Consolidated Application Reporting Requirements
That Apply to Local Educational Agency Reorganizations
June 14, 2013
Unifications or Consolidations
The purpose of this document is to clarify the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) reporting requirements in the event of local educational agency (LEA) reorganizations and describe what to expect when working with the CARS. During LEA reorganizations, there is a risk for things to be left incomplete. Any organization that receives federal or state program funding is required to account for the allocation and expenditure of those funds until they are expended or returned.
When an LEA is dissolved as a result of a unification or conversion, the new district(s) into which the LEA is merging is ultimately responsible for ensuring any reporting related to the dissolved LEA is complete. The LEAs being dissolved may be not able to complete all fiscal year data collections in CARS before the close date because the data collection forms are not open and available before the LEA close date.
For example, if LEA A merges into LEA B, LEA B is responsible for ensuring that LEA A’s program-related data collections are completed and submitted to the state in CARS. LEAs absorbing another LEA in a reorganization will need to obtain access to the data for the outgoing LEA. LEAs involved in a reorganization are encouraged to proactively ensure that the appropriate staff (for the absorbing LEA) are assigned LEA User Administrator rights to the outgoing LEA’s data in CARS before the outgoing LEA becomes defunct.
The new unified district or the consolidating district must complete all outstanding data collections in CARS under the County-District-School (CDS) code that received the entitlement. Entitlements of the dissolved school districts will not be merged into the entitlements of the new LEA(s).
LEA closures (not due to unification, typically direct funded charters) become the responsibility of the sponsoring County Office of Education. Direct funded charter schools that revert to a locally funded charter become the responsibility of the district they report into.
Typically, new LEAs (not direct funded charters) become operational on July 1.. The CARS relies on the CDS database for valid LEA information and will not display the LEA until it is active in CDS on July 1.
A new unified LEA should wait until the new district opens in CDS – July 1, then complete the Application for Funding, and all applicable plans, under the new CDS code. A consolidated district can complete its application for funding before July 1, but should wait until after July 1 to complete applicable state and federal plans.
New direct funded charter schools with a pending status will display in the CARS. The charter will be able to complete the Application for Fund and other participation related data collections. Other data fiscal or reporting data collections will not display until the charters LEA Plan is approved by the State Board of Education and have an active status in CDS.
New locally funded charters schools with a pending status will display in school participation related data collections for their reporting LEA. Other data fiscal or reporting data collections will not display the school until it has an active status in CDS.
Title I, Part A Carryover Funds Unified Districts
The CARS does not allow a unified district to report the carryover of the old districts. For those districts that do have reported carryover, the LEA must request approval from the Title I program office to obtain an exception to the validation rule that checks the carryover amount on the Title I, Part A LEA Allocation data collection.