Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Rural Education Achievement Program Eligibility

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
February 23, 2018

Dear Select County and District Superintendents and Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators:

RURAL EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

This letter is to notify local educational agencies (LEAs) of the criteria and timeline for determining eligibility for the 2018–19 Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP), as well as the appropriate use of associated funds. Title VI, Part B of the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) contains REAP initiatives that are designed to assist rural districts that may lack the personnel and resources to compete effectively for federal competitive grants. The initiatives are:

  • The Small, Rural School (SRSA )Grant Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance [CFDA] no. 84.358A) authorizes the Secretary of Education to award formula grants directly to eligible LEAs (i.e., those LEAs eligible under the Alternative Uses of Funds Program described below) to carry out activities authorized under other specified federal programs.

    • The Alternative Uses of Funds Authority is a flexibility provision that allows eligible LEAs to combine funding under certain programs to carry out local activities under other specified federal programs.

  • The Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) Grant Program (CFDA no. 84.358B) is designed to address the needs of rural, low-income schools. The Secretary of Education awards formula grants to state educational agencies (SEAs), which in turn award subgrants to eligible LEAs. The funds are to be used to carry out activities specified by the statute.

Note: All SRSA eligible LEAs are required to submit a new application each fiscal year (FY) in order to receive grant funds. For more information on application submission procedures, please see the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Small, Rural School Achievement Program Applicant Information Web page at https://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/applicant.html.

Applications are available starting February 20, 2018, and are due no later than April 20, 2018, by 4:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

Small, Rural School Achievement Grant Program Eligibility

The SRSA Grant Program provides eligible LEAs with greater flexibility in using certain federal formula grant funds (Alternative Uses of Funds Authority). It also may provide additional funds to support a wide range of activities that promote student achievement. Participation in the SRSA Program (both Alternative Uses of Funds Authority and the SRSA Grant) is limited to those LEAs that meet both of the following criteria:

  • An LEA must have a total average daily attendance (ADA) of fewer than 600 students, or serve only schools that are located in counties that have a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile; and

  • An LEA must serve only schools that have been assigned a school locale code of 41, 42, or 43, by the ED’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), or be located in an area of the state that is defined as “rural” by an SEA. In instances where an SEA defines the area in which an LEA is located as rural, the SEA and the ED must agree to the rural designation before the LEA may participate in either Alternative Uses of Funds Authority or the SRSA Grant Program. Information regarding the identification of rural locales can be found on the NCES, Education Demographics and Geographic Estimates Web page at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/edge/geographicLocale.aspx.
Small, Rural School Achievement Program Use of Grant Funds

Grantees may use SRSA funds to carry out activities authorized under any of the following federal programs:

  • Title I, Part A(Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Education Agencies)

    • Example: A school district develops an entrepreneurial education program to supplement its civics curriculum.

  • Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction)

    • Example: A school district pays the stipend for a prospective teacher to work alongside an effective teacher, who is the teacher of record, for a full academic year.

  • Title III (Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students)

    • Example: A school district offers an afterschool enrichment program for English learners.

  • Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment)

    • Example: A school district purchases a bully prevention program for all schools.

  • Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers)

    • Example: A school district purchases instruments to supplement schools’ band and orchestra program.
Rural and Low-Income School Grant Program Eligibility

The RLIS Program is an initiative that provides additional funds to rural LEAs that serve concentrations of children from families with incomes below the poverty line. An LEA is eligible for the RLIS Grant Program if:

  • All schools served by an LEA have been assigned a school locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43 as determined by the Secretary of Education, or are located in an area of the state defined as “rural” by an SEA of the state. In instances where an SEA defines the area in which an LEA is located as rural, the SEA and the ED must agree to the rural designation before the LEA may participate in the RLIS Grant Program; and

  • Twenty percent or more of the children, ages five to seventeen, served by an LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line (as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau).
Rural and Low-Income School Use of Grant Funds

LEAs that receive RLIS grants may use the funds to carry out the following types of activities:

  • Parental involvement activities

  • Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs Operated by local education agencies)

    • Example: A school district develops an entrepreneurial education program to supplement its civics curriculum.

  • Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction)

    • Example: A school district pays the stipend for a prospective teacher to work alongside an effective teacher, who is the teacher of record, for a full academic year.

  • Title III (Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students)

    • Example: A school district offers an afterschool enrichment program for English learners.

  • Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment)

    • Example: A school district purchases bully prevention materials for all schools.
Dual Eligibility

Some LEAs can be eligible for both SRSA and RLIS programs and, under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), must choose one grant under which to receive funds in a given FY. LEAs with dual eligibility that choose to participate in the RLIS Grant Program may exercise the Alternative Uses of Funds Authority (ESSA, Title V, Part B, Subpart 1, Section 5221[a] and [c]). All grantees wishing to use the Alternative Uses of Funds Authority must notify the California Department of Education (CDE), through the CDE Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) at https://www3.cde.ca.gov/CARS/app/logon.aspx by Thursday, February 28, 2019.

Note: LEAs that are eligible only for RLIS cannot exercise the Alternative Uses of Funds Authority.

Hold Harmless

LEAs that are not eligible for the SRSA Grant Program as a result of changes in the district’s locale code designations, and are also not dually eligible for the RLIS Grant Program, will receive a reduced award in years 2018 and 2019 according to the following:

  1. FY 2018, 50 percent of the amount received for FY 2015
  2. FY 2019, 25 percent of the amount received for FY 2015
Funding Formula
  1. First 50 students in ADA = $20,000
  2. Add $100 for each student in ADA above 50 (total amount not to exceed $60,000)
  3. Subtract total allocations from preceding fiscal year for Title II, Part A

The link to the ED’s Eligibility Spreadsheet for the 2018─19 REAP Grants can be found on the CDE Federal REAP Web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/rp/index.asp.

Small, Rural School Achievement Grant Program Application
Because the SRSA grant is administered directly by the federal government, LEAs need to apply through the Grants.gov Web site at https://www.grants.gov/, no later than Friday, April 20, 2018.
Annual Certification of Rural California School District Form

As stated above, locale codes assigned to your LEA by the ED are part of the eligibility criteria. Even though there is no appeal of locale code assignment through the NCES, if the information indicates not all schools in your LEA have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43, your LEA may still be eligible for the SRSA Grant Program if it meets California’s definition of “rural” as follows:

  • A rural LEA is located within an incorporated or unincorporated place that has a district resident population of less than 2,500, or has a population center less than 1,000 persons, and is characterized by sparse, widespread population.

  • An LEA will also be designated rural if the only schools within the LEA that do not have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43, are direct-funded independent charter schools.

You can access total LEA resident population data on the U.S. Census Bureau Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Web page at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/saipe.html.

If you can certify that your LEA meets this definition, please sign and mail the Annual Certification of Rural California School District form available on the CDE Federal REAP Web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/rp/index.aspx (due by 5 p.m., Friday, April 20, 2018) to:

Susan D. S. Myers, Staff Services Analyst
Regional Support and Awards Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6208
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Because the data used in the “rural” certification are subject to change on an annual basis, the Annual Certification of Rural California School District form must be filed each and every year that it is applicable to an LEA. Please do not file this form if the locale codes for your LEA indicate only 41, 42, or 43, on the ED’s REAP Eligibility Spreadsheet.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Susan D. S. Myers, Staff Services Analyst, Regional Support and Awards Office, by phone at 916-319-0652 or by e-mail at sumyers@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

 

Keric Ashley, Deputy Superintendent
Performance, Planning, and Technology Branch

KA:sm

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Recently Posted in Allocations & Apportionments

  • LCFF COLA (added 20-Feb-2019)
    Information on historical and prospective Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) percentages since 2013–14, the inception of LCFF.
  • LtrQ3-18: EPA Payment letter, FY 18-19 Q3 (added 20-Feb-2019)
    Third quarterly apportionment for the Education Protection Account for fiscal year 2018-19.
  • Funding Excel Files, FY 2018–19 P-1 (added 20-Feb-2019)
    Apportionment exhibits provide detail of the distribution of funds by either county and/or local educational agency (LEA) for fiscal year (FY) 2018–19 P-1.
  • 2018-19 First Principal Apportionment (P-1) Letter (added 20-Feb-2019)
    Letter to county superintendents of schools, auditors, and treasurers for the 2018-19 First Principal Apportionment.
  • CARS News Flash #65 (added 19-Feb-2019)
    News Flash 65 was sent out announcing the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) was on schedule for a January 15, 2019 release of the data collections and included a summary of the changes of the data collections.