On December 8, 2022, the State Board of Education gave approval to Emergency Rules Governing School Safety. These rules became effective December 16, 2022, upon review of the Arkansas Legislative Council, and govern distribution of school safety grant funds made available by Act 3 of 2022, Third Extraordinary Session. Copies of the rules are attached to this memo and can be found on the Department's website at: https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/Legal/CurrentRules.
School safety grant funds must be used to aid in implementing the recommendations of the School Safety Commission, Governor Huckabee Sanders' Arkansas L.E.A.R.N.S. plan, and providing a safe school environment for students and staff. In accordance with the Emergency Rules, a prioritized list of eligible expenses has been developed and is reflected in the attached application. Expenses for a safety measure not included in the list shall only be eligible for reimbursement upon approval from the Commissioner of Education. The 2022 Arkansas School Safety Commission Final Report is also attached and provides additional explanation regarding the Commission's recommendations.
The amount of funding available to a district was calculated using the following formula:
Base amount x scale multiplier + $25/student enrollment
($100,000 for 501 students) (depending on size of school)
This completed application must be submitted no later than March 31, 2023, to: Safe.Schools@ade.arkansas.gov. After the superintendent receives notice that the application has been approved, the district may seek reimbursement by processing expenses from eFinance source of fund (SOF) code 2397 and revenue code 32907. ADE Finance will pull expenses for this fund on the second Saturday of the month and issue reimbursement for the outstanding expenses recorded therein. The district MUST attach all invoices paid to the expense in eFinance. Original invoices MUST be attached to any journal entries that reclassify prior expenses to this new fund. This will eliminate the need for districts to request funds or submit manual documentation, as all expense data will be contained in eFinance. However, the district should retain pertinent documentation for monitoring and audit purposes. Districts may be reimbursed for approved items purchased anytime during FY23, even if completed prior to application approval. All reimbursements for FY23 must be in eFinance and properly recorded with the required attachments, no later than June 10, 2023. FY 24 expenditures must be expended by December 31, 2023.