ISABS FAQsFrequently asked questions and answers about the Developing, Aligning, and Improving Systems of Academic and Behavioral Supports (ISABS) grant.
Where can I locate the legislation that authorizes this program?
The funding for the Developing, Aligning, and Improving Systems of Academic and Behavioral Supports (ISABS) Request for Application has been appropriated as part of Assembly Bill 104, Chapter 13, Section 57, Statues of 2015 .
Funds are required to be encumbered or expended by June 30, 2018, yet an Annual Report and Qualitative Data Report are required in 2019 and 2020. How will the successful applicant be able to develop these reports given that funds must be expended or encumbered by June 30, 2018?
AB 104, Chapter 13, Statutes of 2015 requires the successful applicant provide an annual report by September 30th of each fiscal year until the successful applicant has “fully expended the funds allocated”. The legislation also requires that all funds must be expended or encumbered by June 30, 2018. Any remaining funds that have been encumbered but not yet expended after June 30, 2018 will necessitate an Annual Report for the fiscal year in which the expenditure occurs. This includes the expenditure of grant funds that are provided to any local educational agency (LEA), person, or entity with whom the successful applicant has a sub-agreement. The request for application (RFA) will be amended to state, “By September 30 of each fiscal year (2015–2016, 2016–2017, 2017–2018, 2018–2019 and 2019–2020) the successful applicant shall submit an Annual Report to the SSPI that reports information as specified in the RFA including how the successful applicant used the funds in the prior fiscal year. If expenditures continue beyond 2020, the successful applicant shall continue to submit an Annual Report to the SSPI that reports information as specified in the RFA including how the successful applicant used the funds in the prior fiscal year.”
Is there a deadline by which funds that are encumbered need to be spent? For example, if the ISABS successful applicant encumbers funds to an LEA, is there a deadline by which the LEA must complete the activities or produce the deliverables required by the agreement with the ISABS successful applicant?
There is no set deadline by which encumbered funds must be spent. Any deadlines the successful applicant wishes to impose should be specified in a sub-agreement with an LEA.
Can the successful applicant use grant funds to pay for work completed after June 30, 2018 that are not encumbered through a sub-agreement with an LEA, person, or entity?
Yes, the successful applicant can use the grant funds to pay for work completed after June 30, 2018 that are not encumbered through a sub-agreement with an LEA, person, or entity. As long as the funds were encumbered by June 30, 2018, the funds can be expended by the successful applicant for other allowable uses after June 30, 2018. The successful applicant should follow its normal procedures related to encumbering and expending funds.
Narrative 1.3 (Form D, page 25) states, “Describe current state-level activities, initiatives, programs, and policies relevant to this project and describe the applicant’s vision for how the proposed project will align with, complement, and enhance these efforts.” Are there specific state-level activities, initiatives, programs, and policies relevant to the project that are recommended that an applicant be aware of?
Some examples of specific state-level activities, initiatives, programs, and policies relevant to the project can be found on the California Derpartment of Education (CDE) Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Web page, and includes the MTSS: A Comprehensive Framework for Implementing the California Common Core State Standards (CA CCSS) professional learning module, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California State Standards, Results-Driven Accountability (RDA), the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), March 2015 California Statewide Special Education Task Force Report, One System Reforming Education to Serve All Students, and A Blueprint for Great Schools Version 2.0.
Are applicants required to include the programs referenced in AB 104 Section 57 (b) (4)?
The fundamental purpose of the ISABS grant is to scale up the development, alignment, and improvement of academic and behavioral supports in California through the use of an MTSS process and framework. The behavioral programs specifically named in AB 104 Section 57 (b)(4) were included in the legislation as examples of essential strategies for addressing identified systemic behavioral needs. Therefore, these supports should be addressed specifically within the application in order to align to the provisions of AB 104.
Which documents count toward the 25 page limit?
Any RFA forms or supporting documentation including letters of support, attachments, charts, resumes are not subject to the overall page count limit of 25 pages total. Application narrative (Form D) 1.1 and 1.2 require a visual representation. If this representation is embedded into the body of the application narrative response, it will count toward the 25 page total limit. However, the representation may be included in a supporting document appendix and should be referenced in the body of the application narrative response.
Can we print the multiple copies of the proposal double sided? Or should they all be printed on one side of the paper only?
All copies submitted should be printed on one side only.
Are single districts eligible to receive this grant?
RFA Program Description Section II Part B (pages 6–7) states the eligibility requirements. Only County Offices of Education (COE) are eligible to apply. However, the successful COE is required to enter into sub-agreements with LEAs which includes school districts, charter schools, and other COEs.
Section III: Part A (page 10) states that the fiscal agent will:
Enter into sub-agreements with LEAs. While LEAs are not eligible to apply directly for funds, an applicant will not be eligible for award without including in the project proposal a plan to enter into sub-agreements that allocate funding to LEAs.
Form D: Application Narrative 2.3 (page 26) requires the applicant to include criteria and process for selecting and awarding LEA incentive sub-agreements. Application Narrative 2.3 also asks for an estimate of the numbers of LEAs that will be served.
Can a COE(s) still apply if they have not submitted a letter of intent?
Yes, the letter of intent was requested but not required.
We already do training through behavioral program resources that have been purchased. Section II Part H of the RFA states that any material or content produced under the terms of the RFA will be property of the CDE and shall be labeled as such. Can an applicant include already purchased programs in their RFA?
Yes, applicants are encouraged to submit applications that build upon existing capacity. The RFA provides that the successful applicant return to the CDE data, resources, and materials produced with these grant funds and that grant funds not be used to supplant current LEA funds. The CDE requires that the material or content be returned to the CDE if the successful applicant or those with which it has entered into sub-agreements no longer wish to house them, or if the data, materials, and resources that the grant paid for will be discarded. If the successful applicant already had data, resources, and materials that were in existence or paid for by other funds, the CDE does not require that they be returned to the Professional Learning Support Division at the CDE.
Can grant money be used for the purchase of equipment?
Allowable expenditures may include limited purchases of technology hardware and software as needed, to produce professional-quality materials for the project’s professional learning activities and resource development. The RFA prohibits the use of funds to acquire equipment for administrative or personal use. Funds provided under this grant may not be used to supplant existing funding or efforts, including costs otherwise necessary to operate a school or program without this grant.
On the Budget Narrative page could you explain the difference between “Detailed Explanation of Expenditure” and “Developing and Aligning Systems Project”?
The detailed explanation of expenditure asks for the description of the expenditure. “Developing and Aligning Systems Project” is for the dollar amount.