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.
The priorities of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA4) are to:
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;
ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;
assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;
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:
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.
Federal CFDA: 84.027
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.
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:
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:
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 email@example.com or 781-338-3374.
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)
Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning
Federal Grant Programs
Monday, October 4, 2021
FY22 Consolidated ARP IDEA Application Workbook
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.
ARP IDEA Quick Reference Guide
Fund Code 240 Quick Reference Guide on allowable and unallowable costs
Allowable Costs for IDEA Entitlement Grants
Prenatal through Young Adulthood Family Engagement Framework in Massachusetts
IDEA Proportionate Share Quick Reference Guide
IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools.
IDEA Equitable Services Allowable Costs Quick Reference Guide
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.
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 NumberFor 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
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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