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Consolidated Application FAQ's

Q. When will allocations be released?

Answer:  On Friday, March 23, 2018, the President signed legislation that provides funding for Title programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the 2018-19 school year (i.e. State Fiscal Year 2019; Federal Fiscal Year 2018).  The United States Department of Education has begun the process of calculating state allocations based on these funding levels. Once received, CDE will calculate preliminary allocations for local educational agencies (LEAs) for the 2018 – 2019 school year and post the information on the CDE Grants Fiscal page.  

Q. What if allocations are delayed?

Answer:  If allocations are delayed to the point that the June submission deadline is unrealistic, CDE will establish a revised deadline and inform the LEAs of the updated timeline.

Q. When will the application become available?

Answer: The Consolidated Application will be available May 4th, 2018.  CDE will communicate the platform availability with the field via email, the Scoop, and the Consolidated Application website.   

Q. How do I update the contact information in the application? 

Answer: LEAs may login to their application at any time to add, delete, and/or update application contacts. If you do not have login information for the application platform, contact CDE at

Q. When is my application due?

Answer: The Consolidated Application is due June 30th, 2018. Note: During the 2017-18 Consolidated Application cycle CDE provided an extended deadline for the submission of narrative responses for the LEA plan to support applicants in the transition to ESSA.  Please note that there is not an extended submission deadline for the 2018-19 Consolidated Application.  The application and all required materials must be received timely to ensure the applicant receives substantial approval.

Q. When will applications be reviewed?

Answer: Complete applications submitted by June 30th will be reviewed within 30 days of receipt.

Q. What is due before the application can be reviewed? 

Answer: The materials required prior to review include all items needed for Substantial Approval and a complete response to all required narrative questions (II, III and IV).

Please note that two of the forms required for substantial approval include the Supplement, Not Supplant Demonstration form and the Non-Public Schools Consultation form. These forms must be completed and submitted by May 30th, 2018. The Supplement, Not Supplant Demonstration form requires the president of the board’s signature, which may or may not include board action, while the Consultation forms require only the superintendent’s signature or other authorized designee’s signature.

Q. What will CDE consider a complete response to the narrative questions?

Answer: A complete response provides the detail requested in the question.  This includes information based on the LEA’s local context and provides the reviewer with insight into how the LEA’s federally funded activities support the LEA’s overall program, as outlined in the LEA’s comprehensive needs assessment.  Responses should thoughtfully connect the LEA’s programs/activities with the purpose of each Title program, as specifically identified through the narrative question prompts.  While certain elements of the LEA Plan may serve as a three year plan, the LEA should ensure that the responses remain relevant and aligned to the services provided with the program funds.  Applicants may note changes to the three year responses in the application platform.

Q. How should I use the Additional Considerations?

Answer: The Additional Considerations are provided as a resource that may be used as the LEA/BOCES is developing responses to the narrative question.  These considerations provide valuable information that may be incorporated as the LEA/BOCES is designing their programs to meet the specific needs of the students in their district.

Q. When can I expect feedback?

Answer: CDE will provide initial feedback to the LEA/BOCES within 30 days of the June 30th submission.

Q. If our LEA/BOCES requests support from CDE, what types of support will we receive?

Answer: CDE will provide support with the review of applicant data, identification of new ways to use federal funds, comprehensive needs assessment, allowable uses of funds, leveraging multiple funding sources and any other supports needed to develop a complete and approvable response to the narrative questions. The LEA can request support through their Regional Contact from CDE.

CDE encourages LEAs to request support from CDE prior to the submission of the Consolidated Application in order to ensure timely approval of the application.

Q. Will my completed application be declined?

Answer:  No.  CDE will work with the applicant to revise, update, and finalize the application until it meets the required components and is approvable.

Q. When can I obligate funds?

Answer: An LEA may begin to obligate funds by July 1st if the LEA/BOCES has met the minimum requirements for substantial approval:

Minimum Submission Requirements for Substantial Approval

  • Supplement, Not Supplant Demonstration form(s)
  • Non-Public Schools Consultation Form(s) (as applicable)
  • Native American Education Tribal Consultation (Yearly Affirmation) form (as applicable)
  • BOCES Member District ARAC form (as applicable)
  • Approval & Transmittal Signature form
  • Complete and submitted application through the online platform

 Q. What is the difference between substantial and final approval?

Answer: Substantial approval is granted when the applicant successfully submits the application and provides the following:

  • Supplement, Not Supplant Demonstration form
  • Approval & Transmittal Signature forms,
  • BOCES Member District ARAC (as applicable),
  • Non-public Schools Consultation form(s) (as applicable),
  • Native American Education Consultation forms (as applicable) 
  • responses to all applicable narrative questions (II,III and IV), and a
  • complete application through the online platform.

Substantial approval allows applicants to obligate funds for activities outlined in the application budget.  

Final approval is granted when all the requirements are met and the LEA has received approval of the LEA plan. Once final approval is granted, applicants may submit a request for funds to pay for activities outlined in the application.

Q. When can I draw down funds?

Answer: An LEA/BOCES may draw down funds once a completed application has final approval. 

Q. What is required to submit for Non-public School consultation?

Answer: Under ESSA, LEAs are required to submit the results of consultation to the non-public school ombudsman.  CDE has provided a template that the LEA may use in order to capture all of the required elements of consultation, as well as other provisions required under sections 1117 and 8501-06 of the ESSA.  LEAs must submit the results of consultation for all known non-public schools within the LEA’s boundaries.  If the non-public school does not respond to the invitation for consultation or elects not to participate, the LEA should capture this information in the summary section of the form and sign it.  If the non-public school did not attend consultation and elects not to participate, their signature is not required. 

If the LEA uses a different template, the LEA should ensure that the template aligns to the requirements in the ESSA. 

Q. What is the Native American Consultation requirement?

Answer: Section 8538 of ESEA requires affected LEAs to consult with Indian tribes, or those tribal organizations approved by the tribes located in the area served by the LEA, prior to submitting a plan or application for covered programs. This requirement is designed “to ensure timely and meaningful consultation on issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native students.” The consultation must be done “in a manner and in such time that provides the opportunity for such appropriate officials from Indian tribes or tribal organizations to meaningfully and substantively contribute” to plans under covered programs.

Specific information about this requirement can be found on the American Indian Education webpage.

Q. What services should we provide to children in foster care?

Answer:  LEAs must have, policies and practices to ensure that children in foster care will remain, if possible, in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time placement.  When remaining in such school is not in the best interest of the child, the LEA must provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school, with all of the educational records of the child provided to the new school.  The LEA must have policies and practices to ensure that the enrolling school will immediately contact the school last attended by the child in foster care to obtain relevant academic and other records.

LEAs must also have policies to ensure that children in foster care in need of transportation will promptly receive transportation in a cost-effective manner.  An LEA may use Title I funds to pay for additional costs needed to transport children in foster care to their schools of origin. Please note, however, that funds reserved for comparable services for homeless children and youth may not be used to provide transportation needed to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin.  Additional guidance addressing the educational stability of children in foster care may be found on the Non-Regulatory Guidance for Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care posted by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Q. Where do I find the Consolidated Application Approval and Transmittal signature form?

Answer: The Consolidated Application Approval and Transmittal signature form is available in the online platform: Module D: Document Uploads.

Q. Who needs to sign the Consolidated Application Approval and Transmittal signature form?

Answer: The Consolidated Application Approval and Transmittal signature form requires a signature from the board president and the applicant’s Authorized Representative. The board president and Authorized Representative will certify that all program requirements will be met and the LEA/BOCES understands the rules and regulations associated with the receipt of ESSA Program funds.

Q. What is the ARAC and who needs to complete it?

Answer: The Acceptance, Relinquishment, Assignment and Certification (ARAC) form allows LEAs to identify how allocated program funds will be managed by the LEA.

Note: CDE has updated the Acceptance, Relinquishment, Assignment, and Certification (ARAC) process for BOCES. The BOCES Authorized Representative has access to each member district’s application platform to administer the assignment of funds on behalf of the LEA. Once this function is complete, the BOCES ARAC form will be prepopulated through the application platform and list the funds that have been assigned from each Title program.

BOCES applicants will have the ability to print completed ARACs for each member from the Consolidated Application and upload signed forms into the platform.

Q. If the application is a subset of the program requirements for ESSA, where do I find a complete list of the requirements?

Answer: The Office of ESEA Programs website has individual webpages dedicated to each Title program included in the consolidated application. Program requirements, as well as required and allowable uses of funds, may be accessed on the appropriate Title webpage.

In addition to individual program requirements, LEAs must ensure that they are in compliance with additional Federal laws and regulations. Applicable assurances may be found in the consolidated application, as well as the Approval and Transmittal form, ARAC, and Grant Award Letter (GAL). The statutory language of the ESSA and guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education may be accessed on the U.S. Department of Education's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) webpage.

Q. How will supplement, not supplant work under ESSA?

Answer: The ESSA requires LEAs to demonstrate compliance with the supplement, not supplant provisions under Title I, Part A by demonstrating the methodology the LEA uses to allocate State/local funds to each Title I school to ensure that each Title I school receives all of the State/local funds it would have otherwise received if it was not receiving Title I, Part A funds. 

The demonstration form must be signed by the board’s president and submitted prior to or on May 30th to the ESEA Team via email. Applicants that do not accept Title I, Part A funds are not required to submit the demonstration form. Additional information related to the demonstration can be found on the Supplement, Not Supplant for Title 1, Part A under ESSA webpage.

Q. What changes were made to the Set-Asides based on ESSA?

Answer:   Several of the set-aside requirements have been removed or updated to reflect the transition to ESSA requirements.

  • LEAs are required to determine the amount of funds necessary to provide equitable services under Title I, i.e. the proportionate share, based on the total Title I, Part A allocation. This means that the LEA must determine the proportionate share before taking other set-asides from the allocation.
  • SES and Choice are no longer required under ESSA and therefore have been removed as a funding source from the budget in the consolidated application.  The LEA may choose to continue to fund these activities with Title I, Part A funds in the consolidated application. SES activities are considered to be part of the Title I program at the individual school level. Choice activities are considered as a District Managed Activity (DMA) and may be coded as such if the LEA chooses to continue to fund this activity.
  • Under ESSA, accountability requirements are based on school-level identification. As a result, the district Priority Performance Challenge (PPC) set- aside is no longer applicable and has been removed from the consolidated application. 
  • The Highly Qualified set-aside is no longer included in the consolidated application. The ESSA eliminated the highly qualified teacher and paraprofessional requirements and now defers these qualifications to State law.
  • LEAs may set-aside a portion of Title I, Part A funds to implement district managed activities (DMA). DMA may be utilized to support eligible students in Title I schools or to provide a benefit to a group of Title I schools. LEAs that implement DMA are permitted to set-aside up to 20% of their total Title I, Part A allocation for this purpose. If the LEA intends to exceed the 20% limitation, the LEA must complete the waiver process. For more information regarding DMA and the waiver process, visit the Title I, Part A District Level Set Asides webpage.

Q. How will the flexibility to serve a high school at 50% impact the rank order requirements?

Answer:  An LEA must rank its schools above the 75 percent poverty threshold without regard to grade span and serve those schools in rank order of poverty before it serves any schools at or below the 75 percent poverty threshold. Under the ESEA exception, an LEA may, but is not required to, continue to serve (in rank order of poverty) high schools with poverty percentages between 50 percent and 75 percent before it either serves other schools with a poverty percentage of 75 percent or below or begins to rank and serve schools by grade span. In other words, an LEA may serve high schools with 50 percent or more poverty before it serves any elementary or middle schools with a poverty percentage at or below 75 percent.

Q. Will the GEPA statement change year to year?

A. The GEPA statement should reflect current local conditions and address barriers to the activities described in the current application.  While identified barriers may remain constant from year to year, if a needs assessment has identified a new barrier, or if the LEA has chosen to amend their approach to eliminating that barrier, it should be reflected in the GEPA statement.  Similarly, if the activities have changed from the previous year and the identified barrier no longer impacts students’ ability to access the services being provided, the GEPA statement should identify and address any new barriers.

Q. Is there a formula LEAs can use for calculating the set aside for homeless populations?

A.  There are 4 suggested methods for calculating the Title I, Part A homeless set aside:

  • Method #1: Reserve the set aside amount based on anticipated needs of homeless student. Based on the district’s prior years expenses related to fulfilling the requirements set out in §722(g)(6) of McKinney-Vento, set aside an amount that will allow the district to provide appropriate services.
  • Method #2: Reserve the set aside amount based on the homeless student count and Title I, Part A per-pupil allocation. To reserve funds by using this method, take the homeless children & youth count multiplied by the Title I, Part A per-pupil allocation.
  • Method #3: Reserve the set aside amount on percentage. A specific percentage of funds for homeless children and youth can be reserved based on the Title I, Part A allocation, or on the district’s poverty data. Generally, if the district has a higher poverty percentage, the district will also have a higher number of homeless children and youth.
  • Method #4: Reserve the set aside amount based on free/reduced lunch count. Statistically, 10% of children living in poverty will experience homelessness within any given year. Using the free/reduced lunch count, estimate the number of homeless students in your district who may experience homelessness this school year. For example:
    • a. The district’s free/reduced lunch count=100 students
    • b. 10% of whom could become homeless=10 students
    • c. The district’s Title I Part A per pupil allocation is $755 per student
    • d. Using this method the Title I, Part A Homeless set-aside would be $7,550.00