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SIG Cohort 3

Grant management resources and guidance for Cohort 3 School Improvement Grant (SIG) sub-grantees. This grant concluded on June 30, 2018.

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School Improvement and Support Office Contacts

CDE Staff Title Telephone E-mail Assigned LEAs

Lori Marshall

Education Administrator

916-319-0671

LMarshall@cde.ca.gov

N/A

Cristina French

Consultant

916-445-1256

CFrench@cde.ca.gov

Los Angeles Unified

April Tormey
Consultant
916-319-0226
Santa Ana Unified
Sheila Reeves
Consultant
916-319-0607

La Honda-Pescadero Unified
Riverside Community Office of Education

Lana Berriesford

Fiscal Analyst

916-319-0302 

LBerriesford@cde.ca.gov

All LEAs

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Budget Revision Requests

Approval from the California Department of Education (CDE) is necessary prior to making major adjustments to program implementation charts and approved budgets. Please discuss proposed revisions with the CDE Education Programs Consultant (EPC) who is assigned to the local educational agency (LEA). While LEAs retain the flexibility to move funds, revision requests will only be approved if the proposed use for the funds is directly related to implementation of the selected intervention model, and the revision does not compromise the LEA’s ability to implement any required element of the selected intervention model.

When expenditure amounts claimed for object codes (major and minor) would be in excess of 10 percent of the last approved budget, a budget revision request is required to be submitted to the CDE for review and approval.

Budget revision requests may be submitted once per quarter, per site. For reporting due dates, see the School Improvement Grant Home page (SIG Home).

Budget Revision Request Form (XLS; Posted 06-Oct-2017)
This document includes the instructions and requirements for completing and submitting budget revision requests for 2017–18.

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General Spending Considerations

There are three general issues that affect local educational agency (LEA) spending under the School Improvement Grant (SIG).

First, all costs charged to U.S. Department of Education (ED) grants must be necessary and reasonable considering the amount of money being spent and the needs of the program (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 2, Section 200.403[a] [2 CFR § 200.403(a)]). This requirement comes from a set of federal regulations known as the Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG), which applies to all federal grants, including the SIG. (The UGG is contained in 2 CFR Part 200 External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information about the UGG, see the federal guidance and other resources External link opens in new window or tab..)

The UGG affects SIG spending in a number of ways. It:

  • Lists costs that may never be paid for with federal funds (2 CFR Part 200, Subpart E). For example, federal funds can never pay for alcohol (2 CFR § 200.423) and typically cannot pay for lobbying (2 CFR § 200.450).

  • Lists general criteria all costs supported with federal funds must satisfy (2 CFR § 200.403). For example, federal funds can only pay for costs that are allocable to the relevant grant (2 CFR § 200.403[a]).

  • Sets additional requirements for certain costs supported with federal funds (2 CFR §§ 200.420–200.475). For example, local educational agencies (LEAs) that use federal funds for employee salaries and benefits must keep records documenting how much time the employees spent on grant activities (2 CFR § 200.430).

  • Sets rules for how LEAs procure goods and services with federal funds (2 CFR §§ 200.317–200.326), how they track items paid for with federal funds (2 CFR §§ 200.313–200.314), and the kinds of records they must keep about their grant spending (for example, 2 CFR § 200.318[h][i] for procurement records or 2 CFR § 200.302[b][3] for financial records).

Second, activities supported by ED funds must be consistent with the LEA’s application for funds approved by the state educational agency (34 CFR § 76.700 External link opens in new window or tab.).

Third, some ED programs require LEAs to spend on activities that are supported by evidence, are demonstrated to be effective, or that are consistent with a needs assessment. Even where this is not required, ED grant spending has the most impact when LEAs spend federal funds on effective activities designed to meet program goals. To do this, LEAs are encouraged to:

  • Carefully consider the needs of students, educators, and other relevant stakeholders,

  • Determine which activities are most likely to effectively address those needs, and

  • Prioritize those activities when deciding what costs to support with SIG funds (unless those activities are being paid for by other funding sources).

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Guiding Questions

The School Improvement Grant Non-regulatory Guidance External link opens in new window or tab. provides the following guiding questions to use when deciding if an activity/expenditure is allowable:

  • Whether the proposed purchase is directly related to, as well as reasonable and necessary for, the full and effective implementation of the selected intervention model(s), including whether it is directly related to, and reasonable and necessary for, implementing activities required or permitted under the model;

  • Whether, through the needs assessment, the local educational agency identified a specific need, or needs, that can be addressed through the proposed activity;

  • Whether the proposed activity represents a meaningful change that could help improve student academic achievement from prior years;

  • Whether the specific proposed activity is supported by research indicating that, in fact, it will help improve academic achievement; and

  • Whether the proposed activity represents a significant reform that goes beyond the basic educational program of the school.

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Expenditure Reports

Expenditure reports must be submitted every quarter. All expenditures must correlate to the approved budget and include expenditures for the report period or quarter.

In addition, a quarterly financial activity report (FAR) must be emailed in Excel format to the School Improvement and Support Office (SISO) at SISO@cde.ca.gov. A FAR is a document that must be generated from the local educational agency’s (LEA’s) financial software program to describe School Improvement Grant-funded activities/services, costs, and object codes.

Tips:

  • Include amounts for the appropriate reporting period, or quarter only.

  • List details for Resource 3180 by minor sub-object classification codes.

  • Provide totals at the major object codes classification level.

  • Include the names of staff receiving payment and benefits.

  • Describe expenditure amounts listed in the 4000 and 5000 object code series; inadequate descriptions may require a copy of the purchase order and/or receipts.

Expenditure Report Form (XLS; Posted 06-Oct-2017)
This document includes the instructions and requirements for completing and submitting the Expenditure Report form. For reporting due dates, see the School Improvement Grant Home page (SIG Home).

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Sub-grantee Payment Information

Grant payments are processed four times (quarterly) during each grant performance year and reimbursed for allowable expenditures. Claims will not be reimbursed for disallowable expenditures. Payments will be processed after Expenditure Reports have been reviewed and approved.

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Closeout and Recordkeeping

Cohort 3 Closeout Instructions and Information (DOCX)
This document includes the 2017–18 School Improvement Grant, Cohort 3 Closeout Timeline and the Retention and Access to Records Requirements with citations to the Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). (The UGG is contained in 2 CFR Part 200 External link opens in new window or tab.. For more information about the UGG, see the federal guidance and other resources External link opens in new window or tab..)

Definitions, Instructions, & Procedures
Guidance from the California School Accounting Manual (CSAM) for accounting and financial reporting by local educational agencies. For helpful information on “Distinguishing Between Supplies and Equipment,” see Procedure 770.

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Additional Information

Program Description

Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools

Eligible Schools List (XLS)
Excel worksheet that shows the 110 schools that are were eligible to apply for School Improvement Grant, Cohort 3, funding.

Cohort 3 Request For Applications
Documents related to the original Cohort 3 Request For Applications for eligible local educational agencies.

Funding Results (XLS)
A total of 4 local educational agencies were funded on behalf of 11 Tier I and Tier II schools.

Annual Renewal and Continuation Applications

School Improvement Grant On-site Reviews
Information related to on-site monitoring reviews of Cohort 3 School Improvement Grant local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools, including links to the program monitoring instrument, the California Department of Education Monitoring Tool, and correspondence to LEAs.

School Improvement Resources and Guidance
Links to Federal, State, and other resources on the School Improvement Grant and topics related to school improvement.

Cohort 3 Programmatic Webinar (PDF)

Cohort 3 Fiscal Webinar (PDF)

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Questions:   School Improvement and Support Office | SISO@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0833
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
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