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Early Education Teacher Grant 22 RFA FAQ

Fiscal Year (FY) 2021–22 Early Education Teacher Development (EETD) Grant Request for Applications (RFA) Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021–22 Early Education Teacher Development Grant Request for Applications (RFA)

Overall

  1. What is the purpose of the funding for the Early Education Teacher Development Grant?

    The purpose of the grant program is two-fold:
    • To increase the numbers of highly-qualified teachers available to serve in CSPP and TK;
    • To provide and elevate CSPP, TK, and K teachers training in specific competencies: Instruction in inclusive classrooms; culturally responsive instruction; supporting dual language learners; enhancing social-emotional learning; implementing trauma/healing- informed and restorative practices, and mitigating implicit biases to eliminate exclusionary discipline.

Eligibility

  1. For eligibility, the statute states that a local educational agency (LEA) can apply on behalf of a consortium of providers within their area, including from California State Preschool Programs (CSPPs) and Federal Head Start programs operated by community-based organizations (CBOs). Can LEAs apply on behalf of MORE than just CSPP and Head Start program?

    No. According to the statutory language, LEAs may only apply on behalf of LEA and community-based organizations operating CSPPs and Head Start programs.  See the applicable statutory code below:

    EC 8125.5(d)(3) - “A local educational agency may apply on behalf of a consortium of providers within the local educational agency’s program area, including California state preschool programs and Head Start programs operated by community-based organizations.”
  1. Are single educators eligible for the grant?

    No. Eligibility is limited to local educational agencies (LEA). LEAs include county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools.

    However, an LEA may apply for funding to conduct grant activities that serve multiple LEAs and non-LEA early education providers, including CSPPs and Head Start programs operated by community-based organizations, as a part of a consortium.
  1. If our LEA did not submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) - can we still apply?

    No, a local educational agency (LEA) that did not submit an LOI is not eligible for the grant.

    However, an LEA that did not submit an LOI may still come into the grant program if the LEA is within a consortium under a Lead Agency that submitted an LOI. See the listing of LEAs that submitted an LOI on the RFA’s web page.
  1. How can we find out if our district submitted a Letter Of Intent (LOI)?

    You can find the listing of LEAs that submitted an LOI on the RFA’s web page.
  1. If a unified school district (USD) submitted an LOI in February 2022, but now wants to join a consortium with another LEA, can these USDs apply with another LEA that submitted the LOI? Do these USDs need to contact CDE to rescind their LOI?

    Yes, a school district can come under the consortium of a different LEA than was first submitted in a Letter of Intent as long as that different LEA submitted an LOI.

    No, LOIs submitted by USDs that are no longer applying for a grant, but joining as part of a consortium, do not need to rescind their LOI.  However, the LEA and its consortium members must be listed on the application that will be submitted.

Application

  1. If we are a superintendent of schools and applying for this grant on behalf of the school districts within our county, would we list the school districts under the consortium members section?

    Yes, if you are applying for this grant on behalf of consortium members, such as school districts within a county, you will list them on the application. If there is not enough space in the application to list all consortium members, you may submit an Excel document listing school districts in the consortium and email that list to UPKWorkforceRFA@cde.ca.gov.
  1. Can we add school district partners to the consortium after the grant is awarded or throughout the project period?

    No, an LEA cannot add a consortium member after the grant has been awarded.  
  1. Can tables or images be inserted into Snap Survey?

    No, tables and images cannot be inserted into the Snap Survey.
  1. Can you please define CSPP “teacher”? Does this include teacher aides and assistants?

    Yes, the definition of “teacher” includes aides and assistants since increasing the number of teachers available to serve within a CSPP program is one of the goals and not specific to a permit-type.  
  1. Is funding utilized for professional learning inclusive of all adults in the CSPP, TK, and kindergarten classrooms, or is it just for the designated "teacher"?

    Yes, one of the goals of the grant is to support those teachers serving in CSPP, TK, and kindergarten to be highly-qualified teachers which can include training for all professionals within those classrooms.
  1. What’s the difference between an application getting disqualified versus not being awarded?

    First, an application will go through a Screening Checklist Review to check for completeness and conformance with RFA requirements.  Applications that are incomplete will be disqualified and applications not completed in accordance with the directions may be disqualified at CDE’s discretion.  Applicants will be notified of the reason for disqualification. The applications disqualified will not move onto the readers' conference for scoring.  Applicants may dispute the disqualification within five business days following receipt of the notice of disqualification by submitting an email to UPKWorkforceRFA@cde.ca.gov.

    Second, after an application has been scored, a Notification of Eligibility or Ineligibility for funding will be sent.  Applicants who wish to appeal their determination of ineligibility may submit a Letter of Appeal no later than 10 business days from the receipt of the Notification. Appeals are limited to addressing how the CDE failed to correctly apply the standards for reviewing the application as specified in the RFA.

    Further details of the two processes are within the RFA on pages 8 through 9.
  1. So, can an application get the maximum of 165 points total and THEN be scored lower in priority for funding based on the priority data provided?

    Yes, that is correct. Applications that pass all required sections and which meet a threshold qualified score of 115 out of 165 total points on Sections II through IV (70 percent of the total score) will then go on to have Section V: Allocation Priority scored. While applications must meet the threshold of receiving 70 percent of the total score (115 points), it is possible that an application could have a total of 165 points total from Sections II through IV and receive less priority for funding than an applicant with a lower score.
  1. Why are we asked to check if we have linked the data to our program narrative portions?

    The data is required to justify the program narrative plans. The CDE will consider how well the applicant has used data to justify the program narrative plans in Section I. Please see the Linking the Data section for more information.
  1. Can you please describe the 2500-character limit in the Narrative Section? Will we lose points if we go over?

    It is a character limit, which means it includes letters, symbols, and spaces.

    For accessibility reasons, the response box on the Snap Survey will not prevent applicants from continuing to type beyond the 2500-character limit. However, readers will not see a response beyond 2500 characters, and will not be awarded points for that section. A way to check the character count is to use the website Keyword Tool External link opens in new window or tab. .
  1. What if my application has more consortium members? The Snap Survey won’t let me add more than ten per entity line.

    Currently, there is no way to list more than ten (10) per entity line on the Snap Survey. If you have more members than 10 to include, please email us at UPKWorkforceRFA@cde.ca.gov. We will either ask you to send us those names in an email body or in an Excel spreadsheet, depending on how many more members are in your consortium.
  1.  Can you please describe the statement about plagiarism and an application being rejected in more detail? Many entities may share best practice ideas and collaborate together on how best to accomplish the goals of this grant. 

    The requirement was written to deter applicants from simply copying and pasting from other grant applications without any attempt to tailor the application to the particular needs of an LEA or consortium.  While the CDE recognizes that there are only so many ways to "go into the field to recruit teachers" and that some parts of an application may be similar to another application, particularly if two applicants use the same grant writer, the CDE expects applications to reflect the uniqueness of the applicant’s needs. Also, applicants are welcome to use their work from the UPK Planning and Implementation template. 

Funding

  1. How much funding can a local educational agency (LEA) apply for?

    The CDE has already calculated a cap on funding per county, which can be found in Appendix C on the Request for Funding Application (RFA). An LEA can apply for up to the cap for their county. See the Early Education Teacher Development Grant RFA page for more information.
  1. Is it possible for a local educational agency (LEA) to apply independently and also be included in a collaborative application?

    No. An LEA can either be a Lead Agency for the grant or a member of another Lead Agency’s consortium.

    However, an LEA may list various collaborative partnerships in their plans to advance the goals of the grant.
  1. How did CDE calculate the capped funding amount per county?

    The county allocation is based on the county-level data available to CDE using methodology pursuant to statutory language in Education Code Section 8281.5(d)(5). Each county was first assigned a base amount of $40,000, totaling $2,320,000 statewide. The remainder of the funding ($97,680,000) was allocated based on the data. The CDE used data sources from the Department of Finance, and the Department of Social Services, as well as data available via CDE’s DataQuest web page.
  1. For the program administration, percentage guidelines by the district have percentages based on 21–22. Should we use this rate or will 22–23 rates be available before the due date? How do we account for personnel increases within the program admin percentage if we don't know if the percentage will change or by how much?

    Increases in personnel costs can be anticipated based on the personnel assigned to the project, classification, and salary schedule. Indirect costs are posted on the CDE website in April of each year and LEAs have a general understanding of the variations. Applicants are asked to anticipate any increases and account for those increases in the budget section of the application.

    If more than one fiscal year is involved in a project, the indirect cost rate used to recover indirect costs should change as the fiscal year changes. For instance, using an 18-month program starting August 1, 2022, the indirect cost rate approved for use in fiscal year 2022–23 would be used for expenditures incurred August 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023, and a new indirect cost rate approved for use in fiscal year 2023–24 would be used for expenditures incurred from July 1, 2023, until January 31, 2024.
  1. If in a consortium, can the lead LEA distribute funds directly to partnering LEAs via a subcontract/sub-agreement?

    Lead LEAs may provide funding to LEAs within a consortium to meet the grant’s goal to increase the number of teachers. Funding is intended to support teachers in achieving credentials or obtaining early childhood credit-bearing units. How the funding in such cases is distributed, whether through a subcontract or sub-agreement, is determined by the Lead LEA and its partnering LEAs.  Partnering agencies may not receive direct funding from the CDE.
  1. Is it allowable to use grant funds for the costs associated with multi-day professional development training (i.e., local facility rental and food for participants)?

    Under the federal Uniform Guidance, Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations Section §200.432, facility rentals and consumables (food for participants) are allowable.
  1. Are we able to propose using some of the funding to support training on age-appropriate teaching strategies for PreK/TK teachers (e.g., play based, developmentally-appropriate teaching techniques, etc.)? It is not one of the specific competencies listed, but we think this is quite important for some of our teachers.

    The two goals of this grant are not only to increase specific competencies, (instruction in inclusive classrooms; culturally responsive instruction; supporting dual language learners; enhancing social-emotional learning; implementing trauma/healing- informed and restorative practices, and mitigating implicit biases to eliminate exclusionary discipline), but also to increase the numbers of highly-qualified teachers available to serve in CSPP and TK. Supporting teachers serving in CSPP, TK, and K to be highly-qualified teachers can include training in age-appropriate teaching strategies.
  1. I have an educator who works in my LEA. They need to clear debt for their previous educational courses taken before they can continue their studies. Can the grant funds for their educational debt?

    No, the grant funding cannot be used for past educational expenses.
  1. Can we use the funds for the development of new training, courses, or professional development content?

    With pre-approval from the CDE that deems it necessary and a reasonable expense for the implementation of the grant, applicants may use the funding for the development of new training, credit-bearing courses, or professional development content. For example, partner with a regionally-accredited institution of higher education (IHE) to alter existing content to make it credit-bearing or content that addresses gaps in competencies.

    Once again, these developments must be pre-approved by the CDE.

Data

  1. If a lead agency LEA is applying on behalf of LEAs in a consortium, must all the LEAs in the consortium provide the required data?

    All consortium members must provide data to the lead LEA agency. The LEA agency should include all member consortium members’ data within the application.  In addition, if the lead agency intends to support other entities outside of the consortium, it should be included in the narrative plans in the application.
  1. How do we calculate the allocation priority data asks?

    The CDE will issue an erratum for the application to detail which data sources are recommended to use for the allocation of priority data. The CDE recommends these sources, however, if allocation priority data has already been calculated using different sources, an applicant may provide those in their application.

 

Questions:   Alana Pinsler | UPKWorkforceRFA@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Friday, May 13, 2022
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