Jun 10, 2020

Updates from the Department of Education

Danielle Smith
Comprehensive Center Program Manager
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U.S. Department of Education Updates

New CARES Act FAQ on Maintenance of Effort

The U.S. Department of Education released Frequently Asked Questions document on "Maintenance of Effort" requirements in the CARES Act on June 5, 2020. Two programs, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund) and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund), require States to maintain fiscal effort on behalf of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education. This FAQ document serves to answer questions about the State maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirements under the CARES Act. To access the document, click here.

Updates on Education Stabilization Fund Awards

The Department has now granted GEER and ESSER Fund awards to all 50 States and the District of Columbia. Certifications and agreements for awards will be posted soon on the Department’s website at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/. GEER Fund recipients must begin monthly reporting within 45 days of receiving their award, and ESSER Fund recipients must begin reporting within 60 days of award. The first GEER reports are due this week for HI, LA, ME, MD and next week for MA, OK, NJ, and KY. The Department sent grantees clarifications on reporting requirements this week. States that require extensions for reporting may submit requests to their state mailbox (e.g. OESE.SGR.Hawaii@ed.gov). The Department will be scheduling Post Award Calls with all grantees in the coming weeks.

Virtual Learning Forum on Practical Application of Virtual Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan hosted the second in a series of forums with K-12 education leaders this week to discuss best practices for remote learning, including lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. A readout of the call is available here.

Waiver Authority for the Period of Availability for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Funds for Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018

The Department of Education released a letter to Chief State School Officers with information on how to request a waiver that will permit State educational agencies and subgrantees to use Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018 IDEA Part B grant award funds for an additional year beyond what is known as the Tydings period. For more information, see here.