Letter to ARRA Grant Recipients - July 15, 2011
Dear District Superintendents, School Superintendents and Other ARRA Grant Recipients:
The project period for most American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) programs, including the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), ARRA Title I and ARRA IDEA, is coming to a close. We want to again remind you of some important items, which include the need to expeditiously spend and claim any ARRA funds that have been awarded to your school district or agency and the continued need for compliance with all applicable ARRA requirements.
Since the project period for most ARRA grants will end on September 30, 2011, we recommend that you carefully review your records to ensure that spending is consistent with your approved spending plan and that all funds are drawn down in a timely manner. While most grants will allow 90 days from the end of the project period to draw down funds obligated within the project period, some grants may have shorter time period. We encourage you to finalize your grants before the deadline. To view the project periods for specific ARRA grants, please see:
If you identify any problems you should contact the appropriate program office immediately.
As of June 30, 2011, there remain $565 million in unclaimed ARRA funds for grants that will end on September 30, 2011. This balance includes $240 million in ARRA State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) that were used to partially restore 2009-10 and 2010-11 State Aid reductions, $160 million in ARRA IDEA funds, $130 million in ARRA Title I funds, and $35 million in other ARRA funded programs. Please note that these amounts may not reflect claims recently submitted by school districts and/or claims in-process at the State Education Department (SED).
We also want to remind you that, in order to provide accountability, transparency, and ensure compliance with all applicable Federal and State laws, the U.S. Department of Education and SED are conducting extensive monitoring and oversight of the ARRA State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF). The U.S. Department of Education has complimented the State and school districts for the manner in which these funds have been administered and managed.
However, some monitoring reviews and audits conducted by both agencies have identified some areas of concern with regard to some school districts' and other recipients' management of these funds, particularly regarding compliance with the Federal Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA) and the requirement that these funds be separately tracked in your accounting system. As a reminder, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) and SED have issued guidance regarding these requirements. Should you have any questions about this guidance or other ARRA requirements, please visit: http://usny.nysed.gov/arra/.
We appreciate your continued cooperation with our monitoring efforts and compliance with all ARRA requirements, and in ensuring that these funds are spent fully and expeditiously to benefit the children that you serve. Thank you for your attention to these details and your continued efforts on behalf of the children and citizens of New York State.