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American Rescue Plan IDEA Fund
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2) was signed into law. Of the $130 billion that was allocated to the U.S. Department of Education, the following amounts were earmarked for IDEA grant awards as supplemental FFY 2021 funds:
- IDEA Part B, 611 (3 through 21) - $2.5 billion
- IDEA Part B, 619 (Birth through 3) - $200 million
These funds are provided to state educational agencies and lead agencies to help recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and to safely reopen schools and sustain safe operations. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B formula grants assist states in providing a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities ages 3 through 21 (Part B, Sections 611 and 619). Funds granted for IDEA under the American Recovery Plan (ARP) are supplemental to the regular allocations that Administrative Units (AUs) in Colorado receive. All ARP IDEA Part B funds must be used consistently with the current IDEA Part B statutory and regulatory requirements. Use of these funds are also subject to all requirements and provisions under EDGAR and the OMB Uniform Guidance.
Based on most current estimates from the U.S. Department of Education Colorado is slated to receive $38,571,711 for IDEA Part B, 611 and $2,689,222 for IDEA Part B, 619.
ARP IDEA Fund Distribution
ARP IDEA funds will be disbursed in the same manner as regular IDEA funds. Allocations for each AUs are currently posted on CDE’s State and Federal Grants Allocations webpage. AUs will draw down funding on a reimbursement basis through the CDE Request For Funds (RFF) system as they do for regular annual IDEA Part B and Preschool funding.
Funds are available for obligation by CDE and AUs between July 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022. The Tydings amendment allows an additional 12 months to use funds extending the use until September 30, 2023.
ARP IDEA Funds and Charter Schools
Funds granted for the ARP IDEA are supplemental to the regular allocations that AUs in Colorado receive. They are subject to the same requirements and allowable uses as regular IDEA funds including the requirement that AUs provide funds to Charter Schools in the same manner as they provide funds to their traditional schools. If the AU distributes funds to their traditional schools, they must distribute funds in the same manner to Charter Schools. If services are provided to traditional schools, then services should be provided to Charter Schools in the same fashion. (34 CFR §300.209)
Proportionate Share for Non-public Schools
Funds granted for the ARP IDEA are supplemental to the regular allocations that AUs in Colorado receive. They are subject to the same requirements and allowable uses as the regular IDEA funds including the requirement to use a proportionate share of the funds to serve students with disabilities and on an IEP that are parentally placed in not-for-profit private schools.
In calculating the proportionate share required under IDEA section 612(a)(10)(A)(i)(I), an AU must first aggregate the FY 2021 funds received under the Grants to States regular and ARP awards and apply the formula outlined in 34 CFR §300.133 to the aggregated amount. Similarly, for children aged 3-5, the proportionate share is based on the total FY 2021 funds received under the Preschool Grants regular and ARP Awards.
Voluntary Coordinated Early Intervening Services
Funds granted for the ARP IDEA are supplemental to the regular allocations that AUs in Colorado receive. They are subject to the same requirements and allowable uses as the regular IDEA funds including the use of up to 15% of the total IDEA Part B and Preschool awards to provide voluntary Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) to students who have not yet been identified as a student with disability. The 15% cap is calculated using both regular IDEA Part B and Preschool allocations as well as ARP IDEA Part B and Preschool allocations. All of the allowable use of funds, tracking, and reporting requirements of voluntary CEIS still apply. (34 CFR §300.226)
Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services or Mandatory CCEIS
Funds granted for the ARP IDEA are supplemental to the regular allocations that AUs in Colorado receive. They are subject to the same requirements and allowable uses as the regular IDEA funds including the requirement that AUs who are identified as having Significant Disproportionality must use exactly 15% of the IDEA Part B and Preschool, both regular and ARP allocations, combined if they are using funds awarded in the 2021-22 school and fiscal years for CCEIS. An AU identified for significant disproportionality may only use another year’s funding if they have the full 15% of that year’s funding remaining and enough time remaining in the funding period to execute the root cause analysis, plan to address findings, and time to complete the activities of the plan. (34 CFR §300.646)