Preliminary allocations awarded under the CARES Act, Section 18003 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSERF) are now posted to the Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education website at: https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/fiscal-and-administrative-services/school-funding/allocations.
ADE Federal Programs will compile a subgrant application for all LEAs that provides additional instructions, requirements, and assurances. The Federal Programs unit will also assist LEAs with allowability issues for CARES funds.
Section 18005 of the CARES Act requires that LEAs receiving funding provide equitable services in the same manner as provided in Title I of ESSA. Therefore, the allocation list includes the portion of funds to be used for equitable services based on preliminary non-public school data from the districts’ Title I budget information entered into the Federal Grants Management System (FGMS) for the 2019-20 school year. ADE will collect updated non-public school data and revise these amounts in a final allocation list.
For reporting purposes, ADE has established a set of program codes that will be required for all expenditures of CARES funding. The program codes and their descriptions are provided in the attachment to this memo. All LEAs should record expenditures in the designated fund/source of fund and revenue code and assign one of the program codes to each expense. It is imperative that these program codes be used correctly and consistently to meet the federal reporting requirements of the CARES Act.
Maintenance of effort is still in effect for all federal funds. Arkansas education funds were not reduced due to the state’s budget shortfalls related to the public health pandemic of 2020. Therefore, it is unlikely that MOE waivers will be approved by USDE. All LEAs should be mindful of this when determining what funding sources to be used for expenditures.
Finally, the federal entity has allowed for pre-award costs with CARES funds as of the date of the public health emergency declaration on March 13, 2020. Any expenditures that the LEA wishes to pay using CARES funds must be moved from the original SOF code to the CARES fund via journal entry and/or salary redistribution as is appropriate. All normal restrictions on expenditure reclassification apply (i.e. salary items must be moved via redistribution and only once).