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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Initiative

Budgetary Questions:

1. Is the Grant Award Notification reflective of the 7% cut?

Answer: Yes. The Grant Award Notification reflects the 7% reduction.

2. Should I submit a revised budget reflective of the 7% cut

Answer:Yes. Federal Project Officers should receive revised budgets based upon the award amount listed on the Grant Award Notification.  Project directors should speak with their Federal Project Officer for further direction on submitting modified budgets.

3. What’s required for continuation of funding post year? How will progress be tracked?

Answer:Future funding will be based on substantial progress toward the goals and objectives outlined in your original grant application. Progress toward the goals and objectives will be tracked via submission of two Progress Reports during your first year of program implementation. Once substantial progress has been determined, a continuation award is issued, usually within four to six weeks.

4. If we are unable to spend all of the first year money can these funds be carried-over into year 2?

Answer: Yes. Unexpended funds can be carried over from one budget period to the next without prior approval. However your Federal Project Officer must be notified and may require a written statement describing how unexpended funds will be used.

5. What can we anticipate in funds for year 2 and 3 and will this level of funding reflect the 7% cut that was imposed in year 1?

Answer: In year 2 (FY 1999), projects will receive either the requested budgeted amount for year 2, or the awarded amount for year 1 (FY1999) whichever is less. There has been no determination of award amounts for year 3 (FY2001).

6. Due to administrative delay (receiving funds) the school system has been my salary. Now that the grant funds have been received can I refund the school system for my salary?

Answer: Yes you can refund the school system as long as the costs incurred were approved on the initial grant application. No prior approval is required for pre-award costs incurred up to 90 days the budget period, prior approval is required.

7.Will I have an opportunity to correct errors made in the current year’s budget, resulting in receiving more funds? (I.e., one of the partners neglected to budget money for an activity described in their application.)

Answer: No

8. Can I change budget allocations within elements or across elements?

Answer: Yes, changes can be made within budget categories and individual elements without prior approval. However, shifting funds across the six elements will need prior approval and will be held to high standards for such approval. In addition, any changes in scope that may result from budget modifications will require from the Federal Project Officer.

9. Do grantees have to maintain their record keeping of money spent per element?

Answer: Yes. As you see from the budget sheets and the Grant Award Notification from ED, the budget is broken out by the six elements and should be tracked that way. Federal Project officers will provide guidance on tracking and appropriate reporting format.

10. What are the reporting requirements (both financial and programmatic) for this collaborative initiative? Is there a report submission schedule/calendar that has been created?

Answer:Grantees will report program progress and financial status semiannually, using a single report format. Federal Project Officers will provide guidance on appropriate reporting format. Grantees that receive funding from the COPS Office will be required to comply with their reporting requirements.

11. Can SS/HS money be used to hire School Resource Officers (SROs), if the grantee either did not get COPS money or still believes that more SROs are called for?

Answer: No. SS/HS money cannot be used to hire sworn law enforcement officers. SS/HS money could be used to fund non-sworn SROs with prior approval from the Federal Project Officer. In addition, COPS still has funding available under its Cops In Schools (CIS) Initiative. Christine Keyser is coordinating the CIS Initiative and can be reached at (202) 616-9196 or (800) 421-6770 for more information.

12. Will grantees be required to provide additional information regarding its funded application?

Answer:Yes. As appropriate, grantees will be contacted to provide an updated budget reflective of the 7 % reduction in funds. Other information that might be requested includes: updated MOUs between local agency partners, clarification of budget line items, etc.

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