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School Improvement Grant Cohort 4

Grant management resources and guidance for Cohort 4 SIG sub-grantees.

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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

April Tormey

Consultant
916-319-0226

Armona Union Elementary
Folsom-Cordova Unified
Oakland Unified
Riverbank Unified
Williams Unified

Cristina French

Consultant

916-445-1256

CFrench@cde.ca.gov

Los Angeles Unified
Palmdale Elementary
Pomona Unified

Sheila Reeves
Consultant
916-319-0607

Ferndale Unified
Panama-Buena Vista Union
Sacramento City Unified

Marvin Cao
Fiscal Analyst
916-324-3278
Armona Union Elementary
Ferndale Unified
Oakland Unified
Panama-Buena Vista Union
Los Angeles Unified
Williams Unified

Robert Bernstein

Fiscal Analyst

916-319-0307

RBernstein@cde.ca.gov

Folsom-Cordova Unified
Palmdale Elementary
Pomona Unified
Riverbank Unified
Sacramento City Unified

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School Improvement Resources and Guidance

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

California State-determined Intervention Model: Information and Guidance for Lead Partnerships
Answers to questions regarding the required partnerships between local educational agencies (LEAs) and Lead Partners for Cohort 4 SIG sub-grantees that are implementing the California State-determined Intervention Model.

California School Dashboard and the School Improvement Grant Webinar (PDF; 15-Feb-2018)
The School Improvement and Support Office (SISO) and Pomona Unified School District partnered to create this Webinar to introduce Cohort 4 SIG sub-grantees to the California School Dashboard (the Dashboard) and strategies for using the Dashboard to develop SIG performance and progress goals.

Cohort 4 Programmatic and Fiscal Webinar (PDF; 30-Nov-2016)
The SISO presented this Webinar to newly approved Cohort 4 SIG sub-grantees as an orientation to the SIG program and its requirements.

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School Improvement Grant Requirements

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).

How to submit budget revision requests:

  • Determine whether the proposed change would align with the last approved version of the applicable SIG implementation chart and school performance and progress goals. Contact the LEA’s assigned EPC to discuss if:

    • The budget revision request would result in an object code (major or minor) changing in excess of 10 percent of the last approved budget.

    • The LEA is unsure whether an expenditure would be allowable under the SIG.

    • The proposed change will impact the approved SIG implementation chart and SIG program.

  • If applicable, revise/update the SIG implementation chart.

  • Prepare a justification letter explaining the details of the budget revision request.

  • E-mail all applicable documents to the School Improvement and Support Office (SISO) at SISO@cde.ca.gov.

  • Follow the instructions to revise the budget in the Grant Management and Reporting Tool (GMART). The GMART Walk-through Webinar (PDF) introduces the tool and illustrates how to submit a budget revision online.

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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, 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. For reporting due dates, see the School Improvement Grant Home page (SIG Home). All expenditures must correlate to the approved budget and include expenditures for the report period or quarter.

In addition, a financial activity report (FAR) must be emailed in Excel format to the School Improvement and Support Office (SISO) at SISO@cde.ca.gov twice each performance year: once in Quarter 2 (due January 31st) and once in Quarter 4 (due July 31st). A FAR is a document that must be generated from the local educational agency’s financial software program to describe SIG-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.

How to submit quarterly expenditure reports:

Follow the instructions to submit expenditure reports in the Grant Management and Reporting Tool (GMART). The GMART Walk-through Webinar (PDF) provides a glimpse into GMART while illustrating how expenditure reports are submitted online.

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Sub-grantee Payment Information

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

Cohort 4 local educational agencies received their first payment based on their approved 2016–17 school year budget. Subsequent payments are made based on reported expenditures at the end of each quarter.

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Annual Renewal

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Program Monitoring

School Improvement Grant Reviews
Information related to online monitoring reviews of Cohort 4 School Improvement Grant local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools, including links to the program and fiscal monitoring instrument, the California Department of Education Monitoring Tool, and correspondence to LEAs.

2018–19 Online Monitoring Webinar (PDF)

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School Improvement Grant Eligibility

Eligibility
Information pertaining to the Cohort 4 School Improvement Grant list of eligible schools.

Cohort 4 Request For Applications
Documents related to the original Cohort 4 Request For Applications for eligible local educational agencies.

Funding Results (XLS)
A total of 11 local educational agencies were funded on behalf of 26 Tier I and Tier II schools.

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Questions:   School Improvement and Support Office | SISO@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0833
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 25, 2018
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