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CARS Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS).

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User Access

Q. Why does the system time out in the middle of my data entry?
A.
The system is set to time out after an hour of inactivity. The system resets the timer each time data is saved. If you are working in a data collection, periodically save the data collection, even if it is incomplete or not all business rules have been met. This will reset the timer. If you are entering school level data for a large district and periodically saving data is not practical, we recommend downloading the Schools Template, entering the school data using Excel, and then uploading the Schools File. (Note: you will need to perform a “Save As” to .xls format when saving the School Template.) Also, if you have multiple browser sessions of CARS open, if one session times out, all sessions will automatically time out.

Q. I forgot my password, how do I get it reset?
A.
First, make sure that your user name is correct. If the user name is incorrect, the system will give an “Invalid logon” message in red lettering. To reset your password:

If everything was done correctly the system will indicate in black lettering that your password is successful.

Q. Do passwords expire?
A.
The CARS logon screen will have a statement in red if your password has expired. From the CARS logon screen follow these steps:

You should receive a message that you have successfully updated your password. It is important to remember that CAS does not take you back to CARS. Once you’ve created a new password, you must close CAS and then log back into CARS with your user name and new password.

Note: Please do not let your system save your password. If you log into CARS and your password shows the dots, it is not the new password. If you allowed the system to save your other password; then this one won't work until you have cleared the cache from your computer. You can clear the cache by clicking on Tools, then Internet Options, then Delete Browsing History, and Delete.

Q. I get the message “CARS access is not available to this user” when I try to logon. Why don’t I have access?
A. Access to CARS is granted by each LEA’s User Administrator. This message means that you have not been granted access to any LEAs. For each LEA you need to access, contact the LEA User Administrator and provide them with your User name. If you do not know who the User Administrator is, then contact the ConApp Support Desk at conappsupport@cde.ca.gov. If you have been designated by the LEA Superintendent or Charter Administrator as the LEA User Administrator, have the LEA Superintendent or charter school Administrator send an e-mail to the ConApp Support Desk that includes the CDS code for your LEA, your User ID and your e-mail account so that a support team member can set you up as the LEA User Administrator.

Q. I am a service provider for charter schools. How do I get access to all the charters I support?
A.
First, register in the CAS if you have not already done so. Then, contact the LEA User Administrator for each charter you support. The LEA User Administrator will add you to the CARS and assign the appropriate roles. If the charter administrators have designated you as the LEA User Administrator for their LEA, you can assign rights for those LEAs.

Q. Our LEA User Administrator will need to be changed. What is the process we should follow?
A. If your LEA User Administrator has changed, don’t wait until the last minute. CDE will need an email from the superintendent designating the new LEA User Administrator – this can take time – it’s better if the outgoing LEA User Administrator assigns the LEA User Administrator role to the person that is assuming that responsibility prior to leaving the organization.

Q. We no longer receive the e-mails with information about CARS, how do we get back on the list?
A. There are several possibilities:


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Data Collection Status

Q. Sometimes, when I open a data collection displayed on my Home tab, the data entry form says: No schools need data entered at this time (data collection is not relevant to the LEA). Why is the data collection displayed on my Home tab?
A.
In some cases, relevancy (i.e., whether or not a data collection is applicable to the LEA) is easy for the system to determine. For example, it is relatively easy to determine relevancy based on whether or not the LEA received an entitlement for a particular program. If the LEA did not receive an entitlement, then CARS will not display any collections associated with that particular program. In other cases, there may be a number of complex criteria that have to be considered to determine relevancy, and those criteria cannot be determined until the data entry form is opened. In these cases, the note displayed at the top of the form reflects the criteria taken into consideration.

Q. One of the data collections has a status of “Certified Obsolete”. What should we do?
A.
A data collection becomes Certified-Obsolete when data that the data collection is dependent on has changed in such a way that a calculation or business rule has been broken. To clear the Certified-Obsolete status the data collection must be opened, saved as draft, and (after resolving all issues) certified. If the data collection remains as Certified-Obsolete the data collection is considered unsubmitted and the data will not be used.


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School Allocations

Q. We are not able to allocate all of the Title I funding to schools, due to the limit of two decimal places. This is causing an error message, how do we resolve this?
A.
When you have allocated as much as possible and have a positive unallocated amount of $1.00 or more, you will need to open either Reservations Required or Allowed, add the unallocated amount (in $1.00 increments) to one of your reservations and then return to Title I, Part A School Allocations to verify the unallocated amount is under $1.00.

If too much funding has been allocated making the unallocated amount negative (indicated by a parenthesis surrounding the unallocated amount), then it will be necessary to make further adjustments until the unallocated amount is between zero and $1.00. Note that if you make the change to the Reservations, Required, then you will have to save the Reservations, Allowed in order for the change to take effect.

Q. We are not able to allocate all of the EIA funding to schools. This is causing an error message, how do we resolve this?
A.
The EIA unallocated balance can be resolved by changing the Allocation Method to "Manual". The fields will open for editing. Allocate the dollars as appropriate.

Q. What is the definition of “educationally disadvantaged”?
A.
The term “educationally disadvantaged youth” (EDY) applies to students who meet any one of the following criteria:

The EDY count should be calculated individually for each school. EDY includes all ELs and all non-ELs who are considered below grade level in either math or ELA. Most districts use the California Standards Test (CST) to determine (non-EL) EDY eligibility. Primary grade (non-EL) EDY count is determined by district measures of below grade level performance. EDY should include all EL students and those who are below grade level in math or ELA. Districts have discretion over which assessments are used.


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Data Dependency

Q. We are transferring funds, but none of our schools are Schoolwide (SWP), why must the SWP data collection be certified before the Federal Transferability?
A.
If an LEA completes the Federal Transferability data collection, the LEA must also complete the Title I, Part A Notification of Authorization of School Wide Program, even if none of its schools are in SWP. The reason an LEA must do so is because there is a validation check in the Federal Transferability that takes into consideration the TAS versus SWP status of schools in that LEA.

If you do not have any schools that are participating in SWP, you will still need to open the Title I, Part A Notification of Authorization of School Wide Program data collection. Do not make any changes, but do click the Save button. Then, go to the Certify Tab and certify the Title I, Part A Notification of Authorization of School Wide Program data collection. Then, you should be able to certify the Federal Transferability data collection.

Q. Sometimes, when I open a data collection displayed on my Home tab, the data entry form says: No schools need data entered at this time (data collection is not relevant to the LEA). Why is the data collection displayed on my Home tab?
A.
In some cases, relevancy (i.e., whether or not a data collection is applicable to the LEA) is easy for the system to determine. For example, it is relatively easy to determine relevancy based on whether or not the LEA received an entitlement for a particular program, in which case CARS will not display any collections associated with that particular program. In other cases, there may be a number of complex criteria that have to be considered to determine relevancy, and those criteria cannot be determined until the data entry form is opened. In these cases, the note displayed at the top of the form reflects the criteria taken into consideration.


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Printing the ConApp

Q. How do we print the ConApp?
A.
Click on the Reports tab to print the ConApp. District-level pages can be selected and printed as a group or individually. The school-level pages must be selected and printed individually.

Q. How do we print the Student Counts data entry form?
A. There are no reports related to the School Student Counts – Projected or School Student Counts – Actuals, because the information from those two data entry forms pre-populate information that is needed on the EIA School Allocations data entry form or the Title I, Part A School Allocation data entry form. If you want to have a "printout" of those particular data entry forms you will need to be on the page itself, then click on File (at the top left), click "Print Preview" (you can adjust the settings).

Q. When printing the data entry form, how do we make the font larger?
A. In some cases, LEAs find the font sizes in CARS standard reports too small. However, the font sizes in the reports are standard and cannot be changed. One alternative LEAs might consider is to print a scaled up version of the data entry forms. Tips for printing larger versions of data entry forms using Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome are as follows:

Internet Explorer

Google Chrome

Firefox

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Revisions

Q. We have certified our data, can we make a revision?
A.
You can change and recertify the data so long as the data collection is still open. Under the Data Entry tab, if you can see the link to a data collection, then it is still open. Be advised that if the change you make would cause data in another dependent data collection to no longer pass a validation rule, the system will change the dependent data collection to Certified-Obsolete status. If this happens, you will need to open the dependent data collection, correct the data so that it will pass the validation check, and then re-certify the dependent data collection.

Q. We need to make a change to a data collection that is now closed.  How do we make the change?
A.
Generally, there are two situations where an LEA may need to request that a data collection be reopened. The first is in the event of a finding during a Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) review. The second is when the LEA has applied for funding in the current year but has not completed its submissions for the previous year. In this second case, until the LEA completes its prior year data collections, it will not be included on the Consolidated Application Item for State Board of Education.

There may be other situations that lead to an LEA requesting a data collection be re-opened.

If an LEA is required in a Notification of Findings (NOF) to change the allocations reported in the CARS or has been told to complete a prior year data collection, the LEA must send an e-mail to the ConApp Support desk containing:

When the data collection is reopened, it will be open only for a very short time (in most cases only one day). The timing of when the data collection is opened will depend on the ConApp Support team’s workload, data collection cycles, and the availability of program staff.

CDE staff will follow up as needed with LEA staff to ensure the corrections are satisfactorily completed.


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Questions:   ConApp Support Desk | conappsupport@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0297
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