Updates: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

June 29, 2009 Update:

Memo to the Field from Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education - P-16

Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education
Office of Higher Education

District Superintendents of Schools
Superintendents of Public Schools
Presidents of School Boards
Directors of Public Libraries and Public Library Systems
From: Johanna Duncan-Poitier
Date: June 29, 2009
Subject: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA):
Frequently Asked Questions, Federal Reporting Requirements, and Other Updates

The following is the most up-to-date information available on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). I realize this information will be reaching you as you bring this school year to a close, however, as promised, we are continuing to provide information as soon as it is available.

Frequently Asked Questions Now Available

I want to thank all of you who have shared feedback and questions about maximizing ARRA resources in schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and cultural institutions across the State. We have received thousands of questions over the phone and via e-mail and are working to be as responsive as possible based upon the federal guidance that continues to be forthcoming. As promised, we have compiled the questions you have shared with us and have developed a set of frequently asked questions (FAQ). The FAQ is posted on the Department’s website at: http://usny.nysed.gov/arra/.

Federal Reporting Requirements for ARRA Resources

Federal Accountability and Reporting Requirements Now Available

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has just released “Implementing Guidance for Reports on Use of Funds Pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” The guidance can be accessed on the OMB website at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda_default external link icon. New York State will receive an additional $5 billion in federal stimulus funds over the next two years. The federal government has asked for full transparency and accountability in the use of ARRA funds and has charged the Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General with auditing the use of funds in a select number of states, specifically mentioning New York. We share this with you once again so that you can begin to plan and anticipate federal reporting requirements even though specific details are still being determined.

School Level Reporting

As stated previously, the recent federal guidance continues to reiterate that to ensure accountability of the additional Title I funds provided under ARRA, the federal government is requiring school districts to report, by December 1, 2009, “…a school by school listing of per pupil educational expenditures from state and local sources during the 2008-09 academic year.” We have shared with federal officials the concerns many of you have raised regarding difficulties associated with complying with this requirement. We are awaiting additional direction and guidance on the specific details. At this time we wanted to reinforce and be sure that you are aware of the federal requirement in place requiring districts to file these school level reports with the State Education Department by December 1, 2009. Additional detail is available on the OMB website already cited - http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda_default external link icon.

School districts receiving State Fiscal Stabilization Funds will need to report on the number of jobs saved or created with such funds, and the tax increases that were averted because of the availability of the federal stimulus funds. As we receive further direction from the federal government, we will share additional details on specific reporting requirements, procedures for filing reports, etc.

Quarterly Reporting

As previously noted in our April 22 memo, the federal government has once again reiterated that they will require school districts to track on a quarterly basis the amount of ARRA funds budgeted and expended separately for each ARRA funding source. This will also need to be done for state fiscal stabilization funds (SFSF), Title I funds, McKinney-Vento Homeless and IDEA funds provided under the Act. Known reporting elements under current federal guidance now include but are not limited to:

  1. the total amount of funds received under ARRA;
  2. the amount of ARRA funds that were expended or obligated for projects or activities;
  3. the name of the project or activity;
  4. a description of the project or activity;
  5. an evaluation of the completion status of the project or activity;
  6. an estimate of the number of jobs created and the number of jobs retained by the project or activity; and
  7. for infrastructure investments made by State and local governments, the purpose, total cost, and rationale of the agency for funding the infrastructure investment with funds made available under this Act, and name of the person to contact at the agency if there are concerns with the infrastructure investment.

Again, we will share more details on the reports and the reporting process as additional information becomes available from the federal government.

DUNS Numbers

We wanted to take this opportunity to once again remind you that to be eligible for funds, ARRA requires that all primary grantees (New York State and the State Education Department) and their subgrantees (local educational agencies) have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register with Central Contractor Registration (CCR). If you do not already have a DUNS number and/or have not registered with the CCR, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Additional information about obtaining a DUNS number and registering with CCR is available at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp external link icon.

Update on Title I, Part A Allocations

Early today the federal government published several documents related to the U.S. Department of Education's final Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Title I, Part A allocations – including allocations under ARRA and the regular FY 2009 appropriations. Staff are analyzing the documents and will update the preliminary Title I, Part A allocations. More information regarding Title I can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/title-i.pdf external link icon.

Update on Work Underway related to State Aid

This advisory is related to ARRA guidance you have received and next steps; however, since these additional federal resources are time limited, we also wanted you to know that the Board of Regents and the State Education Department are committed to the Foundation Aid Formula to ensure all schools have adequate funds. We continue to work for the restoration of funds to ensure the complete phase-in of the Foundation Formula. This week, we met with several educators to solicit valuable feedback as we proceed.

Thank you for the leadership you are providing to help maximize ARRA resources and the helpful questions to inform our communications with the field. As more guidance becomes available we will share this with you as well as information concerning recommended methods or templates for maintaining the reporting elements. Please continue to check our ARRA website for news and updated information: http://usny.nysed.gov/arra/.

cc: New York State Board of Regents
     Richard Mills
     Carole Huxley
     Theresa Savo

Last Updated: February 6, 2014 -->