Federal Programs Spring To-Do List

As we approach the end of the school year in May, the workload tends to skyrocket for federal program directors. The tasks that need to be wrapped up during this busy period are not just routine, but they are crucial for the smooth functioning of our district. Here’s a rundown of key responsibilities that need your attention:

  • Finalizing FY25 Title Plans: It’s crucial for both the Local Education Agency (LEA) and individual schools to convene their spring planning meetings for the upcoming fiscal year. As discussed in last month’s blog, these meetings are platforms to share pertinent data with stakeholders. Feedback is sought to determine the allocation of federal funds based on identified strengths and weaknesses the data highlights. Setting priorities and establishing budgets aligned with these priorities are essential outcomes of these meetings.
  • Completing LEA Consolidated Federal Programs Applications (CFPA) and School Improvement Plans (SIP): In Mississippi and similar regions, the focus now shifts to crafting the FY25 CFPA and finalizing the FY24 SIP. This year, the task is particularly challenging due to uncertainties, with an allocation currently set at 85% of the previous year’s budget. Despite the uncertainty, it’s important to carefully analyze how set asides can be utilized and adjust the per-pupil allocation (PPA) for schools to address potential shortfalls. Remember, proactive planning is key, and one can make adjustments to the plan when final allocations are released.
  • Budget Reviews for Carryover Requirements and Grant Closures: It’s imperative to conduct thorough reviews of expenditure budgets to ensure compliance with carryover requirements. Titles I and V funds must have 85% expended or obligated by September 30th. Also, we need to pay attention to the closure of grants such as the FY22 grant and ESSER ARP, which are set to conclude on September 30, 2024. The FY23 grant also closes on September 30; however, MDE has indicated they will request a one-year waiver for the grant.  Monitoring the status of these budgets is essential, and efforts should be made to expend funds judiciously.
  • Documentation Monitoring: As part of end-of-year procedures, reviewing schools’ monitoring documentation is essential. Keeping this documentation up to date prepares for potential monitoring visits in the fall and ensures the faithful implementation of school-wide programs.
  • Evidence of Effectiveness Documentation: As you know, all federal funds are utilized to enhance student academic achievement or facilitate teacher professional growth. It is important to request and compile documentation from schools that demonstrate how the people employed and the programs purchased with federal dollars positively impacted student achievement. This evidence forms an integral part of the school monitoring file.

By addressing these tasks diligently, federal program directors can effectively navigate the end-of-year rush and ensure compliance while maximizing the impact of federal funds on student success.


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