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GAINS Frequently Asked Questions

Access Roles Budget Submitting Applications Request for Funds Miscellaneous


1. How do I login to GAINS? 

a. Districts will use the "Sign in with CDE Identity Management (IdM)" option from the GAINS Sign-In screen. Charter Schools and Community-Based Organizations will use the native login setup through CDE. Charter Schools should submit the Charter School Access Form to receive login credentials and assign roles and permissions. CBOs should use the non-district organization GAINS access form.

2. I am logged in, but I cannot access grants. How do I see and apply for grants? 

a. Here are some common solutions to this question:

  • Your grant may not have opened yet or your organization may not have access. Grants will not appear in organization's list until the date the grant opens and the LEA Access is confirmed. Email for confirmation.
  • You may not have user roles and associations set up correctly. Users must also have a role assigned within their organization to view and access grants. Check with your LAM to confirm your user status and roles for the grant. 
  • You might be looking in the wrong fiscal year. Use the dropdown to toggle between 2024 and 2025 grants. See the visual guide finding 2025 applications. 

3. When I try to login using IdM I get an unexpected error message telling me to try again later, but I still can't log in after subsequent attempts? 

a. Try clearing browser cookies and history.

4. How do I find out who my district User Access Administrator is to request a role?  

a. LEA LAMs have been assigned User Access Administrator roles. You can find your LAM and others within your organization by going to the Address Book on the sidebar. If you are logged in, the Address Book will appear in the left navigation bar. If you are not logged in, you can hover over "Search" in the left navigation bar and select "Organizations." You can then enter the organization. Once you select the organization, the Address Book will appear in the left navigation bar (similar to if you logged in). 


1. What are the roles within GAINS?

  • LEA Authorized Representative- The Authorized Representative is the individual authorized to provide final LEA approval and submit the application to CDE on behalf of the LEA. This individual will receive the Grant Award Letter (GAL). Can be a superintendent and/or anyone else at the district who has authority to approve an application. 
  • LEA Fiscal Representative- The Fiscal Representative is authorized to approve grants, complete and submit requests for funds, and will receive fiscal related communication regarding the application. Usually the district Fiscal Manager, but other personnel can also have this role in your budgeting office.
  • User Access Administrator- Has the authority to manage LEA user roles. The district LAM(s) has this role by default, but it can be assigned to others in the organization. 
  • LEA ALL Funding Applications Update- Has the authority to edit any funding application but cannot change statuses/approve. Could be a district grant manager or grant writer. 
  • LEA [Application Name] Director- Authorized to create and complete named grant. The specific person managing the grant if this is not a centralized role for your district. 
  • LEA [Application Name] Update- Authorized to edit but cannot change statuses. Could be a school-based staff member who will need to assist in creating a grant application but would not have authority to submit on the district’s behalf. 
  • LEA Data View- Has the authority view all district content but no editing or status changes. 
  • **NEW** LEA All Funding Applications Director- Authorized to create and complete all eligible and available grants. Could be a grant manager or grant writer. 

For more information on GAINS Roles, please visit our Roles Webpage.

2. Can a user have multiple roles?  

a. Yes, a role is a permission set, not a job title. In some districts, a user may work with more than one funding application and would need roles for each one.  

3. Can multiple users have the same role?  

a. Yes. For example, several people could have the same role that would give them the ability to work in an application.  

4. How do we add and delete users in GAINS?  

a. Please see the LAM GAINS User Access Instructions for step-by-step instructions on how to add users and assign/remove roles. Users cannot be deleted in GAINS for audit purposes, but User Access Administrators should remove all roles and permissions from those users.  

5. How do I find out who my LAM or User Access Administrator is to grant access to and roles in GAINS?

a. Go to "Search>Organizations" on the left sidebar and search for your organization. Click on your org and then select the "Address Book" on the sidebar. Any organization users with the User Access Administrator role can be contacted to request roles and access.

6. Does a user with all roles deleted still appear in the address book?  

a. No, once a user has all roles deleted, they no longer appear in the address book. 


1. My competitive grant budget shows a negative number in the budget and allocation. Will I be able to submit? 

a. Yes. The negative numbers are there because there are no initial allocations for competitive grants. The negative numbers will not impact submission for competitive grant budgets.  

Submitting Applications

1. How do I know if my application is submitted to CDE?

a. Application Status needs to be at "LEA Authorized Representative Approved" to be considered fully submitted to CDE.

2. How do I get my application to status “LEA  Authorized Representative Approved”? 

a. The Application Status workflow steps are as follows: Draft Started>Draft Completed>LEA Fiscal Representative Approved>LEA Authorized Representative Approved.

Only those assigned with the Role of “LEA Fiscal Representative” may move the application to LEA Fiscal Representative Approved and only those with the Role of “LEA Authorized Representative” may move the application status to LEA Authorized Representative Approved.   

Request for Funds

1. When will I be able to Request for Funds in GAINS?

a. Currently, there are no grants that are ready for the Request for Funds (RFF) process in GAINS and LEAs should continue to use Formsite for their RFF process until further notice. As applications are completed in GAINS, RFFs functions will be made available and CDE will communicate that transition timeline.

2. What if you have several grants that you are requesting funds for, does the one RFF prevent submission of other grants?  

a. No, it is specific to one grant. You can continue to submit RFFs for other grants even with one RFF submitted.  

3. Can an applicant request to be reimbursed more than the amount budgeted for an object code or, are we going to have to do a Post Award Revision (PAR)?  

a. You can request up to 10% over the amount budgeted for an object code from your approved budget. If you go above 10%, you will need to submit a revision.  

4. When requesting funds, will we be required to list every budget line item?    

a. The Request for Funds is rolled up by Object Code. Applicants will be required to submit their requests for the amount needed from each rolled-up object code.  


1. Is the system using a fiscal year or a calendar year?  

a. The system operates on a fiscal year, running from July 1 to June 30.  

2. Will Grant Award Letters (GALs) be generated and sent through GAINS?  

a. It is our intention to have GALs generated through GAINS, however at this time, GALs will be sent through our normal process.  

3. If multiple people are on the same page, can the person locked out see the updates the other person is doing?  

a. As it is happening, no. If they save, and the other person waiting refreshes, then the updates can be seen. Only one account may edit a page at a time. Other users will need to wait until the first account saves and leaves the page.  

4. Will the Status changes in the workflow replace the Assurances page?  

a. For some applications, yes. Some programs may require signed assurances from the Board President. In that case, we collect it as part of Required Documents within GAINS.

If you have any questions, please contact