General Information and District Eligibility

Medium

Q: Within the recently passed CARES Act, is their funding for education?

  • Yes. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020. This Emergency Supplemental Funding is a relief package, not an education stimulus package. The bill includes $13.5 billion for elementary and secondary education formula grants. Additionally, there is a Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund that will also have an educational component, but more information will come from the Governor’s office.

Q: Is ESSER and CARES the same dollars?

  • The CARES Act has multiple grants and funds within the scope of the bill. ESSER Funds are what they are called in statute to prevent confusion.

Q: How much funding will North Dakota receive?

  • In response to interest in state grants under the CARES Act, the Congressional Research Service prepared estimated state allocations using the Title I funding formula. North Dakota’s allocation for elementary/secondary education is $33 million.

Q: Will all districts receive funding?

  • SEAs are required to use the Title I funding formula to distribute these funds. Therefore, districts ineligible for Title I funding would not receive a grant. NDDPI used state-level ESSER funding to assist the relatively small number of districts ineligible for this supplemental grant.

Q: Since these funds go to districts using the Title I funding formula, does that mean Title I regulations must be followed?

  • No. The Title I formula is used to distribute the funds; however, once the funding is granted to districts, it is not considered Title I funding.

Q: If a district receives Title IV funding, but not Title I, do they qualify for CARES Act funding?

  • No, however, the NDDPI anticipates being able to support all districts, even those that do not receive Title I funds.

Q: Is there funding distribution through Neglect and Delinquent (N&D) programs or does it use only the Title I formula?

  • Funds are only allocated through the Title I formula. Supporting N&D students would, however, be an allowable use of CARES Act funds.

Q: If a district uses REAP to combine all its Title programs into Title I, will it still receive Title II, or Title IV allocations?

  • These funds do not impact your formula Title funds (Title I, II, III, IV). Allocations are only based on the Title I formula used for 2019-2020.

Q: If free and reduced lunch numbers have increased in recent months, will the new numbers be reflected in CARES Act funding allocations?

  • Allocations were required to be only based on the Title I formula used for 2019-2020. Estimated Title I allocations do not equal CARES Act funds.

Q: If districts are in a Title I Cooperative, will estimated amounts be sent to both schools or just the fiscal agent?

  • Allocations will be sent to both with each individual amount clearly indicated.

Q: Does the CARES Act include a supplement, not supplant requirement?

  • No. Neither the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund nor the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund includes a supplement not supplant requirement. However, these funds cannot be used to replace state aid. If a district has additional costs (transportation, additional staff expenses) they could be paid with this fund.

Q: Can LEAs use funds to reimburse expenses they are incurring now?

  • Districts can claim funds for expenses occured as of March 13, 2020.

Q: How long do districts have to spend these funds?

  • This emergency supplemental funding is a relief package that is meant to provide immediate relief to school districts. The funds must be spent by September 30, 2022.

Q: Will NDDPI provide a revenue code for accounting purposes for CARES Act funding?

  • Yes, information on coding will be included in the guidance as these funds must be tracked separately. 

    • Revenue Coding: 4590 – Other Restricted Federal Revenue 

    • Project Expense Coding: 104 – ESSER/CARES Funding

Q: What information will be required on the ESSER quarterly report and when is the first report due?

  • The CARES Act requires LEAs that receive ESSER funds to report certain information regarding their spending on a quarterly basis.

      Section 15011(b)(2), requires recipients of CARES Act funds to report:

  • Total amount of funds expended each quarter

  • Areas/categories within federal guidance where ESSER funds were spent

  • Estimated number of jobs created or retained with ESSER Funds

  • Information on subcontracts or subgrants awarded with ESSER Funds

  • The first quarterly report is due by August 11, 2020, covering the timeframe of March 13 to June 30, 2020.

Q:  What documentation must districts submit with their ESSER reimbursement claims?

  • Each time districts submit an ESSER claim for reimbursement within WebGrants, they need to upload their local accounting ledger and some form of documentation for the expenditures. For example, districts could upload invoices, receipts, or other records to clarify and justify expenditures.

Q:  Can multiple users be listed within WebGrants?

  • Districts are only allowed one primary grantee contact for their grants within WebGrants; however, they can have multiple users with access to their grants. To give other users within your organization access to a grant:

    • Select the grant

    • Click "General Information" in the grant components list

    • Click "Edit" in the upper right corner

    • Click in the "Additional Grantee Contacts" box

    • Only users who are already registered and associated with your organization will be listed and available to be added

    • To add them, just click on their name

Q: Is this webinar recorded for later viewing?

  • Yes, it is being recorded and will be available on the NDDPI website following the training.

Q: What is the definition of "contracts"?

  • A contract is when you pay for a service. For instance, if you pay for professional development.

Q: What will DPI's discretionary dollars be used for?

  • A statewide survey was conducted to determine the use of these funds. We are still reviewing the results of the survey to determine how best to spend these dollars.

Q: Since it is the authorized representative filling out and submitting assurances, why are they going to superintendents? Or is it going to both?

  • Most often, the superintendent is the authorized representative of the district.

Q:  When is the deadline to apply for ESSER funds and what happens if a district chooses not to apply?

  • The deadline for the remaining districts to apply for ESSER funding is August 1, 2020. If districts forfeit their ESSER funding, the NDDPI will reallocate the remaining funds to districts through an application process.

Q: Can you clarify the funds question, will we have the funds in our account and just report how they are spent or will be like Title Funds, allocated to use and reimbursed through a draw down or request?

  • Districts receive these funds on a reimbursement basis. At no time are they deposited in a district’s local account.

Q: Will the amount change if we do not get the application in sooner than later?

  • No. The district allocation remains the same regardless of when the district submits the Certification and Agreement document.

Q: Do you fill this form out one time or each time you would like reimbursement?

  • This is a one-time Certification and Agreement. Once approved, each Superintendent and Business Manager will receive approval with information on signing the grant award and requesting reimbursement.

Q:  Are districts allowed to deviate or add activities beyond what was indicated in the original ESSER applications?

  • Yes, absolutely. As long as districts use the Appendix B – Allowable Uses of Funds as their guide, districts can add activities anytime which will be reported on the quarterly report.

Q: Who can I contact at NDDPI with questions?

If you have ESSER questions pertaining to WebGrants, please contact one of the following staff: 

If you have general ESSER questions on issues pertaining to allowability or reporting, contact:

If you have ESSER questions pertaining to equitable services for non-public schools, contact: