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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter

July 28, 2021

Updated August 10, 2021

 

Public Comment Period for California's Waiver for Title I, Part A and General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) Flexibilities

On July 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED), under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Section 8401(b), invited states to submit a streamlined waiver for the following requirements:

  • Section 1127(b) of Title I, Part A of the ESEA so that a state educational agency (SEA) may waive, more than once every three years, if necessary, the 15 percent carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) for FY 2020 Title I, Part A funds.
  • Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend the period of availability of FY 2019 funds for programs in which the SEA participates under its approved consolidated State plan until September 30, 2022.

Summary of the Issue

On July 2, 2021, ED invited states to request a waiver which would allow for additional flexibilities of federal funds. Through this waiver, the California Department of Education (CDE) would be able to, among many other things, permit a local educational agency (LEA) or consortium of LEAs to carry over more than 15 percent of its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Title I, Part A funds, even if the LEA has received a waiver from its SEA to exceed this limitation for its FY 2018 or FY 2019 Title I, Part A funds. Additionally, the waiver would allow California to extend for itself and its subgrantees the period of availability of FY 2019 funds for programs included in the consolidated State Plan to allow additional time to obligate those funds.

The waiver allows for states to waive the following specific requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Section 8401(b):

  • Section 1127(b) of Title I, Part A of the ESEA so that a SEA may waive, more than once every three years, if necessary, the 15 percent carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) for FY 2020 Title I, Part A funds.
  • Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend the period of availability of FY 2019 funds for programs in which the SEA participates under its approved consolidated State plan until September 30, 2022.

The portions of the GEPA waiver that the CDE will be taking advantage of will extend the period of availability for the funding for the following programs:

  • Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs), including the portion of the SEA’s Title I, Part A award used to carry out section 1003 school improvement, section 1003A direct student services, if applicable, and Title I, Part D, Subpart 2.
  • Title I, Part B of the ESEA (State Assessment Formula Grants).
  • Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 of the ESEA (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk).
  • Title II, Part A of the ESEA (Supporting Effective Instruction).
  • Title III, Part A of the ESEA (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement).
  • Title IV, Part A of the ESEA (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants).
  • Title IV, Part B of the ESEA (21st Century Community Learning Centers).
  • Title V, Part B, Subpart 2 of the ESEA (Rural and Low-Income School Program).
  • McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Programs.

Although offered, CDE will not be taking advantage of the portion of the GEPA waiver that would allow for the extension of the period of availability for the funding for Title I, Part C of the ESEA (Education of Migratory Children).

Prior to submitting the waiver request, California is required provide the public and interested LEAs notice and an opportunity to comment. Additionally, the CDE must provide ED a copy of any comments received and a description of how the comments were addressed.

The CDE will hold a public comment period for all stakeholders and LEAs through August 16, 2021. Any comments or questions should be e-mailed to ESSA@cde.ca.gov.

A copy of the letter from ED inviting states to apply for this waiver and the waiver template is posted on CDE’s Every Student Succeeds Act Coronavirus (COVID-19) federal funding flexibility webpage at https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/es/covid19fundflex.asp.

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 10, 2021
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