The Public Charter School Grant Program (PCSGP), Dissemination Sub-Grant, Request for Applications, webinar was presented on March 18, 2014 at the California Department of Education. The speakers included Steve Smith, Education Programs Consultant lead of the Dissemination Sub-grant team. Joining Steve were team members Pete Callas and Colleen Quinn, Education Program Consultants in addition to the grant analyst Tamie Thompson.
Slide 1: Title Page
Slide 2: Welcome
Welcome to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) presentation on the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Dissemination Sub-grant Peer Review Next Steps for fiscal year 2013–14. My name is Steve Smith, Education Programs Consultant on the PCSGP team. I am the Dissemination Sub-grant lead. Joining me today are PCSGP team members:
- Education Program Consultants Pete Callas and Colleen Quinn who assist with grant administration.
- Our analyst Tamie Thompson who processes expenditure reports and payments.
Slide 3: Purpose of Today’s Webinar
The purpose of this Webinar is to guide you through the next steps in the PCSGP Dissemination application process after receiving a passing score from the peer reviewers. During this webinar, we will discuss the following:
- Budget Process
- Fiscal Reporting Requirements
- Performance Reporting Requirements
- Annual Budget
- Grant Monitoring
Slide 4: What To Have In Front Of You
During this presentation, we will discuss the grant budget process. Please have available in front of you:
- A copy of the 2013 PCSGP Dissemination Request for Applications (RFA)
- Budget Forms 5 and 6 for your school
- Budget Summary Review Form
Slide 5: The Dissemination Sub-grant
Dissemination Sub-grants are awarded for the purpose of disseminating or sharing best-in-class practices between mentor schools and beneficiary schools.
The specific grant award amount will be based on the outcome of the individual charter school’s grant application budget review. As of this webinar, there are no 2013-14 Dissemination Sub-grant applicants who have been awarded funding. The peer review process is complete, and CDE staff are reviewing application budgets for allowable costs.
Slide 6: PCSGP Funding Process
This slide shows a flowchart of the budget review and funding process. Once a PCSGP sub-grantee submits their budget, it is reviewed by the CDE staff.
During the Budget Review process the initial budget submitted is reviewed for:
- Allowable Costs
- Reasonable Costs
- Allocable Costs
According to the Office of Management Budget Circular A-21, the factors affecting if a cost is allowable must follow the principles of cost established by the federal government. A cost is considered reasonable if the “nature of the goods or services acquired or applied, and the amount involved therefore, reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision to incur the cost was made.” A cost is considered to be allowable if the goods and or services involved are chargeable or assignable to such cost objectives in accordance with relative benefits received or equitable relationship.
If additional information is needed, or if unallowable expenditures are identified, then a Budget Review Summary Form will be sent to the Dissemination sub-grantee with required revisions to Budget Forms 5 and 6. CDE staff will contact the charter school and follow up with an e-mail describing the concerns identified. When CDE receives the budget revisions from the Dissemination sub-grantee, the revised budget is reviewed again and if approved it will be placed in the sub-grantees PCSGP Dissemination file. Copies of the revised and approved budget will be sent to the school. You are required to maintain a copy of the revised and approved budget at the school site. Once the budget is approved, it will be referenced each quarter during a Quarterly Expenditure Report (also known as the QER), and will be reviewed by CDE staff to approve quarterly payments.
After a submitted QER is reviewed by CDE staff and approved, the payment process can take up to approximately 8 to 10 weeks for the school to receive their payment. The Payment Process has multiple approval steps including:
- 2 to 3 weeks to approve the drawdown of funds from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Approximately 2 weeks for CDE staff to prepare and submit payment package to CDE’s accounting office.
- 3 to 4 weeks for the State Controller’s Office to process and send the payment to the sub-grantee’s county treasurer.
Slide 7: Payments
Annual grant allocations are listed on the Grant Award Notification (GAN) document. A standard 10% withhold payment is held by the CDE until the end of the grant period, and CDE staff have verified that all grant reporting requirements have been met.
Quarterly payments are made to the awardee school in increments of 22.5% of the annual allocation each fiscal year. Four quarters of 22.5% payments total 90% of the annual allocation available for payments each fiscal year.
This is a reimbursement grant. Payments continue each quarter, following the quarterly submission of the QER form. As long as sub-grantees spend at least 80% of payments to date, then the next quarterly payment will follow the submission of a QER form. Annual payments cannot exceed the annual amounts listed on the GAN, regardless of sub-grantee spending.
Reimbursable expenditures must have been incurred after the grant start date and before the grant end date on the GAN. The grant cannot be extended beyond the 24 month award.
Slide 8: Budget Review Summary Form
As discussed in the previous slide, the budget forms are reviewed by CDE staff to ensure expenditures:
- Align with the program description
- Include accurate calculations
- Provide sufficient descriptions of resources or activities
- List only allowable expenditures
- Use object codes properly
- Include reasonable expenditures
If CDE staff identifies concerns on the budget forms, then a Budget Review Summary Form will be prepared by CDE staff and sent to the Dissemination sub-grantee describing the required revisions or additional information needed. The sub-grantee 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 first payment. Sub-grantees 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 9: Grant Award Notification (GAN)
The GAN is the official award document sent to the sub-grantee (primary applicant indicated on the PCSGP application), after the sub-grantee’s PCSGP application has an approved Budget. This slide depicts a sample GAN. The GAN document shows the:
- Initial grant award amount
- Grant start and end dates
- Grant payment fiscal years
- Important award narrative on both the front and the back of the GAN document
The GAN must be reviewed in its entirety, 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 Dissemination sub-grantee. If any revisions to the GAN are sent from the CDE to the sub-grantee, the latest amendment/version of the GAN is the official document for the grant.
Slide 10: Supplement versus Supplant
As a federally funded program, the PCSGP Dissemination Sub-grant is provided to supplement, not supplant, funding for a Dissemination charter school and the Beneficiary school(s). The funds from PCSGP are required to be expended on resources or activities that will enhance the Dissemination charter school program, and the Beneficiary school(s) program(s). PCSGP Dissemination funding may not be used to pay for existing levels of service funded from any other source at the Dissemination charter school or Beneficiary school(s), such as State or local resources, which is considered to be supplanting. All PCSGP Dissemination funds must be used to support activities and programs described in the PCSGP Dissemination approved application and Work Plan.
Salaries and benefits in the 1000-3000 series are where sub-grantees run the greatest risk of supplanting funding. Sub-grant activities must be outside the normal compensated work hours for hourly employees. Salaried employees who are exempt from overtime risk violating the supplanting rules.
Slide 11: Program Accountability Summary
The receipt of the GAN from the Dissemination sub-grantee by CDE staff will trigger the grant cycle for the charter school. Applicants awarded PCSGP Dissemination funds must satisfy periodic reporting and accountability requirements throughout the term of the sub-grant. These requirements address:
- Program activities
- Program accountability and monitoring
- Fiscal reporting requirements
- Annual budget
- Performance reporting requirements
Slides 12, 13, and 14: Program Activities
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) 5204(f)(6)(b) defines allowable Dissemination Sub-grant activities. Dissemination Sub-grant activities fall into one of four allowable activity projects listed in the request for applications document (RFA):
- Assisting individuals with the planning and start-up of one or more new public schools, including charter schools, that are independent of the assisting charter school and the assisting charter school's developers, and that agree to be held to at least as high a level of accountability as the assisting charter school.
- Developing partnerships with other public schools, including charter schools, designed to improve student academic achievement in each of the schools participating in the partnership.
- Developing curriculum materials, assessments, and other materials that promote increased student achievement and are based on successful practices within the assisting charter school.
- Conducting evaluations and developing materials that document the successful practices of the assisting charter school and that are designed to improve student performance in other schools.
All of your projects should fall into one of these four categories in order to be funded.
Slides 15 and 16: Program Accountability and Monitoring
The CDE is responsible for monitoring PCSGP implementation in accordance with the following program accountability requirements:
Each applicant receiving funding has provided all required assurances that it will comply with all program implementation and reporting requirements established through the RFA. Each applicant receiving funding through the RFA appropriately uses funds described in the application. Each applicant implements activities funded through this application within the timeline in which the funds provided are to be used.
The CDE requires funded applicants to submit appropriate fiscal and program documentation.
Representatives of the state may conduct site visits to a selected representative sample of funded applicants. The purpose of visits is to validate information submitted by applicants, and gather additional information from interviews and observations for monitoring and evaluation purposes. If selected as part of a site visit sample, applicants must agree to site visits by CDE staff.
Slide 17: Quarterly/Annual Fiscal Report
This slide shows an example of the annual fiscal reporting document. The document allows you to input your quarterly information. Series totals are calculated for you. The purpose of this form is to ensure that spending in each series follows the budget.
Slide 18: Quarterly Expenditure Report (QER)
Each Dissemination sub-grantee is required to submit a Quarterly Expenditure Report (QER). The Dissemination sub-grantee is responsible for ensuring that all reports are accurate, complete, and submitted on time.
QERs are posted on the CDE PCSGP Web page (see reference slide at the end of this presentation) to report expenditures for each quarter and cumulative for the entire grant year. The QER due dates are reflected on the QER Instructions page. Submission instructions are outlined on each QER form.
The CDE may require additional information from the Dissemination sub-grantee, verify information with the authorizing agency, require the submission of additional documentation including but not limited to invoices, receipts, and personnel time. It is a requirement that you maintain accurate documentation on grant spending, for up to 3 years after the grant end date.
Slide 19: QER Report Due Dates
The grant is managed on a state fiscal year. Fiscal years are from July 1 through June 30th each year. QERs are due to the CDE approximately one month after the end of each quarter. Payments follow quarterly reporting, as long as there are no problems with the QER forms, and the sub-grantee spends at least 80% of payments to date.
Slide 20: Annual Budget
In addition to the QER, each Dissemination 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 Work Plan Objectives and any changes that have occurred to the Program Plan. Along with the APR forms, you will need to submit the school’s Work Plan reflecting the percentage completion of the Objectives within each Work Plan element. CDE will provide more details and direction on the Annual Progress Report in a subsequent technical assistance Webinar.
Slides 21, 22, and 23: Performance Reporting
The following additional requirements are required of all sub-grant recipients, and are to be reported in the APR in the period the activity occurred:
- Make at least one public presentation about the dissemination project at a meeting, conference, or other education related training during the first year of the grant.
- Make at least one public presentation about the dissemination project at a meeting, conference, or other education related training during the second year of the grant.
- For schools partnering with other recipient schools–partner schools that do not meet the eligibility criteria will demonstrate strong and compelling evidence of school success in serving their student populations. Non-school partners (e.g., associations, CMOs, etc…) will demonstrate success in serving student populations.
- Make available through the Internet any dissemination project deliverables/materials through the Brokers of Expertise Web site (e.g., templates, forms, Web cast presentations, training sessions, PowerPoint presentations, etc…) for wide dissemination throughout the state.
- Program evaluation reports, including a final evaluation report describing success in meeting performance measures and goals.
Slide 24: Project Evaluations
A final project evaluation report is to be completed before the end of the sub-grant period. The final evaluation report must address project success toward each goal stated in the application.
If a sub-grantee fails to conduct the final project evaluation report before the end of the sub-grant period, or if any of the performance requirements in the RFA Section C are not completed, the CDE may invoice the sub-grantee for a base amount of 10 percent of the total sub-grant award, up to the total amount of the year 2 funds.
Slides 25 and 26: References
These are several links to the online guidance and reference documents. If you have questions regarding the PCSGP Dissemination Program, please contact CDE program staff for technical assistance by e-mail at PCSGP-APPS@cde.ca.gov or by phone: (916) 322-6029. Thank you for attending this webinar today.