The Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Dissemination of Best Practices Budget Technical Assistance Webinar was held at the California Department of Education (CDE) on December 17, 2013. This session focused on Budget Preparation for fiscal year 2013 – 14. Presenters were Pete Callas, Administrator of the Charter Schools Office at the CDE. Joining him were Colleen Quinn and Steve Smith, program leads for the Dissemination Sub-grant.
Slide 1: Title of webinar and introduction
Slide 2: Welcome
Welcome to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) presentation on the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Dissemination of Best Practices Budget Technical Assistance Webinar. This session will focus on Budget Preparation for fiscal year 2013 – 14. My name is Pete Callas, Administrator of the Charter Schools Office at the CDE. Joining me are Colleen Quinn and Steve Smith, program leads for the Dissemination Sub-grant.
Slide 3: Purpose of the Webinar
The purpose of this Webinar is to provide guidance for charter schools submitting an application for the 2013–14 Dissemination Sub-grant competition. We will review the 2013–14 Dissemination Budget forms posted as part of the Request for Applications (RFA) process. 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. We will also provide a follow-up “Next Steps” Webinar after the Peer Review Process is completed. The grant timeline is listed on page 4 of the RFA.
Slide 4: Agenda
Today’s webinar agenda will cover a brief overview of the Dissemination Sub-grant program, overview of federal guidance, the funding process, budget forms that are submitted with the Sub-grant application, Budget Review process, a brief overview of allowable expenses, and budget reporting.
Slide 5: What to have in front of you?
During this presentation, we will review the budget components of the Dissemination Sub-grant 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 39, Form 6 Budget Narrative on page 40, and we will reference Form 8 Object of Expenditures Codes on pages 42-44 of the RFA.
Slide 6: Program Overview
The purpose of the Dissemination Sub-grant program is to provide money to disseminate best practices to other public schools. Grants are for two-year projects.
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: Program 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 grant applications ranking from a peer review. California was awarded approximately $290 million over a 5–year period for administration of the grant and to provide sub-grantee awards. During the 2013–14 Dissemination sub-grant cycle, there is approximately $2.5 million available for sub-grantee awards. While there is no cap on the project size, typical projects are approximately $250,000.
Slide 8: Funding Process
This slide shows a flowchart of the budget review and funding process. Once an application is scored and passes the Peer Review process, 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, the forms will be returned to the applicant for revisions. CDE staff will contact the charter school and 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, if approved, the application 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 late October 2013.
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 have a Payee Data Record form on file with the CDE. Since all Dissemination awardees are existing operating charter schools, a Payee Data Record form should already be on file.
Slide 11: Grant Award Notification (GAN)
The Grant Award Notification is sent to the sub-grantee after the sub-grantee 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 grant. 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, PCSGP sub-grants are provided to supplement, not supplant, funding for a charter school. The funds from PCSGP grants are required to be expended on approved work plan activities. Grant 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 grant funds must be used to support activities and programs described in the 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 grant funds. Object Code 1000 is for Certificated Personnel Salaries, which include administrators, school counselors, and teachers. Grant funds cannot be used to supplant certificated personnel salaries during grant period, and can only be used for grant-related activities outside of the staff member’s compensated time. Some examples of grant 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 application program”; or funding stipends for teachers who are participating in grant related activities that are outside of their regular classroom time schedule. Please check with CDE staff if you have questions regarding the use of grant 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, and can only be used for grant-related activities outside of the staff member’s compensated time. Grant funds cannot be used to supplant personnel salaries. Some examples of grant 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 grant program; funding stipends or hourly compensation for classified staff who are participating in grant 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 grant 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 grant. Grant funds cannot be used to supplant employee benefits.
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 grant 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 grant funds for student use. Expenses must be aligned with the work plan activities and goals of the project.
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, travel and conference expenses as they relate to the grant application/work plan. Membership dues are not an allowable expense.
Slide 20: Allowable Costs Object Code 6000
Object Code 6000 is for Capital Outlay Expenses. Grant funding is allowable for purchasing books and media for a new school library and equipment over $5000. Grant 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 7000 is not allowable expenses. A charter authorizer or a Charter Management Organization cannot request Direct or Indirect costs from grant funds.
Slide 22: Object Code Reference
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: Budget Form 6
We have discussed each of the object code series, 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 grant 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: 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 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 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” Webinar.
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 grant 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 your 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” Webinar.
Slide 28: Payments
The CDE will issue payments in five increments as follows:
The first payment: 22.5 percent of the annual sub-grant allocation, after the CDE receives the signed Grant Award Notification (GAN) letter (AO-400). For schools that report spending of at least 80% of payments to date, subsequent payments will be made quarterly in amounts that equal 22.5 percent of the annual allocation, plus expenses already incurred to date, upon verification that quarterly reports have been submitted to the CDE by the sub-grantee.
Slide 29: Payments
No payments within a fiscal year will be made in excess of the annual amount listed in the GAN letter. No payments will be made in excess of the sub-grant award. Ten percent will be withheld until approval of the final project evaluation report and all performance requirements are completed.
Slide 30: 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 31: Questions
Please submit your final questions into the text box.