The following is a transcript of the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Budget Technical Assistance webinar that was presented on December 19, 2013 at the California Department of Education (CDE), Charter Schools Division. The purpose of the webinar was to provide technical assistance regarding budget information required to be submitted with the application.
Return to the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Request for Applications (Round 2) page.
Slide 1: Title Slide
Slide 2: Welcome
Welcome to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) presentation on the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Budget Technical Assistance Webinar. This session will focus on Budget Preparation for fiscal year 2013 – 14. My name is Peter Callas, PCSGP Administrator. Joining me are James Harris, Colleen Quinn, Steve Smith, and Robert Wilson Education Programs Consultants in the Charter Schools Division.
Slide 3: Purpose of the Webinar
The purpose of this Webinar is to provide guidance for charter school developers submitting an application for the 2013–14 PCSGP. We will review the 2013–14 PCSGP Budget forms posted as part of the Request for Applications (RFA). During this webinar session, please type any questions you have into the Q&A panel. We will pause to answer questions periodically throughout the presentation. If we do not get to a question, we will post online select questions and answers in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) follow-up. We will also provide a follow-up “Next Steps” and Budget Webinar after the Peer Review Process is completed.
Slide 4: Agenda
Today’s webinar agenda will cover a brief overview of the PCSGP, overview of federal guidance, PCSGP funding process, budget forms that are submitted with the PCSGP application, Budget Review process, brief overview of allowable expenses, and PCSGP budget reporting.
Slide 5: What to have in front of you?
During this presentation, we will review the budget components of the PCSGP application and the budget and reporting process once you receive a grant award. We recommend that you have the RFA available for easy referral. We will cover the application’s Form 5 Budget Summary on page 35, Form 6 Budget Narrative page 36 and we will reference Form 8 Object of Expenditures Codes on pages 39-40 of the PCSGP application.
Slide 6: PCSGP Overview
The purpose of the PCSGP is to provide supplemental funding to enable charter school developers to fund capacity building activities during a 36 month period. This period may include a planning period of up to 18 months, prior to the school opening and the first two years that the school is in operation.
Under the federal Charter Schools Program, all applicants are required to complete an application detailing the activities they will complete over the term of the grant to build the school’s capacity with supplemental activities for planning, program design, and initial operation of the charter school.
Once a school is awarded a grant, the applicant is required to report on the progress in implementing these activities.
Slide 7: PCSGP Overview (continued)
The funding for the PCSGP is provided by the U.S. Department of Education in the form of a federal grant to California. Monies are then distributed to sub-grantees (public charter schools) based on their PCSGP applications ranking from a peer review. California was awarded approximately $300 million over a 5–year period for administration of the grant and to provide sub-grantee awards. During the 2013–14 PCSGP grant cycle, there was approximately $57 million available for sub-grantee awards, which a portion of was encumbered from the September 16, 2013, application competition. Sub-grantees can be awarded up to $575,000.
Slide 8: PCSGP Funding Process
This slide shows a flowchart of the budget review and funding process. Once a PCSGP application is scored and passes the Peer Review process and the applicant school has an approved charter, the application budget is reviewed by CDE staff. During the Budget Review process the budget submitted with the application is reviewed and approved. If additional information is needed or if unallowable expenditures are identified on the Budget Forms 5 and 6, these forms will be returned to the applicant for revisions. CDE staff will contact the charter school and will follow up with an email describing the concerns identified. When CDE receives the budget revisions from the applicant and the revised budget is reviewed again and if approved will move to the Grant Award process. Once the budget is approved, the Grant Award process includes the Grant Award Notification, known as the GAN. The GAN will be mailed to the applicant for signature. The signed GAN is must be received by the CDE, before the Payment Process is initiated. The Payment Process takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks for the school to receive their initial payment. The Payment Process will be covered in more detail in the “Next Steps” and Budget Webinar, which is tentatively scheduled in early March 2014.
Slide 9: Budget Review Summary Form
As discussed in the previous slide, once an application passes the Peer Review, then the application budget forms are reviewed. CDE staff will review the budget to ensure expenditures align with the program description in the application, for accuracy of calculations, sufficient descriptions of resources or activities, allowable expenditures, proper use of object codes, and reasonableness of expenditures. If CDE staff identify concerns on the budget forms, then a Budget Review Summary Form will be prepared by CDE staff and sent to the applicant describing the required revisions or additional information needed. The applicant will have approximately seven days to make the required revisions to Forms 5 and 6 and return them to CDE. This process is time-sensitive and can delay the processing of the GAN and the initial payment. Applicants are encouraged to respond quickly to the areas identified. If you have any questions about the budget concerns, please contact the CDE staff that sent you the information.
Slide 10: Payee Data Record
Each applicant is required to complete and submit a Payee Data Record with their PCSGP application. Although this is not a new requirement, it is new to the application submission process. Previously we requested this form after the grant application was approved. We are trying to streamline the process and get as much information up front as possible. The Payee Data Record is required for payments to be made to all non-governmental entities. The PCSGP cannot be funded for an approved applicant without the Payee Data Record being on file. This must be on file prior to disbursement of PCSGP funds. The 8 to 10 week processing timeframe stems on the correctness of the information provided on the Payee Data Record. Critical information on the Payee Data Record includes the correct name of the Charter School, the address of the Charter School, and the Authorized Payee Representative’s Name all must match what is on file with the Secretary of State’s Office. If any of these entries are not correct, it will delay the processing of the GAN and the initial payment of the grant. If your information changes, you must notify CDE staff of the changes. Your funding may be sent to the incorrect address if you have moved from a temporary facility to your permanent school site and you have not notified CDE staff.
Slide 11: Grant Award Notification (GAN)
The Grant Award Notification is sent to the sub-grantee after the sub-grantee PCSGP application has an approved Budget. This slide is a sample GAN. The GAN must be reviewed and signed by the sub-grantee and returned to CDE to initiate the payment process. Remember, a copy of the signed GAN must be maintained by the sub-grantee.
Slide 12: Question Break
We will take a short break so that you may type your questions into the text box.
Slide 13: Overview of Federal Guidance
This slide provides links to several references to online documents. The links are also available on the CDE PCSGP Web site. These documents provide guidance for allowable expenses and general guidance for the PCSGP. If you have a question regarding the grant program, you should contact CDE staff in the PCSGP Program Office for technical assistance.
Slide 14: Supplement versus Supplant
As a federally funded program, the PCSGP is provided to supplement not supplant funding for a charter school. The funds from PCSGP are required to be expended on resources or activities that will enhance the program provided by the charter school. PCSGP funding may not be used to pay for existing levels of service funded from any other source, such as State or local resources, which is considered to be supplanting. All PCSGP funds must be used to support activities and programs described in the PCSGP application and Work Plan.
Slide 15: Allowable Costs Object Code 1000
We will now discuss each of the Object Codes. As we go through each of the sections we will provide some examples of expenditures that are allowable and those unallowable with PCSGP funds. Object Code 1000 is for Certificated Personnel Salaries, which include administrators, school counselors, and teachers. Personnel expenses are allowable during the planning year of the PCSGP. Although some certificated personnel salary expenses are allowed during the two implementation years, it is limited. Again, PCSGP funds cannot be used to supplant certificated personnel salaries during the implementation years. Some examples of PCSGP funds that may be used for certificated salaries include: “paying for substitute teachers when teachers are participating in professional development that is related to the PCSGP application program”; or funding stipends for teachers who are participating in PCSGP related activities that are outside of their regular classroom time schedule. Please check with CDE staff if you have questions regarding the use of PCSGP funds for personnel expenses.
Slide 16: Allowable Costs Object Code 2000
Object Code 2000 is for Classified Personnel Salaries, which include instructional support staff, office support staff, non-certificated technical support staff, classified supervisors, and classified administrators. As we discussed in the previous slide, Classified Personnel expenses are allowable during the planning year of the PCSGP. Although some classified personnel salary expenses are allowed during the two implementation years, it is limited. PCSGP funds cannot be used to supplant personnel salaries during the implementation years. Some examples of PCSGP funds that may be used for classified salaries include: paying for substitute office support staff or classroom support staff when they are participating in professional development that is related to the PCSGP application program; funding stipends or hourly compensation for classified staff who are participating in PCSGP related activities that are outside of their regular work calendar or daily schedule. Please check with CDE staff if you have questions regarding the use of PCSGP funds for personnel expenses.
Slide 17: Allowable Costs Object Code 3000
Object Code 3000 is for Employee Benefits, which include employee benefits for certificated and classified personnel. Employee benefits expenses are allowable during the planning year of the PCSGP. Although, some employee benefits expenses are allowed during the two implementation years as they relate to Object Code 1000 and 2000 allowable expenses during the two implementation years, it is limited. PCSGP funds cannot be used to supplant employee benefits during the implementation years.
Slide 18: Allowable Costs Object Code 4000
Object Code 4000 is for Books and Supplies. You can expense textbooks and core curriculum for all grade levels, and reference books and materials. Under object code 4400 Non-capitalized Equipment, you can use PCSGP funds to purchase classroom technology including desktop and laptop computers, printers and scanners, Smart Boards and LCD projectors, handhelds such as Ipads and document cameras. Keep in mind – Reasonable cost of expenditures – If you propose to serve 100 students at your charter school, you would not purchase 300 Ipads with PCSGP funds for student use. Regular classroom supplies that would be purchased with State or local funds on an on-going basis are not allowable during the two Implementation years.
Slide 19: Allowable Costs Object Code 5000
Object Code 5000 is Services and Other Operating Expenditures. Under object code 5000 a sub-grantee may expense contracts for professional development for certificated and classified staff, the required Board Governance and Fiscal Management training, travel and conference expenses as they relate to the seven elements, and the work plan within the application. Membership dues are not an allowable expense with PCSGP funds. The sub-grantee may expense rent or lease costs for their facility during the planning year, but not during the two implementation years.
Slide 20: Allowable Costs Object Code 6000
Object Code 6000 is for Capital Outlay Expenses. PCSGP funding is allowable for purchasing books and media for a new school library and equipment over $5000. PCSGP funding cannot be used to pay for building and building improvements, land improvements, or equipment replacement. Classroom technology equipment should be placed under object code 4400 Non-capitalized Equipment.
Slide 21: Allowable Costs Object Code 7000
Object code seven thousands are not allowable expenses. A charter authorizer or a Charter Management Organization cannot request Direct or Indirect costs from PCSGP funds.
Slide 22: Object Code Reference
PCSGP Form 8 Object of Expenditure Codes is a reference for sub-grantees to utilize when completing the Budget Narrative Form 6 and the Budget Summary Form 5. If you have any questions regarding an allowable expense and object code usage please contact CDE program staff for assistance.
Slide 23: PCSGP Budget Form 6
We have discussed each of the object codes and provided some examples for you. Slide 23 provides an example of a completed Budget Narrative Form, form 6. As you prepare your budget forms for the PCSGP application, you will begin with Form 6. Applicants must provide sufficient information in the Budget Expenditure Detail column to describe the resources and activities and the costs associated with each object code. In the Budget Expenditure Detail column include the quantity of items and the per unit cost for each item and who will utilize the resource, who will participate in the activity, and who will provide the service, for example, purchasing 60 IPads (4th generation) from Apple @ $439/unit and 2 IPad charging carts to store the 60 IPads @ $2000/cart for student use in the classroom to access core curriculum resources and the internet. Form 6 will include the actual cost of the resources and activities for implementing the activities described in the application narrative and the Work Plan Form 7. Group the expenditures by object code series and provide totals by object code series and sub-grant year. The object code series total must correspond exactly to object code series total on Form 5 Budget Summary.
Slide 24: PCSGP Proposed Budget Summary Form 5
Once you have completed Form 6, you will enter your budget information into Budget Summary Form 5 – these are the totals for each object code. Form 5 should reflect the roll up by object code of your PCSGP budget for the entire timeline of the grant. The Form 5 on this slide is an sample using the information from the previous slide showing a sample of PCSGP Budget Form 6. The dollar amounts entered on this form need to match the numbers in your object code totals from Form 6.
Slide 25: Question Break
We will now take another short break so that you may type your questions into the text box.
Slide 26: Budget Reporting – Quarterly Expenditure Report (QER)
Once a school receives a grant award, each sub-grantee will be required to submit a Quarterly Expenditure Report (QER). Sub-grantees will use the QER form, posted on the CDE PCSGP Web page to report expenditures for the quarter and cumulative for the entire grant year. The QER due dates are reflected on page 13 of the RFA. CDE will provide more details and direction on the QER form in the subsequent “Next Steps” and Budget Webinar. For those sub-grantees that submitted their expenditure reporting using the on-line Quarterly Benchmark Report system, known as the QBR, in the past, this QER reporting system will take the place of the on-line QBR system.
Slide 27: Budget Reporting – Annual Progress Report (APR)
In addition to the QER, each sub-grantee will be required to submit an Annual Progress Report (APR) that includes the Annual Progress Report Questionnaire and the Work Plan Status report. The APR will also include a narrative section identifying percent complete of each of the elements within the PCSGP application narrative and any changes that have occurred to the Program Plan or the Budget Plan. Along with the APR forms, you will need to submit you Work Plan reflecting the percentage completion of the activities within each Work Plan element. CDE will provide more details and direction on the Annual Progress Report in the subsequent “Next Steps” and Budget Webinar. For those sub-grantees that submitted their annual expenditure reporting using the on-line Comprehensive Phase Report system, known as the CPR, in the past, this APR reporting system will take the place of the on-line CPR system.
Slide 28: References
Again, here are several links to the online guidance and reference documents. If you have questions regarding the PCSGP, please contact CDE program staff for technical assistance.
Slide 29: Questions
Please submit your final questions into the text box.