirmation indicating the submission was received by the CDE. LEAs may also check the Mandate Block Grant Application Participation Status Web page to see an application status of Participating, Not Participating or Not Submitted. If you have concerns, please contact mandate@cde.ca.gov.

Funding

  1. What are the 2015–16 MBG Funding Rates?

    The 2015–16 MBG funding rates set forth in Item 6100-296-0001 of the 2015 Budget Act are as follows:

    LEA
    2014–15 P-2 ADA
    Amount per ADA1
    County Offices of Education (COE) Grades K–8 $28.42
    COE Grades 9–12 $56.00
    COE Countywide2 $1.00
    School Districts Grades K–8 $28.42
    School Districts Grades 9–12 $56.00
    Charter Schools Grades K–8 $14.21
    Charter Schools Grades 9–12 $42.00

    1 Rate is per unit of average daily attendance (ADA) calculated as of the 2014–15 Second Principal (P-2) Apportionment; if necessary, the rates may be proportionately reduced to stay with total available funding

    2 Countywide ADA is defined as the aggregate number of units of ADA within the county attributable to all school districts for which the county superintendent of schools has jurisdiction pursuant to Section 1253 of the California Education Code, charter schools within the county, and the schools operated by the county superintendent of schools
  2. The MBG application states that funding may be prorated if participation exceeds the total budget allocation. What percentage of funding will be allocated in FY 2015–16?

    The CDE anticipates that 100 percent of each LEA’s MBG entitlement will be funded in 2015–16.

  3. When will funding be allocated?
    Funding for the MBG will be paid in November 2015 to all LEAs that submitted the MBG Application. The amount paid will equal 100 percent of each LEA’s entitlement.

Participation

  1. Does an LEA need its governing board’s approval or a board resolution to participate in the MBG?

    Government Code (GC) Section 17581.6 does not specifically require governing board approval or a board resolution to participate in the MBG. However, each LEA may have its own policy for identifying items that require governing board action or approval.

  2. Our LEA has elected to “not participate” in the MBG. Do we need to notify the CDE of our decision?

    An LEA is not required by statute to notify the CDE if it chooses not to participate in the MBG; however, it is helpful if LEAs logon to the MBG Application and elect to not participate or send an e-mail to mandate@cde.ca.gov with the LEA name and county-district-school (CDS) code. The CDE will “follow up” via e-mail with all LEAs that have not submitted the MBG Application; those LEAs who have submitted the MBG Application and declined to participate or sent an e-mail to mandate@cde.ca.gov will not receive further contact.

  3. If we participate in the MBG in FY 2015–16, will we be required to participate in the future?
    No. Participation in the MBG is an annual election. Therefore, if an LEA submits a 2015–16 MBG Application Requesting Funding for the MBG, it only applies to FY 2015–16.

Charter Schools

  1. Do locally funded charter schools need to submit a separate application for the MBG or can locally funded charter schools be included in the application of the district?

    Locally funded and direct-funded charter schools must each apply independent of their authorizing agency in order to receive MBG funds. Each charter school (both locally and direct-funded) will receive notification of the MBG Application which must be completed and submitted electronically to the CDE. Charter schools are encouraged to contact their authorizing agency if there is uncertainty about who should submit the MBG Application on the charter school’s behalf. 

    Apportionments for locally funded charter schools will be included in the payment issued to the authorizing agency and apportionments for direct-funded charter schools will be issued to the charter school.
  2. Are charter schools that begin operation in FY 2015–16 eligible for the MBG?

    Charter schools that begin operation in FY 2015–16 as a new school are not eligible to receive MBG funding in the first year of operation. Funding for FY 2015–16 is based on the ADA reported at P-2 for FY 2014–15. New charter schools reported no attendance for FY 2014–15 P-2 and therefore are not eligible to receive funds for the FY 2015–16 MBG.

  3. Our district reported ADA in FY 2014–15. In FY 2015–16 two district schools were converted to charter schools. How will our MBG apportionment be calculated?

    For FY 2015–16 the MBG is calculated using the LEA’s 2014–15 P-2 ADA. Therefore, the district would receive funding in FY 2015–16 based on the total reported 2014–15 P-2 ADA (which includes the conversion charter schools) multiplied by the applicable rates for each grade span. The two new charter schools are not eligible to receive separate funding in FY 2015–16 since those schools reported no ADA at the 2014–15 P-2 apportionment.

    Conversely, if two charter schools closed at the end of FY 2014–15 and the students returned to district schools, the district would only receive funding based on the district’s 2014–15 P-2 ADA, which would not include the ADA reported by the two closed charter schools.

Compliance and Audits

  1. Does an LEA need to be in compliance with all of the mandates listed in the MBG for FY2015–16 in order to receive funds? If an LEA elects not to participate in the MBG, does it still have to perform the mandates?

    COEs, school districts, and charter schools are all legally required to provide or perform all applicable mandated activities. Participation or non-participation in the MBG does not alter that requirement. The MBG funding is specifically intended to fund the costs of the applicable mandated activities identified in GC Section 17581.6(e).

  2. If an LEA participates in the MBG, will a compliance audit for the specific MBG mandates be performed during the annual audit? If so, what required documentation would need to be kept?

    The 2015–16 Audit Guide does not contain audit procedures for specific mandated programs and activities in the MBG. However, LEAs should note that audit procedures related to immunizations (a mandated program) is in the 2015–16 Audit Guide. The focus of the audit procedures are on the LEA’s eligibility to claim attendance. 

    If audit procedures are added to future Audit Guides, those added procedures are required to be published prior to the start of each fiscal year. By knowing the audit procedures prior to the start of a fiscal year, an LEA has an opportunity to discuss the required documentation with its own external auditor.

    If an audit found an LEA to be out of compliance with a mandate requirement, the LEA would be required to take corrective action; however, the LEA would not be required to forfeit any of the block grant funding.

Reimbursement Claims

  1. May an LEA file a mandate reimbursement claim with the State Controller’s Office (SCO) for 2015–16 mandates not included in the MBG?
    Yes. If the mandate program is not suspended or specifically listed in GC Section 17581.6(e), an eligible LEA may file a mandate reimbursement claim with the SCO for FY 2015–16. However, a mandate reimbursement claim may only be paid when the Legislature appropriates funds for it. In FY 2014–15 and FY 2015–16, discretionary funding was appropriated in GC sections 17581.8 and 17581.9, respectively. The State Controller is directed to apply amounts received pursuant to these sections against any balances of unpaid claims for reimbursement of state-mandated local program costs and interest in chronological order beginning with the earliest claim.
  2. If there are new mandate claim programs approved during the year, could a separate reimbursement claim be filed or would those programs become part of the MBG?

    Legislation would be required to add any new mandates to the MBG. Unless that occurs, a mandate reimbursement claim can be filed with the SCO for any mandate program or newly approved active mandate program not specifically listed in GC Section 17581.6(e).

  3. In the past, COEs included some of its districts’ reimbursement costs (those under $1,000) as part of the COEs’ mandate reimbursement claim. If the COE elects to participate in the MBG and participating districts do not, is there a vehicle available for those districts to still receive reimbursements for the mandates?
    According to the SCO, even if a COE elects to participate in the MBG, the COE may still submit a reimbursement claim on behalf of districts that do not elect to participate in the MBG. The reimbursement claim should identify the districts included in the claim, clearly state that the COE is participating in the MBG, and state that the COE is filing on behalf of districts that did not elect to participate in the MBG.

Mandated Programs and Activities

  1. Which programs are included in the MBG?

    GC Section 17581.6(e) contains a list of mandated programs and activities that the MBG is specifically intended to fund. This list of Mandates Supported by the MBG is also posted on the MBG Request for Application Web page.

  2. Which programs are NOT included in the MBG?

    The following school district mandates are not included in the 2015–16 MBG list and are eligible to file reimbursement claims through the SCO for the costs incurred in fiscal year 2015–16.  However, funds must be appropriated for these mandate programs before any reimbursement claims can be paid.

    Current Program Name Program Number
    Behavioral Intervention Plans 349
    Teacher Incentive Program 252
  3. Which state–mandated activities are suspended in fiscal year 2015–16?

    The Department of Finance has provided notification of mandates specifically suspended in fiscal year 2015–16 per the Budget Act of 2015. Please refer to the following links for the correspondence dated June 30, 2015.

    2015–16 Department of Finance Notification of Suspended Mandates of 06-Jul-2015 (PDF)
    - AAV of the 2015–16 Department of Finance Notification of Suspended Mandates of 06-Jul-2015
Questions:   Julie Klein Briggs | mandate@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6191
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