Frequently Asked Questions Office of Federal Programs

 How do I revise my approved funding application?

Answer: From the section page, click on “revision started “and make the changes to your application and escalate it through the approval process.

What is the Federal definition of an English Learner (EL)?

: An EL is a student:

  • who is aged 3-21;
  • who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary or secondary school;
  • who was not born in the United States OR whose native language is a language other than English; and
  • where difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual-

       -      the ability in meeting the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);

       -      the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or

       -      the opportunity to participate fully in society.

What are the steps in identifying an English Learner?

Answer: Step 1: Home Language Survey
              Step 2: Initial Las Links Assessment
              Step 3: Parental Notification of EL Status
              Step 4: Placement in EL Program
              Step 5: Develop English Language Service Plan

What is the purpose of Title III funds?

Answer: The purpose of Title III is to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) students, including immigrant children and youth, develop English proficiency and meet the same academic content and academic achievement standards that other children are expected to meet. Schools use Title III funds to implement language instruction educational programs designed to help LEP students achieve these standards. State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools are accountable for increasing the English proficiency and core academic content knowledge of LEP students.

What is a ‘well-rounded education’?

Answer: The term “well-rounded education,” defined in Section 8101, means “courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject,” as determined by the SEA or LEA “with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum. “

The term is used throughout ESSA, in Sections 1114 and 1115 on schoolwide and targeted assistance programs, as well as Title II, Part B, the new Literacy Education for ALL programs, and Title IV, which provides Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, and grants for 21st Century Leaning Centers. It’s also found in the law’s definition of expanded learning time.

May a schoolwide school use funds for dual or concurrent enrollment programs?

Answer: Yes. A schoolwide program may use Title I, Part A funds to pay for costs associated with a dual or concurrent enrollment program for low-achieving secondary students. Allowable costs include training for teacher; joint professional development for teachers, career and technical educators, and educators from institutions of higher education; tuition and fees; books and instructional materials; and transportation.

How are equitable service calculated for Title I, Part A under ESSA?

Answer: ESSA now requires that private schools receive their equitable share from the total Title I allocation. To determine their equitable share the local school district must determine the proportional share.

For example, if the local school district receives $100,000.00 for their entire Title I, Part A allocation. The method of allocating funds for equitable services can be calculated as follows:


  1. You would take the total number of public schools’ Title I, Part A eligible students and the total number of private schools’ Title I, Part A eligible students to determine the total number of eligible Title I, Part A eligible students. You will then divide the total number of Title I, Part A private school eligible students by the total number of Title I, Part A eligible students. In this example, you would divide 1690 by 5000 which will give you 0.34 or 34%. This means that 34% of the allocation must be spent for equitable services for private school students.
  2. To determine the amount of funds that should be reserved for equitable services, you should multiply the total allocation of $100,000.00 by 0.34. This will give you

$34,000.00. The private schools’ equitable share is $34,000.00.  Please be reminded that this amount is for all of the private school eligible students in the local school district’s area.

How are students identified to determine the count for equitable services under ESSA?

Answer: To determine which students are eligible for services it is important to remember that the student must reside in a Title I attendance area AND are failing or most at risk of failing to meet the challenging state standards. The local school district chooses students to be served from the list provided by the private school on a multiple educationally-related, developmentally-appropriate criteria, where poverty is not a criteria.

Section 1117(c)(1) lists four methods that can be used to determine poverty. Those methods are:

  1. Use the same poverty measures that are used to count eligible public school students.

  2. Conduct a survey of enrolled private school families to obtain comparable data.

  3. Use proportionality to apply the low-income percentage of public school to the number of private school children residing in each attendance area.

  4. Use an equated measure of income that correlates to the measures used to count public school students.

Are LEAs allowed to use Title II, Part A funds on class-size reduction teachers under ESSA?

Answer: Under ESSA, LEAs can use Title II, Part A funds to reduce class-size to a level that is evidence-based. Evidence supports reducing classes to a 1–17 ratio in grades K-3 (Mosteller, 1995).

Mosteller, F. (1995). The Tennessee study of class size in the early school grades. The Future of Children, 5(2), 113-127.

Are janitorial supplies allowed to be purchased through the 21st CCLC grant?

Answer: No, this is not an allowable cost. All purchases must be an instructional need in order for the grant to function properly.

Does the grant pay for daily nutritious snacks throughout the school year and summer program?

Answer: No, this also includes any weekend activities as well. Many current 21st CCLC programs are eligible to receive funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service for “After-school Snacks,” and in some cases to provide supper to young children. We encourage local communities to also participate  in the USDA’s Summer Food Service program. These snacks and meals can contribute to the nutritional services provided in local programs.

Are private entities responsible for collaborating with school districts?

Answer: Yes, the statute encourages eligible organizations applying for funds to collaborate with the schools the children attend.

Can a school district participate in more than one grant?

Answer: Yes, if the same population of students are not being served in the multiple grants.

When will the new monitoring schedule be available for the 2017-2018 school year?

Answer: We are making changes to the Consolidated Monitoring Instrument to include the fiscal and programmatic requirements as mandated by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The new monitoring schedule and instrument will be released mid-July 2017.

How do I submit documentation to clear the monitoring citations?

Answer: You can submit documentation to the Office of Federal Programs by mail, email, or hand delivery. All documentation should be emailed to the attention of Betina White, Monitoring and Compliance Coordinator, at or mailed to MS Department of Education, Office of Federal Programs, P.O. Box 771, Jackson, MS 39205-0771.

I will not be available on the scheduled monitoring dates, can I reschedule my monitoring dates?

Answer: Yes, we can reschedule your monitoring dates; however, the rescheduled date(s) will still be in the same fiscal school year. Contact the Office of Federal Programs if you need to reschedule your monitoring dates.

What are the goals of Title 1, Part D?

Answer: The goals are:

1)    to improve educational services so that neglected or delinquent children and youth can meet the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards;

2)    to provide services needed to ensure a successful transition from institutionalization to further schooling or employment; and

3)   to provide support for dropout prevention programs that serve at-risk populations and for children and youth returning from correctional facilities or institutions.

Which institutions serving neglected or delinquent children and youth are eligible to receive funding?

Answer: A state agency is eligible if the agency provides free public education for children and youth
             (1)  in institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth;
             (2)  attending community day programs for neglected or delinquent children and youth; or
             (3)  in adult correctional institutions.

A local educational agency (LEA) is eligible if the LEA operates an educational program of support that involves collaboration with locally operated correctional facilities.

What definitions are used to identify eligible institutions?


  • Institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth –
    • A public or private residential facility, other than a foster home, that is operated for the care of children who have been committed to the institution or voluntarily placed in the institution under State law due to abandonment, neglect, or death of parents or guardians; or
    • A public or private residential facility for the care of children who have been adjudicated to be delinquent or in need of supervision
  • Community Day Programs –
    • A regular program of instruction provided by a State agency at a community day school operated specifically for neglected or delinquent children and youth
  • Adult Correctional Institution –
    • A facility in which persons (including persons under 21 years of age) are confined as a result of a conviction for a criminal offense
  • At-risk –
    • A school-aged child or youth who is at-risk of academic failure, dependency adjudication, or delinquency adjudication, has a drug or alcohol dependency, is pregnant or a parent, has come into contact with the juvenile justice system or child welfare system, is at least one year behind the expected grade level for his/her age, is an English learner, is a gang member, has previously dropped out of school, or has a high absenteeism rate at school

What is the definition of homelessness under McKinney-Vento?

Answer: Under McKinney-Vento, homeless children and youth are those who “lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This definition includes:

  • Families sharing housing (doubled up) with relatives or other families due to economic hardship, loss of housing or similar reason;
  • Families living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, campgrounds or shelters;
  • Children living in places not designated for housing, such as cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or bus or train stations; or
  • Children designated as “migratory” under ESEA Title I, Part C, as reauthorized by ESSA, who meet one of the above criteria.

What are the responsibilities of homeless liaisons?

Answer: McKinney-Vento, as amended by ESSA, requires that every school district have a designated liaison for homeless children and youth.

The homeless education liaison is charged with leading the district’s efforts to ensure the identification, enrollment, and provision of educational services for homeless children and youth. Some of the liaison’s responsibilities are:

  •  Ensuring that homeless students are identified by school personnel, are enrolled in school, and have a “full and equal opportunity to succeed” in school;
  • Connecting homeless families with programs for which they may be eligible.

These may include Head Start, early intervention or other preschool programs, as well as health and dental care providers, mental health services, substance abuse, housing and other social services agencies.

-          Informing parents and guardians of homeless children of the educational and educationally related opportunities available to their children, as well as opportunities for the parents or guardians to participate in their children’s education.

-          Ensuring public notice of the McKinney-Vento rights of homeless children are disseminated in places frequented by homeless families and unaccompanied homeless youth, such as schools, shelters, libraries and food pantries in a manner and form understandable to them.

-          Mediating any school enrollment disputes. For example, if a dispute arises between a district and parents about school selection or enrollment, then the district must immediately enroll the student in the requested school, pending resolution of the dispute.

-          Making sure unaccompanied youth are enrolled in school and that procedures are implemented to identify and remove barriers that may prevent them from receiving credit for full or partial coursework that has been satisfactorily completed at a prior school, in accordance with state, local and school policies.

-          Participating in professional development and technical assistance as provided by the state homeless education program coordinator and, per ESSA, ensuring school-based staff also receive PD and other support.

-          Informing students and their parents and guardians of their right to be transported to the school of origin, or have access to transportation to another school in the school district.

What are some allowable uses of Title I, Part A set-aside funds and/or McKinney- Vento funds for students who are homeless under McKinney-Vento?


-          Academic programs and educational support services

-          Basic and emergency supplies, including books, backpacks and notebooks

-          Counseling services, domestic violence counseling, and violence prevention counseling

-          Intervention programs

-          Tutoring services (remedial or accelerated instruction), especially in shelters or other locations where homeless students reside

-          Mentoring

-          Homework assistance

-          Before-school, after-school and/or summer programs

-          Shoes and uniforms necessary to participate in PE classes or the school day

-          Parental involvement

-          Cost of GED for unaccompanied homeless youth

-          Cost of attaining a GED for parents participating in Head Start or Even Start

-          Graduation fees, cap and gown

-          The work of the homeless liaison

-          Student fees required to participate in the general education program

-          Outreach efforts to help identify homeless students

-          Homeless awareness activities

-          Fees and costs associated with tracking, obtaining, and transferring the records of homeless students

-          Data collection to assess the needs and progress of students in temporary living situations

What is the difference between carryover vs. carry forward? What are the rules governing these monies? What percentage of the allocation can this be applied to? Does this require an amendment, or can these funds be addressed on the new year's CFPA?

Answer: Carryover is a provision in the Title I law that mandates only 15% of the allocation may be carried over for an additional 12 months. Eighty-five percent of the allocation must be expended within the first 15 months (Example July 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014). Fifteen percent can be carried over for an additional 12 months (Example October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015) and liquidated within 90 days (December 31, 2015).

Carry forward is the portion of all Title program funds not expended within the 12 month school year it was originally awarded. (Example Award made during SY2013-2014: July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014). Funds not expended will be "carried forward" to the upcoming school year (Example SY2014-2015 at July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015).

Neither carryover nor carry forward funds should be addressed on the new CFPA, as the funds have already been approved on the original CFPA for the particular school year the award was made. In the event the funds are needed in different areas during the "carry forward or carryover" periods, follow the amendment procedures. Ask the question, "Is this a change in scope/objective and/or budget change greater than 10%?" If necessary, prepare a Letter or Formal Amendment. No amendments are required as long as the funds are still being expended as approved in the original CFPA for the particular school year the award was made.
Office of Federal Programs     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-3499     Fax: (601) 359-2587

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