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2017 REAP Eligibility Letter

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 3, 2017

Dear Select County and District Superintendents and Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators:

RURAL EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

This letter is to notify local educational agencies (LEAs) of the criteria and timeline for determining eligibility for the 2017–18 Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP), as well as the appropriate use of associated funds. REAP is designed to assist rural LEAs in using federal resources more effectively to improve the quality of instruction and student academic achievement authorized under Part B of Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. REAP includes two separate formula grant programs that target funds to rural school districts: (1) Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Program (ESEA Section 5212) and (2) Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) Program (ESEA Section 5221).

Note: As a result of the passage of ESSA, all SRSA eligible LEAs will be required to submit a new application each fiscal year (FY) in order to receive grant funds. For more information on application submission procedures, please see the Government Printing Office’s Federal Register/ Vol. 82, No. 72/Monday, April 17, 2017 at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-04-17/pdf/2017-07724.pdf.

Applications are available starting Monday, May 1, 2017, and are due no later than Friday, June 30, 2017, by 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

Small, Rural School Achievement Program Eligibility

The SRSA Program provides eligible LEAs with greater flexibility in using certain federal formula grant funds (REAP-Flex). It also may provide additional funds to support a wide range of activities that promote student achievement. Participation in the SRSA Program (both REAP-Flex and the SRSA grants) is limited to those LEAs that meet both of the following criteria:

  • An LEA must have a total average daily attendance (ADA) of fewer than 600 students, or serve only schools that are located in counties that have a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile; and
  • An LEA must serve only schools that have been assigned a school locale code of 41, 42, or 43 by the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), or be located in an area of the state that is defined as “rural” by a state governmental agency (SEA). In instances where an SEA defines the area in which an LEA is located as rural, the SEA and the ED must agree to the rural designation before the LEA may participate in either REAP-Flex or the SRSA grant program. Information regarding the identification of rural locales can be found on the NCES, Common Core of Data Web site at https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/psadd.asp.
Small, Rural School Achievement Program Use of Grant Funds

The table below describes the difference in permissible uses for the SRSA Program grant funds before and after ESSA implementation in FY 2017 (ESSA, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1, Section 5212 [a]).

Under NCLB

Under ESSA (beginning FY 2017)

Title I, Part A (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged) Title I, Part A (Basic Programs Operated by LEAs)
Title II, Part A (Improving Teacher Quality State Grants) Same
Title II, Part D (Educational Technology State Grants) No longer applicable
Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students) Same
Title IV, Part A (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities) Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment)
Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers) Same
Title V, Part A (State Grants for Innovative Programs) No longer applicable
Under the REAP-Flex provision, SRSA-eligible LEAs may use any or all of their Title II, Part A and Title IV, Part A funding for allowable activities permissible under REAP-eligible Title programs. Under the REAP-Flex provision, LEAs may consolidate any and all Title II, Part A and Title IV, Part A funding for allowable activities permissible under REAP-eligible Title programs. (ESSA, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1, Section 5221[a] and ([c])

 

Rural and Low-Income School Eligibility

The RLIS Program is an initiative that provides additional funds to rural LEAs that serve concentrations of children from families with incomes below the poverty line. An LEA is eligible for the RLIS Program if:

  • All schools served by an LEA have been assigned a school locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43 as determined by the Secretary of Education, or are located in an area of the state defined as “rural” by an SEA of the state. In instances where an SEA defines the area in which an LEA is located as rural, the SEA and the ED must agree to the rural designation before the LEA may participate in the RLIS grant program; and
  • Twenty percent or more of the children ages five to seventeen served by an LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line (as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau).
Rural and Low-Income School Use of Grant Funds

The table below describes the difference in permissible uses for the RLIS Program grant funds before and after ESSA implementation in FY 2017 (ESSA, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1, Section 5222 [a]).

Under NCLB

Under ESSA (beginning FY 2017)

Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs) Same
Title VI, Part B, Subpart 2, Section 6222 (1) Teacher recruitment and retention, including the use of signing bonuses and other financial incentives No longer applicable
Title II, Part D (Educational Technology State Grants, #84.318) No longer applicable
Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students) Same
Title IV, Part A (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities) Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment)
Parental Involvement activities

Same

Teacher professional development, including programs that train teachers to use technology to improve teaching and that train teachers of students with special needs. Title II, Part A (Improving Teacher Quality State Grants)

 

Dual Eligibility

Some LEAs can be eligible for both SRSA and RLIS Programs and, under the ESSA, must choose one grant under which to receive funds in a given fiscal year. Dual-eligible LEAs that choose to participate in the RLIS Program may exercise the REAP-Flex (ESSA, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1, Section 5221[a] and [c]). All grantees wishing to use the REAP-Flex must notify the California Department of Education (CDE), through the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) at https://www3.cde.ca.gov/CARS/app/logon.aspx no later than Friday, June 30, 2017.

Note: LEAs that are eligible only for RLIS cannot exercise the REAP-Flex.

Hold Harmless

LEAs that are not eligible for the SRSA Program as a result of changes in the district’s locale code designations, and are also not dually eligible for the RLIS Program, will receive a reduced award in years 2017, 2018, and 2019 according to the following:

  • For FY 2017, 75 percent of the amount received for FY 2015
  • For FY 2018, 50 percent of the amount received for FY 2015
  • For FY 2019, 25 percent of the amount received for FY 2015
Funding Formula
  • First 50 students in ADA = $20,000
  • Add $100 for each student in ADA above 50 (total amount not to exceed $60,000)
  • Subtract total allocations from preceding fiscal year for Title II, Part A

The link to the ED’s Eligibility Spreadsheet for the 2017─18 REAP grants can be found on the CDE Federal REAP Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/rp/. The data for ADA and entitlements includes any locally-funded charter schools authorized by an LEA. At this time, applications for direct-funded charter schools are unavailable due to data process changes that prevent the ED from including California’s direct-funded charter schools on the REAP Eligibility Spreadsheet. The CDE is working closely with the ED to resolve this issue and will notify direct-funded charter schools once a resolution has been reached.

Small, Rural School Achievement Program Application

Because the SRSA grant is administered directly by the federal government, LEAs need to apply through the ED’s Grant Management System, G5, located on the ED G5 Web page at https://www.g5.gov/ext/wps/portal no later than Friday, June 30, 2017.

Annual Certification of Rural California School District Form

As stated above, locale codes assigned to your LEA by the ED are part of the eligibility criteria. Even though there is no appeal of locale code assignment through the NCES, if the information indicates not all schools in your LEA have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43, your LEA may still be eligible for the SRSA Program if it meets California’s definition of “rural” as follows:

A rural LEA is located within an incorporated or unincorporated place that has a district resident population of less than 2,500, or has a population center less than 1,000 persons, and is characterized by sparse, widespread population.

You can access total LEA resident population data on the U.S. Census Bureau Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Web page at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/saipe/.

If you can certify that your LEA meets this definition, please sign and submit the attached Annual Certification of Rural California School District form (due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 31, 2017) to:

Susan Myers, Staff Services Analyst
District Innovation and Improvement Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6208
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Note: This form is also located on the CDE Federal REAP Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/rp/.

Because the data used in the “rural” certification are subject to change on an annual basis, the Annual Certification of Rural California School District form must be filed each and every year that it is applicable to an LEA. Please do not file this form if the locale codes for your LEA indicate only 41, 42, and/or 43 on the ED’s REAP Eligibility Spreadsheet.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Susan Myers, Staff Services Analyst, District Innovation and Improvement Office, by phone at 916-319-0652 or by e-mail at sumyers@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

/s/

Melanie Schoeppe, Director
Improvement and Accountability Division

MS:sm

Attachment (DOC)

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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