Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2022: American Rescue Plan (ARP) — Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Fund Code: 252

Purpose:

The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law on March 11, 2021, dedicating supplemental funding in section 2014(a) to serve students with disabilities. These funds are provided to help districts recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and to safely reopen schools and sustain safe operations.

Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.

Priorities:

The priorities of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA4) are to:

  1. ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;

  2. ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;

  3. assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;

  4. assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.

(34 CFR § 300.1; authority: 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d).)

Funds available under this federal entitlement program are intended for use by local education agencies (LEAs) in providing eligible students with special education services and activities deemed essential for students' success in school. Services and activities supported by this grant for students ages 3 through 21 must ensure compliance with state special education laws (M.G.L. c. 71B) and regulations (603 CMR 28.00), and the federal IDEA.

When considering fund use, each LEA should review results from its most recent Coordinated Program Review or Mid-Cycle Review, review LEA performance in relation to the indicators specified in the Massachusetts State Performance Plan, and review the Special Education Determination levels.

Additionally, LEAs are encouraged to consider the following when developing their plans and budgets:

  • Challenges related to the pandemic, including:
    • School re-entry
    • Disruption in the education of children with disabilities
    • Mental health services
  • Sustainability
  • Focus on issues of equity in special education and early intervention services

Eligibility:

Funds are awarded to public school LEAs with approved Special Education Program Plan Statements based on an allocation formula that takes into account total school enrollment in both public and private elementary and secondary schools, and the number of children living in poverty in those same groups, as determined by the State.

Please note that the DESE reserves the right to require that these funds be used to correct areas of identified special education noncompliance.

The IDEA requires each LEA receiving IDEA grant funding (either Fund Code 240 or 262 or both) to meet two standards of maintenance of effort (MOE) to ensure that each maintains at least the same amount of local or state and local funds for the education of students with disabilities from year to year. MOE is one method of ensuring that IDEA funds are supplementing rather than supplanting state and local funds that would be used for educational services to students with disabilities. LEAs are only being asked to demonstrate one of the two standards, the eligibility standard for MOE, as part of the grant application process.

Eligibility Standard: This standard is a forward-looking measure of MOE. Meeting this standard ensures that a LEA has budgeted the same amount of local or state and local funds for educational services to students with disabilities as it did in the last year it met MOE using the same method. If a LEA fails to meet the eligibility standard for MOE (after taking into any applicable exception or adjustment), the LEA will not be eligible to receive IDEA funds for that fiscal year. Eligible districts may also deduct up to 50% of their ARP IDEA funds to reduce level of effort for FY22 (minus any funds reserved for CEIS).

Note: LEAs will only need to demonstrate MOE once in the FY22 IDEA FC 240 and 262 consolidated workbook. Once approved, this eligibility has been established for ARP IDEA as well. However, because LEAs will establish MOE eligibility through the FY22 IDEA FC 240 and 262 consolidated workbook only, that workbook must be approved for MOE in order to be eligible for ARP IDEA funds.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.027

Funding:

FY22 Fund Code 252 ARP IDEA Allocations

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available for allocation, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

General Fund Use: All LEAs

Federal special education funds are awarded to LEAs to assist them in providing appropriate special education services for eligible students and to address the priorities listed above. LEAs are reminded of their responsibility to maintain state/local effort in special education, as well as to use these funds for the excess costs of special education. See IDEA Local Educational Agency Maintenance of Effort Quick Reference Guide and Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2011-1: Annual Fiscal Calculations.

IDEA also requires LEAs to designate federal funds to meet proportionate share obligations and expenditures for parentally placed private school and home-schooled students. All LEAs must complete the required proportionate share form within the FY22 ARP IDEA (Fund Code 252) grant application. See the Special Education Policy and Planning webpage for information on IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools.

Additional Directed Fund Use:

Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)
A LEA may voluntarily use up to 15% of its special education entitlement grant to develop and implement Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) to support students without disabilities who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment. See 34 CFR § 300.226. Allowable uses for CEIS include:

  • Providing professional development for teachers and other school staff for the delivery of scientifically-based academic instruction and behavioral intervention, including scientifically-based literacy instruction and instruction in the use of adaptive and instructional software, and
  • Providing educational and behavioral evaluations and supports.

Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS)
Any LEA identified with significant disproportionality is required to reserve 15 percent of its ARP IDEA funds (Fund Code 252 and Fund Code 264) to provide CCEIS to address factors contributing to the significant disproportionality. See 34 CFR § 300.646. CCEIS activities:

  • May include professional development and educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and support; and
  • Must identify and address the factors contributing to the significant disproportionality, which may include,
    • a lack of access to scientifically based instruction; economic cultural, or linguistic barriers to appropriate identification or placement in particular educational setting;
    • inappropriate use of disciplinary removals;
    • lack of access to appropriate diagnostic screenings;
    • difference in academic achievement levels; and
    • policies, practices, or procedures that contribute to the significant disproportionality.

For more information on CCEIS, please refer to the Significant Disproportionality Fiscal Implications Reference Guide . Any questions related to CEIS or CCEIS, contact Brian Coonley at brian.coonley@mass.gov or 781-338-3374.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 6/30/2022 (Year 1) *
*The period of availability for this grant award can be extended 15 months beyond Year 1 by utilizing the multi-year feature for this Funding Opportunity in EdGrants. The extended period is broken up by fiscal year, as follows: 7/1/2022 – 6/30/2023 (Year 2); 7/1/2023 – 9/30/2023 (Year 3)

Program Unit:

Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning

Contact:

Federal Grant Programs

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6230

Date Due:

Monday, October 4, 2021

Required Forms:
  • FY22 Consolidated ARP IDEA Application Workbook

    • Signature Page — Standard Contract Form (Tab 1 of the ARP IDEA Consolidated Application) with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director, one for each fund code. Note: Please sign and date your cover page and ensure the amount matches the amount budgeted. We cannot approve any grant without an uploaded, signed and properly dated signature page for each fund code. Certain types of Electronic signatures are now accepted.
      • A scan of an original signature uploaded, or a picture of the original signature inserted into the document
      • An electronically signed document using Adobe or DocuSign which is a true electronic signature, and not just cursive characters typed into the document.

    • ARP IDEA, FC 252 budget must be entered both on the consolidated workbook tab as well as in EdGrants in the Budget Entry formlet. The budget tab in the workbook and the EdGrants budget should match.

    • Schedule A Form (if applicable)

    • Schedule A Member Supplement (If applicable). Each member of a Schedule A consortium, applying for FC 252 must complete tabs calculating the proportionate share for equitable services and CCEIS, to the extent those reservations are required for each member.


Additional Information:

Note: Applicants may only legally claim expenses to the grant starting from the date of final DESE approval. The start date for the grant is the date on which the LEA submits substantially approvable budget and information for the grant. Therefore, to expedite approval, it is essential to have LEA staff that can be reached in July and August to respond to questions, as needed.

Submission Instructions:

Submit the Application Submission and required grant materials in EdGrants. Your ARP IDEA consolidated workbook should only be submitted with your FC 252 submission.

In EdGrants, LEAs are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY22 FC 252 ARP IDEA Applicant Number
For example, Abington (0001) would name the file as FY22 FC 252 ARP IDEA 0001

In EdGrants, LEA staff assigned the role of "control user" should enter the grant budget and attach a PDF of the FY22 Consolidated ARP IDEA Application workbook along with a PDF of the Signature Page with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director, and any other form applicable to your LEAs FY22 FC 252 Grants submission (e.g., Schedule A). The entire Consolidated ARP IDEA Application Workbook must be uploaded with your FC 252 budget in EdGrants.

Note: This is the only place your entire FY22 ARP IDEA Consolidated Application workbook will be uploaded. See Required Forms section above for additional forms that may be required from some applicants.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides and Information.

Please note: It is up to the LEA to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your LEA level users.

Last Updated: July 30, 2021

 
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

Directions

Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.