Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH)
October 17, 2012
TEA has announced changes in the 2012-13 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook that detail consequences to LEA's if they do not respond to inquiries from TEA in a timely manner. Section 2.1 and 1.2 of the 2012-13 SAAH are particularly relevant to LEA's selected for a limited scope review do student attendance data by the Division of Financial Audits. See the following letter for information http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147509552
Title I Part A Comparability of Services Requirement
October 16, 2012
Title I comparability of services testing and reporting of data to TEA is due Monday, November 12, 2012. No Child Left Behind federal law requires campuses receiving Title I funds to receive the same level of services as those not receiving Title I funds. Details can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147509545
2011-12 State Aid payments
2011-12 State Aid payments may have been impacted by an error found in the Summer PEIMS submission file. TEA will re-run data and the 2011-12 Near-Final Summary of Finance will be available by Friday, October 5th.
American Recovery and Reinvestment
American Recovery and Reinvestment of 2009 (ARRA) Section 1512 Quarterly reports are due October 5, 2012. LEAs having Education Jobs Fund (Ed Jobs) or ARRA Title I, School Improvement Grant (SIG) expenditures for the period July 1 - September 30, 2012 can begin reporting on October 1st when the Expenditure Reporting system opens. For guidance on this topic and related matters, see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147509121
2013-14 Student Assessment Testing Calendar
TEA has posted the 2013-14 Student Assessment Testing Calendar. The expanded and extensive list of dates can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3635&menu_id3=793
2012 Final FIRST ratings
The 2012 Final FIRST ratings have been announced by TEA. The announcement letter with required reporting information is posted at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147509025
Student Transportation Operations Report
The 2011-12 Student Transportation Operations Report can now be entered into the Foundation School Program (FSP) System. The report must be SENT by December 1, 2012. The instructions for the report are available on the State Transportation Funding page at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&libid=6518
The Annual Financial and Compliance Report
The Division of Financial Audits has announced changes to the submission process and signature requirements for The Annual Financial and Compliance Report. LEAs will no longer be required to send a paper copy of their annual financial to TEA. All submissions will be electronic. LEAs that do not want original signatures to be published on the TEA website may submit 2 reports - one with a printed name and a second with the original signatures. Information on the updated process can be found at http://tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147509053
Financial Accountability System Resource (FAR) Guide
The Division of Financial Audits has announced Version 15.0 of the Financial Accountability System Resource (FAR) Guide. Only Module 4 - Auditing was updated in the new version with minor changes. The Division does not have a change document explaining the minor changes. Version 15 can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=1222
2012 Tax Information Survey deadline has been extended
The 2012 Tax Information Survey deadline has been extended to August 27, 2012. Districts should complete and submit to TEA. If the agency has overestimated your district's LPE column on the 2011-12 summary of finances, TEA will not be able to correctly calculate your settle up payment on the near-final estimates in September 2012.
Instructional Materials Allotment – Additional Enrollment Growth Request
Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA)- Districts and charter schools who have grown by a net increase of 3,500 students over the last 5 years or those that have experienced unexpected enrollment growth due to unforeseen circumstances can apply for additional IMA funding. For details and the application process see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508396
Revised Plan for Financial Solvency Reviews
Financial Solvency Reviews revisited. TEA has changed how financial solvency will be assessed. For fiscal year 2011, PEIMS data is currently being reviewed based upon TEA's specific methodology. In August 2012, a preliminary list of LEA's identified as having circumstances that could lead to financial insolvency will be notified. Once notified, districts will have 30 days to respond to TEA. For details see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508403
Automated Waivers Application (August 2012)
TEA announces NEW Automated Waiver System. For the 2012-2013 school year, districts and charter schools will be required to submit all waiver and class size exception requests through the automated system. No paper waiver or class size exception applications will be accepted. For details see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508347
Clarification Regarding Release of Revised Planning Amounts
August 10, 2012
Division of Grants Administration has released revised planning amounts for No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Perkins Career and Technical Education Program, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs. In addition to the reinstatement of the 10% of funds withheld from the planning amount calculations for the possibility of sequestration, the updated 2010 Census data and other formula data also impact this year’s LEA allocations, in some cases by a significant amount. Click here for details http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508314
Districts with Campuses Required to Engage in the Texas Accountability Interventions
August 9, 2012
Campuses not meeting Federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive years in the same indicator (reading/English language arts, mathematics, attendance rate, or graduation rate) are subject to Title I School Improvement Program requirements, For details on the names of districts/campuses and information on the intervention requirements during the 2012-2013 school year see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508296
Status of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements
August 8, 2012
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires all core academic subject area teachers to meet the highly qualified (HQ) teacher requirements. Based on the Texas Education Agency’s review of the 2011-2012 highly qualified teacher data, the state is close to meeting this goal but it has not been met statewide. NCLB requires interventions with LEAs that have not yet met this goal. For information on how your district meets this goal and the interventions necessary if you do not, see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508203
Admission, Enrollment, and Withdrawal
August 3, 2012
Detailed communications about 2012-13 admission, enrollment, and attendance requirements for students has been posted on the TEA website. The following has been posted at the TEA website: 2013 Admission, Enrollment, and Withdrawal for charter schools at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508101
And for school districts see 2013 Attendance, Admission, Enrollment Records and Tuition at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147508100
TEA will open the expenditure reporting (ER) system
July 31, 2012
On Monday, August 6, 2012, TEA will open the expenditure reporting (ER) system to allow corrections to ARRA Section 1512 Quarterly Reports submitted for the quarter ending June 30, 2012, for the following grant programs the Education Jobs Fund (Ed Jobs) and ARRA Title I, School Improvement Grant (SIG) (Texas Title I Priority Schools). The correction period will end on September 7, 2012 when the ER system closes.
PEIMS Financial Standard Reports
July 30, 2012
TEA announces the 2010-11 actual financial data available through the PEIMS Financial Standard Reports page now includes fund balance information (for school district reports) and net assets information (for charter school reports). These can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147495078&menu_id=645&menu_id2=789
Chapter 41 Wealth Equalization
July, 26, 2012
Chapter 41 Guidance has been posted on the TEA website for those subject to wealth equalization. The 2012–2013 Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization along with laws, rules, and the list of chapter 41 districts can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=6796&menu_id=645
New Guidance on the Possible Federal Sequestration Process
July 25, 2012
In the event of Sequestration, the USDE has announced the 2012-13 grant award amounts will not be impacted. TEA has reversed previous action to reduce planning amounts and has begun the process of calculating revised planning amounts, incorporating the amount previously withheld for the possible sequestration, and will release the revised planning amounts by program on a rolling basis over the next few weeks as they are completed. Details can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147507725
2012–2013 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH)
July 24, 2012
The 2012–2013 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) is now available on the Texas Education Agency website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=7739&menu_id=645&menu_id2=789
Fiscal Year 2013 Indirect Cost Rates Available for Charter Schools and School Districts
Texas Education Agency (TEA) has published fiscal year 2013 indirect cost rates for charter schools and independent school districts on the Division of Federal Program Compliance Indirect Cost Rates page. These rates are effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. For additional information see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147507672
2010-11 ARRA SFSF Evaluation Report CANCELLED
TEA has cancelled and will not require local education agencies (LEAs) to submit the 2010-2011 ARRA SFSF Evaluation Report. For additional information see
2011-2012 Bus Accident Reporting System is now OPEN
This message is to notify you that, per statutory and rule requirements, your school district or open-enrollment charter school must report information on bus accidents that occurred during the 2011–2012 school year to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Please forward this message to the person who is responsible for reporting bus accidents to the TEA for your school district or open-enrollment charter school if you are not responsible for reporting this information.
The TEA has created a web-based survey for you to use in reporting bus accident information. It opened June 29 and will close August 31. The survey, as well as a PDF that allows you to preview the survey questions, is available on the TEA Bus Accident Reporting System web page.
EVERY school district and open-enrollment charter school must use the survey to submit its own individual report by August 31. If no accidents meeting the reporting requirements occurred during the school year, your school district or charter school must submit a report showing zero as the number of bus accidents.
A note on what to report: If an incident involved a citation, your district or charter school must report the incident as an accident. For an incident that did not involve a citation, your district or charter school has discretion over whether to report the incident as an accident.
You can find additional information on bus accident reporting requirements and on the survey on the TEA Bus Accident Reporting System web page. If you have further questions, please contact Rob Caudill in the Office of School Finance at (512) 475-3925 or email@example.com.
The 2012 Tax Information Survey is open for submission and will close August 17, 2012.
The 2012 Tax Information Survey is open for submission and will close August 17, 2012.
Please ensure that your district has completed and submitted the Tax Information Survey using the online FSP System, accessed through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE), by August 17. If your district does not submit the survey by the deadline, your district's state funding could be adversely affected. Please double-check your data before submitting the survey.
Completing the survey is especially important if the agency has overestimated your district's collections in the legislative payment estimate (LPE) column of the Summary of Finances (SOF) for the 2011–2012 school year. If we do not receive more-accurate collections data, we will not be able to calculate settle-up payments for your district when we produce near-final estimates in September 2012. Your district will not receive additional state revenue to compensate it for lower collections than those shown on the 2011–2012 SOF until April 2013, when we incorporate the J1 schedule information from your district's annual financial audit.
If you have questions about the survey, please contact Al Johnson, state funding consultant, by phone at (512) 463-9260 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about TEASE access, please contact Nicole Schuessler by phone at (512) 475-1632 or by email at email@example.com.
AISD Names Leo Lopez Executive Director for Finance
Leo Lopez departs Office of School Finance at Texas Education Agency for position with Austin ISD.
Press Release: https://www.austinisd.org/articles/aisd-names-leo-lopez-executive-director-finance
Fit Your District on a Sheet of Paper
TASB Governmental Relations has produced this district summary template (doc) to help schools answer some of the most frequently asked questions about school district characteristics.
This template is designed so that any district can simply insert readily available data from the Academic Excellence Indicator System and other TEA databases into a standard form similar to the now-defunct TEA Snapshot.
AEIS District Reports provide a wealth of district information that may be included in the district summary template.
Districts are encouraged to share the information captured in this template with legislators so that they have a better understanding of their legislative districts' schools when considering legislation this session.
A new Electronics Reports Submission manual
June 5, 2012 - A new Electronics Reports Submission manual has been posted to the Division of Financial Audits web pages (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=3968 ). Revised naming conventions for districts submitting district and campus improvement plans. Other guidance related to the annual financial report are provided in the manual.
Alternative Compensatory Education Allotment Reporting
June 4 2012 - TEA releases information to districts and charters schools that use the Alternative State Compensatory Education Allotment funding count method for the 2012-13 school year. Guidance is provided to those not participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) in this letter http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147506998
Reductions in Federal Grant Planning Amounts
Reductions in Federal Grant Planning Amounts are announced by TEA. Due to federal sequestration, there will be a 10% withhold reducing the planning amounts for federal formula grants. Maximum entitlements will not be calculated until later than usual in January 2013. For details, see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147506886
School Transportation Route Services Report for 2011-12
School Transportation Route Services Report for 2011-12 is due to TEA on July 1, 2012. Instructions for completing the report are on the TEA School Transportation funding website http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147484107&menu_id=645
Unexpended FY11 Technology Allotment Funds
Districts with unspent 2010-11 Technology Funds have until August 31, 2012 to spend funds.
TEA Adopted Definition of Financial Exigency
The rule action presented in this item was filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts new 19 TAC Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter BB, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Financial Exigency, §109.2001, Financial Exigency. The adopted new rule implements the requirements of the Texas Education Code (TEC), §44.011, as added by Senate Bill (SB) 8, 82nd Texas Legislature, First Called Session, 2011. The TEC, §44.011, requires that the commissioner of education adopt minimum standards concerning school district financial conditions that must exist for declaration of financial exigency by the board of trustees of the school district.
Full article can be found here: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147506433
Commissioner Robert Scott announces resignation
AUSTIN -Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced today that he will resign his office, effective July 2 on the fifth anniversary of his appointment to the state’s highest public education post.
Scott, 43, began his career at the Texas Education Agency in 1994 as an assistant director of governmental relations.
“I’ve been here since Jon was one and Katie was three months old,” he said, referring to his children. “It’s time.” Both children have now graduated from Texas public schools.
Scott, a lawyer, has dedicated his career to education policy matters, whether serving as a congressional aide, education aide to Gov. Rick Perry or through a variety of jobs at TEA, including serving as interim commissioner and deputy commissioner.
As a parent of public school children, Scott could see firsthand how policies he helped craft impacted the classroom. His children’s involvement in the fine arts, for example, convinced him of the importance of this area of study, causing him to be a steadfast advocate for the arts and the important role they play in the schools.
Other highlights of Scott’s career include:
“It’s been a privilege to serve as commissioner. I want to thank Gov. Perry for entrusting me with this job. I also want to thank the State Board of Education for working with me to provide the best public schools possible for our students,” Scott said.
Scott served as interim commissioner of TEA from Aug. 1, 2003 to Jan. 12, 2004 and again from July 2, 2007 to Oct. 15, 2007, before being appointed as commissioner on Oct. 16, 2007.
Scott is the only person to twice serve as interim commissioner and is now the fourth-longest serving commissioner in the agency’s history. No one has had a longer tenure in the past 20 years.
Although there were many new initiatives begun during his tenure, it also fell to Scott to twice oversee drastic downsizings of TEA during a budget crisis. This prompted reorganizations of the agency and the way it operates.
“As someone who has risen through the ranks, I’ve seen firsthand the dedicated service provided by TEA employees. I want to thank them for their unwavering devotion to Texas children,” he said.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to the educators who work tirelessly in our schools. I can’t thank them enough.”
Summary of Finances finalized for 2010-11
Summary of Finances finalized for 2010-11. See letter from TEA summarizing information included in the final SOF at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147506400
Immediate & Upcoming Changes to Grant Management Process
Immediate & Upcoming Changes to Grant Management Process have been announced by TEA’s Office for Grants and Fiscal Compliance http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147506398
Truth in Taxation Training Dates
The Property Tax Assistance division at the State Comptroller’s office has released Truth in Taxation webinar dates. Details on the dates, topics and receiving Continuing Education hours can be found here http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/webinars.html
Future TRS Retirement Considerations
Do you work a July – June work schedule or contract year for your district? TRS is making changes that will impact your retirement. Retiring in June may no longer be an option. The following webinar released by Teacher Retirement System explains how the implementation Standardized School Year mandated by House Bill 2561 which was passed during the 2011 Legislative Session will impact your future retirement decisions. Click on the link to view the 14 minutes video explaining the changes:
Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) updates
Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) updates and the announcement of the EMAT system closing for processing 2011-12 requisitions and disbursement requests has been released by TEA. The communication also details the reopening of EMAT for the 2012-13 school year, certification requirements, and how the IMA allotment has been calculated. Settle up for the 2011 Technology funds will also be included in the 2012-13 allotment amount. Please see the letter here:
ARRA 1512 Quarterly reporting for Ed Jobs and School Improvement Grants
Information on ARRA 1512 Quarterly reporting for Ed Jobs and School Improvement Grants was recently released from the TEA’s office of Grants and Federal Compliance. These reports are due April 5, 2012. The communication also has information about annual CCR renewal and enforcement actions. Please see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147505923
New IMA and EMAT Guidance
TEA announces a new certification process for IMA funds and new roles that will require Superintendent approval for establishing “ordering” or “view” access via TEASE accounts. Also announces that EMAT will be available April 2012 for ordering 2012-13 instructional materials.
Please see link for the entire letter http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147505632
Financial Solvency Survey from TEA
The 2011–2012 financial solvency survey for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools is now available. Please respond to the survey before it closes on Friday, February 10, 2012. Please note the due date posted on the TEA website is different than the date sent in a recent TEA letter announcing the survey. TEA has confirmed that the February 10th due date can be used
Information can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147487027&menu_id=645&menu_id2=789
Duty of Superintendents and Directors to Report Educator Misconduct
Superintendents and other district administrators are reminded of their obligation to report educator misconduct to TEA in a letter released from the Division of Educator Leadership and Quality. Failure to report such behavior can result in negative consequences. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147505078
Additional Information on Pending Federal Grant Decreases and Education Job funding increases released by TEA
The TEA Division of Grants Administration has released additional information regarding Federal Grant fund reductions for 2011-12. The impact to Title I & II grants and IDEA, Part B has been estimated to be limited and/or minimal. The new maximum entitlements will be released for Title I & II programs on December 2, 2011 and IDEA, Part B will be released on January 16, 2012. The Title I Carl Perkins reallocations will be released on January 9, 2012.
Education Jobs funding has been increased for Texas by $18.9 million. The increased award amounts are expected to be posted on the Division of Grants Administration Federal Entitlements page no later than December 16, 2011.
View the letter from TEA here http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/grantsadmin112911.html
Desktop Monitoring of ARRA and Non-ARRA Federal Formula and Discretionary Grants
The Office of Grants and Fiscal Compliance have released a communication discussing the prevailing issues found during this past year’s desktop monitoring of ARRA and non-ARRA federal formula and discretionary grants. – Issues noted are failure to maintain appropriate time and effort documentation, failure to comply with appropriate account coding and budgetary monitoring, failure to maintain source documentation supporting expenditures, failure to follow requirements related to ARRA infrastructure projects, and failure to calculate excess cost for educating students with disabilities. For further details see http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/fedcomp111811.html
Mon, 21 Nov 2011
Corrections to ARRA Section 1512 Quarterly Reporting
TEA will reopen the Expenditure Reporting system to allow corrections to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Section 1512 quarterly reporting data submitted for the quarter that ended September 30, 2011. The continuous corrections period will close Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. TEA will host webinars on Thursday, Nov 10th and Wednesday, Nov 16th to review the ARRA Section 1512 reporting guidance. The link to register is http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=5286&menu_id=934&menu_id2=941
Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) Funds
The Division of Financial Audits has released guidance related to accounting for the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) funds. Fund 410 should be used to record all IMA transactions. The reports needed for recording the funds can be accessed through the EMAT system via your district’s Textbook Coordinator. The information can be accessed via this link: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=1222
TEA announces Federal fund Decreases and Increases
Based on recent communications from US Department of Education, TEA has posted news regarding decreases to various federal grants including Title I, IDEA and Carl Perkins for 2011-12. However, an increase of $18,900,000 for Education Jobs Funding for Texas has been announced. TEA will release updated NOGA's for the impacted grant funds and the reallocated Education Jobs funding for each districts within the near future.
For additional information, see http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/grantsadmin110111.html
Department of Grants and Fiscal Compliance
TEA announces organizational changes regarding the Department of Grants and Fiscal Compliance. Please see new responsibilities in this link http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/compliance10212011.html
Instructional Materials Allotment
The TEA Commissioner has issued a letter with updates regarding the Instructional Materials Allotment. Along with encouraging districts to utilize their allotment to meet the needs of students in the current school year, the commissioner states that rules regarding certain IMA purchases will be discussed with the SBOE in November with their first reading scheduled for January 2012. Please see the link for the letter http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/imet103111.html
State Aid Smoothing for 11-12 and 12-13
Districts that do not receive Additional State Aid for Tax Rate Reduction (ASATR) are eligible to apply for an adjustment to the regular program adjustment factor (RPAF). The RPAF is the factor that is being used to reduce state aid for 11-12 and 12-13. The factor is different for each funding year and will result in uneven funding. Only districts not earning ASATR can apply to receive an adjustment to their RPAF so their funding will be smoothed over the 2 year period. For additional information see TEA’s communication and link to the application at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/schfin100611.html
Payment Delay Update
TEA’s School Finance office announces that school districts and charter schools scheduled to receive payments in August 2012 WILL receive their August 2012 on or before August 25, 2012. This payment will NOT be delayed until September 2012. See the letter from the Legislative Budget Board for more details.
“Near Final” 2010-11 Summary of Finance
TEA announces the availability of the 2010-11 Near Final Summary of Finances(SOF). The letter detailing the latest updates and providing links to the SOF and payment ledger is available at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/schfin092211.html. Please note that TEA indicates additional updates and corrections to the 2010-11 SOF are pending and will be available soon.
Ed Jobs and ARRA grants subject to Section 1512 Quarterly Reports
Guidance regarding quarterly reports that are due October 5, 2011 for the Ed Jobs and ARRA grants to comply with Section 1512 reports is provided at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/grantsfiscal092211.html. Webinars covering Section 1512 reporting are announced in the communication. Additional guidance and reminders are provided regarding Central Contractor Registration, ARRA Section 1511 Infrastructure Reports, Enforcement Actions related to ARRA requirements, and Resources and Assistance are also provided.
Mileage and Reimbursement Rates
Mileage and Reimbursement Rates applicable to State and Federal Grants are detailed in a recent communication from TEA. Please see the attached link for further details: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/grantsadmin092111.html
Notification of the 2011 Final School FIRST Rating
The final 2011 School FIRST Ratings have been released for districts and charter schools. The 2011 ratings are based upon analysis of staff and student data that was reported for the 2009-10 school year and the actual financial data for fiscal year 2009-10. Districts were assessed using 22 indicators and their final ratings can be found at http://tuna.tea.state.tx.us/First/forms/main.aspx Charter schools were assessed using 3 indicators and their final ratings can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=6491
Caution warned from TEA for districts or charters schools using State Fiscal Stabilization Funds for infrastructure investments.
The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) grant, which ends September 30, 2011, permits infrastructure investments as allowable costs. Though this grant permits infrastructure investment costs, local educational agencies (LEAs) must comply with numerous federal requirements. The Texas Education Agency's (TEA's) Division of Financial Audits has been reviewing LEAs' compliance with these requirements and has found that many LEAs are noncompliant.
Because this grant is still open, noncompliant LEAs have had the opportunity to submit amendments and complete journal entries in order to remove these expenditures from their federal grant and avoid refunding the questioned costs. Once this grant ends, however, LEAs will no longer have this option and will have to refund all costs questioned by federal, state, and independent auditors.
For those LEA's that chose to budget and expend SFSF funds on infrastructure investments, please refer to TEA's ARRA - Section 1511 Infrastructure Investment website for guidance and a list of provisions and assurances related to infrastructure investments. Please ensure that you are in compliance with all infrastructure investment requirements. If you are out of compliance, you may amend your grant application(s) and complete journal entries to remove these costs from your federal grant. After September 30, 2011, if these costs are questioned by auditors, you will have to refund the questioned infrastructure investment costs to the federal government.
To request access to initiate an amendment, please have your business manager (or representative with similar authority) email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org: your LEA's name and county district number, the grant year(s) to be amended, the reason for the amendment request, and a brief description of the intended amendment(s). You will be notified by email when access is approved. For additional information, please call 512-463-9374 or email email@example.com
Instructional Materials Allotment Calculations
The Educational Materials System (EMAT) will open on August 8, 2011 in order for school districts and charter schools to be able to submit requisitions for instructional materials. The allotment allocations for school districts and charter schools can be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147501895. Seventy percent of the district’s calculated allotment has been released for the 2011-2012 school year. The remaining 30% will be available during the 2012-2013 school year. More information can be found at the link below.
Annual Update on Legal Interpretations on Attendance, Admission and Enrollment
Texas Education Agency released letters on various student attendance, admission, and enrollment related issues. Two letters were issued, one for school districts and charter schools and one specific to just charter schools. The letters can be found at the links below.
School District and charter school
Charter School only
The 2011-2012 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook has also been released. It can be accessed using the RESOURCES tab at the top of the page.
Obligation of ARRA Grant Funds
All American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds must be obligated by the appropriate project end date. These funds will lapse and will be returned to the US Department of Education if local education agencies (LEA) fail to obligate by the project end date. A table listing the applicable grants and their respective project end dates can be found at the link below.
If ARRA grant funds are planned to be used to pay for purchases and/or services, items purchased must be received and all services must be rendered by the project’s end date. LEAs should not pay in advance for services to be rendered, even if those services are rendered before the project end date.
LEAs may submit expenditure reports for reimbursement of any expenses paid after the project end date (but prior to the due dates for the final and revised final expenditure report), as long as the expenditures were incurred no later than the project end date.
Correcting inflated staff salary counts
Inflated staff counts have been reported in the Staff Salary subsystem for the 2010–2011 school year. Full-time classroom teachers, registered nurses, librarians, counselors, and administrators should not be entered into the Staff Salary subsystem. Previously, funding for full-time classroom teachers, full-time counselors, full-time librarians, and full-time registered nurses was delivered in a separate allotment as authorized under the TEC, §42.2516(b)(2), as that statute existed under House Bill 1, 79th Legislature, Third Called Session, 2006. The separate allotment was repealed by House Bill 3646, 81st Legislature, 2009. You no longer need to enter these categories into the Staff Salary subsystem. Review your submissions, and if necessary please make the appropriate adjustments. Failure to correct submissions can cause a significant reduction in your district's staff salary allotment for the 2010–2011 school year. The deadline for the adjusted submissions will be August 31, 2011.
Ordering Instructional Materials for School Year 2011-12
The Educational Materials System (EMAT) is scheduled to open on August 8, 2011. School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be able to submit requisitions for instructional materials adopted under Proclamation 2011, Supplemental Science, continuing contracts and the Commissioner’s List of Electronic Textbooks. Additional information can be found at the link below.
Title II, Part D; STaR Chart; ePlan; and E-Rate
As part of the budget negotiations at the federal level, Congress recently eliminated all funding for the Title II, Part D – Enhancing Education Through Technology program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), better known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). As a result of this loss of funding, there will be changes to several programs that relied on Title II, Part D technical assistance funding. The link below will help explain the changes to Title II, Part D, STaR Chart, ePlan, and eRate. Please share this information with your district’s Technology Coordinator.
2010-11 State Aid Settle-up will not adjust for ADA or Property Value Declines
TEA recently announced that funding for the property value or ADA decline provisions for the 2010-11 year will not be available. ADA and property value decline provisions are usually funded through the state aid settle-up process at the beginning of the following school year. No funding was appropriated this session to fund these provisions and TEA says that it has no funding available for funding the ADA decline provision for the 2010-11 school year, so this will not be part of settle-up next year. Please note that in order to accurately estimate 2010-11 state aid without the adjustments, please use the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Senate Bill 1 version of the Region 13 State aid template. The newest template includes the 2010-11 estimated state aid without the adjustments. The template can be found at the following link http://www5.esc13.net/finance/
There was no money appropriated for ADA decline funding for the 2011-12 school year during the current legislative session. Funding for ADA decline in the 2012-13 school year will depend on the funding provisions approved during the 2014-15 biennium.
State-sponsored Student Information System
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced that it had completed the process of procuring a state-sponsored Student Information System that will reduce administrative costs and improve educational resources for school districts across the Lone Star state. After an intensive process of competitive bidding and contract negotiation, the state obtained a solution that leverages its formidable buying power and provides direct benefits to educators. Read more at the link below.
Current Mileage and Travel Reimbursement Rates
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has changed automobile mileage reimbursement rates. Effective July 1, 2011, the reimbursement rate is 55.5 cents a mile. (From January 1, 2011, to June 30, 2011, the mileage reimbursement rate was 51 cents a mile.) Rates for travel reimbursement (lodging and meals) have remained the same. Additional information pertaining to mileage reimbursements can be found at the link below.
2011-2012 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Consolidated Federal Grant Application
The Texas Education Agency opened the Applicant Designation and Certification (ADC) form for the 2011-2012 NCLB Consolidated Federal Grant in eGrants on June 6, 2011. This form, upon completion, activates the application. Additional information can be found by following the link below.
2011-2012 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application
The Texas Education Agency will open the 2011-2012 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application in eGrants on or about June 6, 2011. Allocation amounts can be found at the link below
Tax Information Survey
Be sure to complete the Tax Information Survey using the FSP system online. The survey can be accessed through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE). The survey must be completed by August 12, 2011 or your district's funding could be adversely affected. The survey will be used to update tax collection information reflected in the legislative payment estimate (LPE) on the Summary of Finances. Accurate tax collection information is vital to accurately calculate FSP earnings.
2011-2012 NCLB Preliminary Planning Amounts
The preliminary planning amounts for the 2011-2012 NCLB Consolidated Federal Grant programs are available through the Federal Entitlements web page. The link is provided below, please be sure to select "2011-2012 NCLB Preliminary Planning Amounts" to view.
GASB Statement No. 54
Remember that GASB Statement No. 54 must be implemented during the 2010-2011 fiscal year. This statement changes how fund balance is reported on financial statements. New financial statement disclosures are also required to be made, which can be found in the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide. Additional guidance can be found in the Resource Guide or you can purchase an affordable online training course at the link below.
New Accounting Codes
TEA has created a new fund code (287) to be used to account for Education Jobs Fund activity. This fund code may be used immediately for any 2010-2011 fiscal year activity. A complete description of the account code can be found in the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide, as an addendum. Additionally, a new Program Intent Code (32) has been created for any prekindergarten expenditures. This code may be used in any fund with identifiable prekindergarten expenditures beginning in 2011-2012. Additional information about these changes can be found at the link below.
New Instructional Facility Allotment (NIFA) Funding Announcement
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announces a change to the New Instructional Facility Allotment (NIFA) program. Before this announcement, applications for the upcoming school year were made available online to districts and charter schools in mid-May of each year. This year, however, the TEA will not make the application available at this time, because we do not anticipate that funding will be allocated for the NIFA in the legislative budget for the next biennium.
Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) Incentive Program
The Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) Incentive Program provides for campus awards of up to $100 for each student who receives a score of three or better on an AP exam or four or better on an IB exam. The agency is currently accepting applications from districts for the May 2010 AP/IB exam administration via an online application. To apply for the campus awards, each district with high school or middle school campuses that had students who took an AP and/or IB exam in May 2010 should complete and submit the application no later than Thursday, June 30, 2011. The new communication from TEA also provides guidance on how to distribute the funds to campuses and notifies districts that due to budgetary constraints funds will not be available for May 2011 awards.
QZAB Program Update
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announces a change to the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program. Before this announcement, the maximum QZAB authorization that could be requested was $8,000,000 per school district or charter school per allocation year. Effective immediately, there is no limit to the amount of bond authorization that may be requested per district or charter school.
The QZAB program allows school districts and charter schools to obtain interest-free financing for the purpose of establishing “qualified zone academies.” The program provides an incentive in the form of federal tax credits to lenders who purchase bonds from issuing school districts and charter schools. School districts must issue bonds, lease purchases, maintenance tax notes, or time warrants. Charter schools must issue revenue bonds.
You can access the QZAB program application and other important program information from the QZAB web page at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5454
The School Finance Unit of the TEA announces new updated school finance reports
The Summary of Finance, EDA Eligible Debt Service, IFA Payment Report, Chapter 41 Cost of Recapture Report, Foundation School Program Payment Schedule and Payment Ledger, Tuition Limit Report, State Compensatory Education Numbers, and Pupil Projections Reports have been updated and are now available through a single interface on the School Finance website at https://wfspcprdap1b16.tea.state.tx.us/Fsp/Reports/ReportSelection.aspx.
2010-2012 Education Jobs Fund Grant
The Education Jobs (Ed Jobs) Fund is now available to all local education agencies. The project period is from August10, 2010 through September 30, 2012. SFSF grant award recipients do not need to apply for this grant in order to receive funds. Additional information can be found by following the link below.
ARRA Expenditure Reporting
The Texas Education Agency will open the expenditure reporting system on Monday, May 9, 2011 to allow corrections to ARRA Section 1512 Quarterly Reports submitted for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The correction period will close on Friday, June 3, 2011. Other ARRA reporting guidelines are included on the link below.
2009-2010 Final Summary of Finance
A final Summary of Finances (SOF) and other related reports for the 2009–2010 school year are now posted to the School Finance website of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/school.finance/funding/sofweb7.html. These reports reflect all changes made to the SOF since fall of 2010. More information can be found at the link below.
Discontinuation of 10-Day Grace Process
The Texas Education Agency will no longer provide an automatic 10-day extension of the grant application deadline for grantees that miss the original deadline. Advisory letter will not be sent to LEAs that miss the application deadline to inform them that they missed the deadline. For further information, please visit the link below.