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FAQs for Federally Funded Grant Award Programs

Intended to assist local educational agencies with clarification and definitions pertaining to the expenditure of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, federal funds allocated to provide services to individuals with disabilities.
  1. When does the California Department of Education (CDE) send the federally funded Grant Award Notification (AO-400) to grantees?

    Once the annual California State Budget Act is approved and signed by the Governor, the Special Education Division will submit the AO-400 to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) for approval and signature. Awards will be disseminated to grantees after the SSPIs approval.

  2. Where is the AO-400 and corresponding Expenditure Report sent?

    Every special education local plan area (SELPA) designates a participating local educational area (LEA) as the Administrative Unit (AU) to be fiscally responsible for all grant funds awarded to their SELPA. The CDE will mail the AO-400 and corresponding Expenditure Report to the Superintendent of the SELPAs identified AU. Additionally, copies are also sent to the AUs Business Fiscal Officer and SELPA Director (if applicable).

  3. When do grantees receive payments?

    The initial payment will be made upon the CDEs receipt of the signed AO-400, Expenditure Report, and required documents (if applicable). Payments are made on a reimbursement basis. Subsequent reimbursements will be made according to reporting periods and allowable reported expenditures, but not in excess of the grant award amount.

  4. Must all approved federal funds be expended within the designated grant award period?

    Yes. As indicated on the AO-400 Grant Conditions, all approved project funds must be expended within the designated award period and for no more than the total amount awarded. All funds must be expended by the award end date. Grant award funds shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, codified in 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200 and commonly referred to as the Uniform Guidance. The Uniform Guidance provisions in 2 CFR Part 200 replace provision previously found in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations, or EDGAR, in 34 CFR parts 74 and 80 and prior Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars A-87 and A-133. Furthermore, expenditures shall comply with all applicable provisions of federal, state, and local rules, regulations, and policies related to the administration of, use of, and accounting for public school funds including, but not limited to, the California Education Code.

  5. Is an Interim Expenditure Report required?

    No. Grantees have flexibility to submit an interim report after expenses are incurred. Grantees may submit an expenditure report for multiple reporting periods at any time.

  6. When is the Final Expenditure report due?

    In order to meet federal funded grant award deadlines, all Final Expenditure Reports are due no later than 10 days after the end date of each grant award period. Refer to the AO-400 Grant Conditions and Expenditure Report for details on the specific reports, reporting periods, and due dates. If funds have been fully expended prior to the end of the grant award report period, the grantee may submit a Final Expenditure Report to the CDE as soon as the funds are fully expended for reimbursement up to 100 percent of the award.

  7. Expenditure Report forms are misplaced or lost. Where can new ones be located?

    Downloadable blank forms are available on the Local Educational Agency Grants webpage. Select the link for the appropriate Expenditure Report. Each report is listed by Grant Award Title, Program Cost Account (PCA), Resource Code, and Fiscal Year (FY). Agencies must refer to the original AO-400 to complete the Expenditure Report. The original Expenditure Report is sent with the AO-400 to the Business Fiscal Officer.

  8. Are federal funds allowed to be carried over from one fiscal year to the next fiscal year?

    Federal grant funds must be expended during the grant award period as noted on the AO-400 Grant Conditions and Expenditure Report.

    1. Federal awards provide a 27-month report period in accordance to federal requirements. For example, the LEA may expend the FY 2017–18 PCA 13430, Resource Code 3315 grant funds from July 1, 2017, to September 30, 2019.
    2. Grantees are urged to fully expend their awards within 24 months and submit their final expenditure report by the due dates to ensure payments are made prior to the end of the 27 months and in order to avoid loss of funds.
  9. Is it allowable for the grantee to submit one expenditure report for multiple grant programs?

    No. One Expenditure Report must be complete for each AO-400, PCA, and Resource Code. Special Education federally funded grants require separate accounting be maintained for each PCA and Resource Code to ensure LEAs do not commingle federal IDEA funds with state funds and expend funds appropriately. Separate accounting provides a clear audit trail from the receipt of funds by the State to the expenditure of the funds for goods and services at the local level.

Questions:   Special Education Division, Administrative Services Unit | 916-323-1323
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 22, 2021
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