Following is a synopsis of the federal Program Memorandum, OVAE-99-14 , for developing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIB) and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II adult education agencies.
Section 121 of the federal WIA of 1998 requires LWIBs to develop MOUs with WIA Title II adult education and literacy providers. The purpose of the MOU is to describe how resources will be coordinated across funding streams to operate and provide services.
In accordance with WIA, Section 121(c)(1) and (2) and WIA Regulations, Part 662-Subpart C, each LWIB should develop and enter into an MOU with the WIA Title II adult education and literacy providers funded in its region.
Each MOU shall:
- Describe the services to be provided within the LWIB region.
- Identify how the operating costs of the system will be funded.
- Describe methods for referral of individuals between the LWIB operator and the adult education and literacy provider.
- Establish the duration of the memorandum and the procedures for amending the memorandum.
- Include such other provisions, consistent with the requirements of WIA, as the parties in the agreement determine to be appropriate.
Discussions with the LWIB and the WIA Title II adult education and literacy provider should result in identification of the Title II programs and services to be included in the MOU. The Title II commitment should focus on providing literacy services as opposed to direct funding. LWIBs and WIA Title II agencies should focus on a process that includes all required partners as part of a continuum of service, rather than working with one agency to the exclusion of another.
All contributions identified in the MOU must be proportionate to the use of the system and may include cash or in-kind contributions. Literacy assessments and basic skills instruction may be considered examples of in-kind contributions. Support for core services and for operating costs must be proportionate to the use by Title II enrollees.
Local adult education and literacy providers may only contribute toward costs that are allowable under WIA Title II. (Federal funds cannot be used to purchase real property or equipment.) Title II funds may be used for literacy core and intensive services but cannot be used to support non-related functions (i.e., filing of unemployment insurance claims, job referrals, etc.).
Contributions to the operating costs of the One Stop delivery system, such as the rental costs of facilities used by administrative staff, are considered administrative costs under WIA Title II. Negotiation of the MOU must take into account that adult education and literacy providers have separate administrative responsibilities under WIA Title II and must retain sufficient funds to fulfill these responsibilities. The amount of federal funds available under WIA Title II for non-Instructional purposes is limited to 5 percent, but may be negotiated to a higher level, subject to approval from the California Department of Education.
Discussions between the LWIB and WIA Title II agencies should clearly identify benefits received by the partner agencies. The MOU should then establish partner costs based on proportional benefits. Agencies should assure that the cost allocation process is fully documented.
The following Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars may provide guidance with development of the MOU.
- OMB Circular A-21: Cost Principles for Educational Institutions
- OMB Circular A-87: Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments
- OMB Circular A-122: Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations
Cliff Moss, Consultant