April 6, 2020

Flexibility in Federal Funding

The US Department of Education, this week, issued a new process for flexible spending of Federal Funding for Schools and Districts. The new flexibilities authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security (CARES) Act, allows schools to repurpose existing K-12 education funds for technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning.

President Donald J. Trump signed The CARES Act into law on March 27th. The CARES Act will enable states and school districts to devote more of their federal resources to technology infrastructure to support distance learning for students and for professional development for teachers who are teaching remotely, many for the first time. By providing a streamlined process to obtain funding flexibilities, states will be able to make decisions to meet the needs of their students quickly.

While this information may not mean much to you, it is vital to know the funding sources that have flexibility:

Any state may complete a brief form available at, and it will receive an initial determination within one business day. States can receive flexibility in the use of funds and other requirements covered under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), including Title I, Parts A-D, Title II, Title III, Part A, Title IV, Parts A-B, and Title V programs. Specifically, states may request a waiver of:

  • Section 1127(b) of Title I, Part A of the ESEA to waive the 15% carryover limitation of Title I, Part A funds;
  • Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to extend the period of availability of prior fiscal year funds, for Title I, Parts A-D, Title II, Title III, Part A, Title IV, Parts A-B, and Title V, Part B programs, and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth program — giving schools more time to spend carryover funds, so they don't lose them;
  • Section 4106(d) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA to waive a needs assessment to justify the use of funds;
  • Section 4106(e)(2)(C), (D), and (E) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA to waive content-specific spending requirements;
  • Section 4109(b) of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA to waive spending restrictions on technology infrastructure; and
  • Section 8101(42) of the ESEA to waive the definition of "professional development," which might otherwise limit the ability to quickly train school leaders and teachers on topics like effective distance learning techniques.
Click the link below for the full press release:

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