Strategic Use of Federal Funds

01 February 2018

TO:                  Superintendents, Principals, Business Managers, Special Education Administrators, Curriculum Coordinators and School Board Members
FROM:            Secretary Rebecca Holcombe, Ed.D.
SUBJECT:       Strategic Use of Federal Funds
DATE:             February 1, 2018


Many of you have communicated both a need for additional resources for vulnerable students and substantial budget pressures in the current year.

At the state level, as we review usage of federal funds, we notice that many systems are not fully deploying their federal dollars, and in particular, their Title IIA, Title I, and IDEA dollars.  Of greater concern, some systems have had to return unexpended dollars to the federal government. With the uncertainty in federal funding, a sound strategy can involve expending most of your federal funds but holding back a bit to allow for accommodating or responding to any fluctuations in your allocations. However, holding back too much can put you at risk of forfeiture.

As you review your budget proposals, we want to stress how important it is to make sure you are strategically using your federal dollars before you make new investments of state dollars.

This is particularly important at a time when many districts are contemplating budget cuts and cost containment. In addition, two concepts you should be actively discussing are "supplanting" and "maintenance of effort."

Read the full memo

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