ADULT EDUCATION
Guidance for Implementing the Adult Education Family Literacy Act

March 1999


*****This document is advisory and is to be used as a "work in progress."*****


Prepared by:
Division of Adult Education and Literacy
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Education

ADULT EDUCATION
AND FAMILY LITERACY ACT
(The Act)

Enacted August 7, 1998 as Title II
of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub.L. 105-220


I. State Responsibility

Q. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTERING THE STATE PROGRAM OF ADULT EDUCATION AND FAMILY LITERACY?

Section 203(4)

A. The Act entrusts this responsibility to the "eligible agency." It defines this term to mean "the sole State entity or agency in a State or outlying area responsible for administering or supervising policy for adult education and literacy in the State or outlying area, respectively, consistent with the law of the State or outlying area, respectively." This agency is responsible for administering and supervising the State adult education and literacy program.

Q. WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ELIGIBLE AGENCY?

A. The responsibilities of the eligible agency are to:

Section 221, Section 212(B)(3)(A)(vi), Section 224(c)

  • Develop, submit, and implement the State plan and any revisions to the plan.
  • Consult with other appropriate agencies, groups, and individuals that are involved in, or interested in, the development and implementation of activities assisted under the Act.
  • Coordinate and insure non-duplication with other Federal and State education, training, corrections, public housing, and social service programs.

Section 231(a)(b)(c)

  • Award multiyear grants or contracts, on a competitive basis, to eligible providers within the State or outlying area to enable the eligible providers to develop, implement, and improve adult education and literacy activities within the State.

Section 212 (b)(3)(A)(1)

  • Establish levels of performance for each of the core indicators of performance described in the Act for adult education and literacy activities, including any additional indicators identified by the eligible agency.

These core indicators are:

  1. Demonstrated improvements in literacy skill levels in reading, writing and speaking the English language, numeracy, and problem-solving, English language acquisition, and other literacy skills.
  2. Placement in, retention in, or completion of, postsecondary education, training, unsubsidized employment or career advancement.
  3. Receipt of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

EDGAR 76.770

  • Each State shall have procedures for reviewing and approving applications for subgrants and amendments to those applications, for providing technical assistance, for evaluating projects and for performing other administrative responsibilities the State has determined are necessary to ensure compliance with applicable statutes and regulations.

II. Reporting Requirements and Data Collection

Section 212 (c)

  • Each eligible agency shall annually prepare and submit to the Secretary a report on the progress of the eligible agency in achieving eligible agency performance measures including information on the levels of performance achieved by the eligible agency with respect to the core indicators of performance. Among other activities described, the eligible agency might describe monitoring processes that review local assessment measures for reporting learner performance outcomes.

Q. WHAT REPORTS ARE STATES REQUIRED TO SUBMIT TO ED?

A. States are required to submit three copies of these reports: (Specific reporting requirements subject to OMB Approval)

  • Annual Performance Report
    Part I - Statistical Report
    Part II - Narrative Report
  • Financial Status Reports

    An initial report for the program year just completed.
    A final report of the previous program year.

Q. IS THERE A GUIDE FOR PREPARING THESE REPORTS?

A. Final decisions from the National Reporting System Project will not be made in time to support a full implementation of the new reporting system until July 1, 2000. We fully expect that interim guidance will be prepared (by January, 1999) describing program reporting requirements for the Program Year beginning July 1, 1999. The reporting framework and guidance instructions issued by OVAE/DAEL should be used by the eligible agency.

III. Performance Reporting

Q. WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION IS CONTAINED IN THE PERFORMANCE REPORT?

EDGAR 80.40

A. A performance report has two parts, a statistical report and a narrative report. The statistical report contains descriptive, participation, and outcome/performance data. Data includes: student demographics, student goals, initial assessment and placement data, contact hours, reasons for non-completion, learning gains/assessment, economic impact, credentials earned, transition to further education, and program data including the type of instructional program (basic skills, English literacy, and secondary level instruction) and the instructional setting (workplace, family literacy, and corrections).

A narrative report must include a discussion of the following:

  • A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives established for the period.
  • The reason for slippage if established objectives were not met.
  • Additional pertinent information including, when appropriate, analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.

Q. IF AN ELIGIBLE AGENCY CHOOSES TO EXPEND FUNDS FOR FAMILY LITERACY SERVICES UNDER THE SPECIAL RULE CONTAINED IN SECTION 231 OF THE ACT, WILL THE ELIGIBLE AGENCY BE EXPECTED TO REPORT PERFORMANCE DATA RELATED TO EARLY CHILDHOOD OR PARENTING SERVICES? IF YES, WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS?

A. Yes, with instructions to follow from DAEL.

Q. HOW OFTEN MUST A STATE SUBMIT A PERFORMANCE REPORT?

EDGAR 76.720, 80.40, 80.41

A. Performance reports are submitted annually to DAEL.

Q. WHEN ARE ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REPORTS DUE?

A. Annual performance reports, including financial status reports are due on or before September 30, within 90 days after the end of the grant year, which ends June 30.

Q. UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES MAY THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING PERFORMANCE REPORTS BE EXTENDED?

A. The due date may be extended if ED considers a written request for extension to be "justified". This decision is made on a case by case basis.

Q. MAY A STATE SUBMIT A PERFORMANCE REPORT OR PROGRAM INFORMATION TO ED AT TIMES OTHER THAN THE SCHEDULED REPORTING DATES?

A. Yes. Events may occur between the scheduled performance reporting dates that have significant impact on the grant or subgrant supported activity. In these cases, the grantee may inform DAEL as soon as it becomes aware of the following types of conditions:

  • Problems, delays, or adverse conditions that will materially impair the ability to meet the objective of the award. This disclosure must include a statement of the action taken or that the grantee plans to take, and any assistance needed to resolve the situation.
  • Favorable developments that enable programs to meet time schedules and objectives sooner or at less cost than anticipated, or to produce more beneficial results than originally planned.

IV. Financial Reporting

Q. FOR WHAT PURPOSE MUST STATES USE FINANCIAL REPORTS?

EDGAR 76.720 - 80.41

A. The Financial Status Report provides a cumulative report of Federal and non-Federal funds for a given program year.

Q. WHAT INFORMATION IS INCLUDED IN A FINANCIAL STATUS REPORT?

A. It is anticipated that eligible Agencies will report program outlays and income for the areas of State Administration, State Leadership, Instructional Program (Basic education-Secondary Education-English Literacy-Family Literacy), and Corrections/Other Institutionalized.

V. Data Collection/Recordkeeping

Q. WHAT KIND OF REPORTS CAN THE STATE REQUIRE OF SUBGRANT OR CONTRACT RECIPIENTS?

EDGAR 76.722

A. A State may require a subgrantee to furnish reports that the State needs to carry out its responsibilities under the program.

Q. WHAT KIND OF ACCOUNTING RECORDS MUST THE STATE AND GRANTEES KEEP?

EDGAR 76.730

A. A State and a subgrantee shall keep records that fully show:

  1. The amount of funds under the grant or subgrant;
  2. How the State or subgrantee uses the funds;
  3. The total cost of the project;
  4. The share of that cost provided from other sources; and
  5. Other records to facilitate an effective audit.

EDGAR 76.731

A State and subgrantee shall keep records to show its compliance with program requirements.

Q. WHAT KIND OF ACCOUNTING RECORDS MUST GRANTEES KEEP?

EDGAR 80.20

A. Grantees and subgrantees must maintain records which adequately identify the source and application of funds provided for financially assisted activities. These records must contain information pertaining to grant or subgrant awards and authorizations, obligations, unobligated balances, assets, liabilities, outlays or expenditures, and income.

Q. HOW LONG MUST GRANTEES KEEP THESE RECORDS ON HAND?

EDGAR 80.42(b)(4) and (c)

A. Records must be retained for five years from the starting date of the retention period. The retention period starts on the day the grantee submits its final expenditure report.

VI. State Plan Development

Eligible Agency Application Process

Section 224 (a)(1)(2)

Each eligible agency desiring a grant under this subtitle for any fiscal year shall submit to, or have on file with, the Secretary a 5-year State plan.

Q. IF A STATE WISHES, MY IT BY APRIL 12, 1999 FILE A ONE-YEAR TRANSITION PLAN COVERING THE PERIOD COVERING THE PERIOD JULY 1999 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2000 INSTEAD OF THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN?

A. Yes. A State choosing this option would then file not later than April 2, 2000 a full plan covering the final four years through June 2004. A State may file a one-year transitional plan whether or not it plans eventually to file its full plan as part of a "State Unified Plan" covering adult education and certain other programs under Section 501 of WIA.

Q. WHAT DOCUMENTS MUST A STATE SUBMIT TO RECEIVE A GRANT?

Section 224 - EDGAR 76.101

A. An eligible agency must submit a State plan.

Q. HOW OFTEN MUST A STATE PLAN BE SUBMITTED?

A. The State plan must be submitted to the Secretary of Education every five years.

VII. Contents of the State Plan

Q. WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN A STATE PLAN?

Section 224

A. In developing the State plan, and any revisions to the State plan, the eligible agency shall include in the State plan or revisions --

  1. An objective assessment of the needs of individuals in the State or outlying area for adult education and literacy activities, including individuals most in need of services or hardest to serve.
  2. A description of the adult education and literacy activities that will be carried out with any funds received under this subtitle.
  3. A description of how the eligible agency will evaluate annually the effectiveness of the adult education and literacy activities based on the performance measures described in Section 212.
  4. A description of the performance measures described in Section 212 and how such performance measures will ensure the improvement of adult education and literacy activities in the State or outlying area.
  5. A description of how the eligible agency will fund local activities in accordance with the considerations described in Section 231(e). (A detailed description of coordination activities with Employment Training (ET) (one-stops) may be delayed until the ET system is in place. Plan revisions may be submitted at a later time with this information. Provide specific examples of local activities with local workforce areas/one-stops)
  6. A description of the process that will be used for public participation and comment with respect to the State plan.
  7. A description of how the eligible agency will develop program strategies for populations that include, at a minimum--
    1. Low-income students;
    2. Individuals with disabilities;
    3. Single parents and displaced homemakers; and
    4. Individuals with multiple barriers to educational enhancement, including individuals with limited English proficiency. Additional persons with multiple barriers might include: homeless adults, adults in correctional institutions or other institutionalized adults. In conducting an assessment to determine the literacy needs of individuals in the State these and other population groups should be included.
  8. A description of how the adult education and literacy activities funded under this subtitle will be integrated with other adult education, career development, and employment and training activities in the State or outlying area served by the eligible agency. (Detailed information describing integration of services and activities with Title I activities and services may be delayed until ET system is in place. Plan revisions can be submitted at a later time) Provide specific references of expected areas of integration.
  9. A description of the steps the eligible agency will take to ensure direct and equitable access, as required by section 231(c)(1). The State must include the criteria established for the approval of local applications for funding and a description of the process used to allocate funds to local providers of instruction.
  10. Any comments by the Governor regarding the State plan.

Section 225(a)

  • A description of the policies and procedures to be used to support corrections education and education for other institutionalized adults.

Q. IF A STATE DECIDES TO ESTABLISH OTHER INDICATORS IN ADDITION TO THE CORE INDICATORS OF PERFORMANCE CONTAINED IN THE ACT, MUST THESE BE INCLUDED IN THE STATE PLAN?

A. Yes. All performance measures must be included in the plan with a description of how they will "ensure" the improvement of adult education and literacy activities.

Q. ARE STATES EXPECTED TO NEGOTIATE ADJUSTED LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE ON INDICATORS THEY ESTABLISH IN ADDITION TO THE CORE INDICATORS OF PERFORMANCE CONTAINED IN THE ACT?

A. No. Section 212 (b)(2)(B) permits States to identify additional indicators in the State Plan, but there is no language in the Act giving ED authority to negotiate adjusted levels of performance for any indicators other the core indicators.

Q. HOW OFTEN DOES A STATE HAVE TO EVALUATE LOCAL PROGRAMS? IS IT STILL 20% PER YEAR?

A. The new law does not set a percentage target for evaluating local programs, but states that all programs must be evaluated annually on the three performance measures [Sec. 224] contained in Sec. 212. Conceivably, this evaluation would be based on data analysis and site visits would be conducted at the State??s discretion to look at validation or other issues the State identifies as important.

VIII. State Certifications and Assurances

Q. WHAT ASSURANCES MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE STATE PLAN AND APPLICATION?

A. The State plan must include the following assurances --

Section 224 (b)(5)

  • An assurance that the eligible agency will award not less than one grant to an eligible provider that offers flexible schedules and necessary support services (such as child care and transportation) to enable individuals, including individuals with disabilities, or individuals with other special needs, to participate in adult education and literacy activities. The eligible provider shall attempt to coordinate with support services that are not provided under this subtitle prior to using funds for adult education and literacy activities provided under this subtitle to pay for support services.

Section 224 (b)(6)

  • An assurance that the funds received under this subtitle will not be expended for any purpose other than for activities under this subtitle.

Section 224 (b)(8)

  • An assurance that the eligible agency will expend the funds under this subtitle in a manner consistent with fiscal requirements in Section 241.

Q. WHAT CERTIFICATIONS MUST BE INCLUDED IN A STATE PLAN?

EDGAR 76.104

A. The State plan must contain the following certifications--

  1. The Plan is submitted by the State agency that is eligible to submit the plan.
  2. The State Agency has authority under State law to perform the functions of the State under the program.
  3. The State legally may carry out each provision of the plan.
  4. All provisions of the plan are consistent with State law.
  5. A State officer, specified by title in the certification, has authority under State law to receive, hold, and disburse Federal funds made available under the plan.
  6. The State officer who submits the plan, specified by title in the certification, has authority to submit the plan.
  7. The Agency that submits the plan has adopted or otherwise formally approved the plan.
  8. The plan is the basis for State operation and administration of the program.

Q. WHO MUST SIGN THE STATE APPLICATION?

A. The application must be signed by the head of the eligible agency.

IX. Developing the State Plan

Q. WHO MUST BE INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE PLAN?

Section 224 (b)(8)

A. The eligible agency must provide opportunities for the public to participate in and comment on the development of the State plan. The actual process(es) or method(s) used for public participation are left up to the eligible agency. The State plan must include a description of the process used to ensure public participation.

X. Submitting the State Plan

Q. WHEN IS THE STATE PLAN DUE AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION?

A. The due date for the submission of the new five-year plan or transition plan under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act is April 2, 1999.

Q. WHO ELSE MUST REVIEW THE PLAN PRIOR TO ITS SUBMISSION TO ED?

Section 224(d)

A. The State plan and any revisions to the plan shall be submitted to the Governor of the State or outlying area for review and comment. Comments by the Governor regarding the State plan, and any revision to the plan shall be submitted to the Secretary.

State laws and procedures differ and there may be State-imposed requirements that must be met prior to submission of the plan; for example, State boards of education, chief State school officers and higher education commissions. Any or all of the above might have to be consulted and the State Director is responsible for ensuring that his or her State meets those requirements.

XI. State Plan Approval

Q. WHAT DOES THE SECRETARY??S REVIEW AND STATE PLAN APPROVAL PROCESS INCLUDE?

Section 224 (e)

A. The Secretary will establish a peer review process to make recommendations regarding the approval of the State plan.

Q. WHO WILL MAKE UP THE PEER REVIEW?

A. Peer reviewers will be selected from Adult Education stakeholders and from eligible agency staff assigned to the adult education.

Q. WHEN CAN AN ELIGIBLE AGENCY EXPECT TO RECEIVE NOTIFICATION OF APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF THE STATE PLAN?

Section 224 (f)

A. A State plan submitted to the Secretary shall be approved by the Secretary unless the Secretary makes a written determination, within 90 days after receiving the plan, that the plan is inconsistent with specific provisions of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.

The Secretary will notify the eligible agency in writing within 90 days of receipt of the plan, although States are notified immediately after receipt and review.

Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ELIGIBLE AGENCY??S PLAN IS NOT APPROVED?

EDGAR 76.202

A. States whose plans are not approved are given reasonable notice and are provided an opportunity for a hearing.

XII. Unified Plan

Q. WHAT IS A UNIFIED PLAN?

Section 501 (b)

A. A State may develop and submit to the appropriate Secretaries a State unified plan for two or more of the activities or programs in Section 501 (b)(2). The State unified plan shall cover one or more of the activities set forth in 501 (b)(2)(A - D) and may cover 1 or more activities set forth in 501(b)(2)(E - O).

Section 501 (c)(1)

The portion of a unified plan covering an activity or program described in 501(b) shall be subject to the requirements, if any, applicable to a plan or application for assistance under the federal statute authorizing the activity or program. (All State plan requirements contained in Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, must be met in a Unified Plan)

Section 501 (c)(2)

A State that submits a State unified plan covering an activity or program described in 501 (b), that is approved under 501(d) shall not be required to submit any other plan or application in order to receive federal funds to carry out the activity or program.

Section 501 (c)(3)

A State unified plan shall include --

  1. a description of the methods used for joint planning and coordination of the programs and activities included in the unified plan; and
  2. an assurance that the methods included an opportunity for the entities responsible for planning or administering such programs and activities to review and comment on all portions of the unified plan.

Q. DOES ADULT EDUCATION HAVE TO BE PART OF A UNIFIED PLAN?

A. There are no statutory requirements mandating that the Adult Education program funded under Title II of the Workforce Investment Act be included in a State unified plan. This is a State decision.

Q. DOES ED HAVE A TRANSITION PLAN TO ACCOMMODATE STATES THAT ELECT TO SUBMIT A UNIFIED PLAN IN 2000?

A. Yes. A State that elects to submit a unified plan in 2000 will submit a one-year plan for the transition period (July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000).

Q. DOES THE ADULT EDUCATION PLAN HAVE TO BE PART OF THE STATE PLAN SUBMITTED UNDER TITLE I?

A. No, there are no statutory provisions requiring that the adult education State plan be included in the State plan submitted under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act.

XIII. State Leadership Activities

Q. WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ELIGIBLE AGENCY?

A. The responsibilities of the eligible agency are to:

Section 223(a)

  • Use not more than 12.5 percent of the grant funds for one or more of 11 adult education and literacy activities.

Section 223(b)

  • Collaborate where possible, and avoid duplicating efforts, in order to maximize the impact of State Leadership Activities.

Section 223(c)

  • Identify, to eligible providers, any State rule or policy relating to the administration or operation of a program authorized under State Leadership Activities that is not imposed under Federal law.

Q. SHOULD A STATE AGENCY DEVELOP A PLANNING PROCESS FOR STATE LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES?

A. Yes. Given the number of potential investment activities under Section 223(a), it is recommended that the eligible agency establish criteria and an ongoing planning process for allocating funds made available under Section 222(a)(2). The National Program Office will monitor expenditure of grant funds under Section 222(a)(2) and the eligible agency will report annually on expenditures for State Leadership Activities.

Q. WHAT ADULT EDUCATION AND LITERACY ACTIVITIES MAY THE ELIGIBLE AGENCY CONSIDER IN DETERMINING THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS UNDER SECTION 222(a)(2)?

Section 223(a)

A. Each eligible agency shall use funds made available under section 222(a)(2) or one or more of the following adult education and literacy activities:

  1. The establishment or operation of professional development programs...
  2. The provision of technical assistance to eligible providers...
  3. The provision of technology assistance to eligible providers...
  4. The support of State or regional literacy resource centers
  5. The monitoring and evaluation of program quality...
  6. Incentives for program coordination... and performance awards
  7. Developing and disseminating curricula...
  8. Other activities of statewide significance [in adult education]...
  9. Coordination with existing support services... and other assistance to increase rates of enrollment and successful completion...
  10. Integration of literacy instruction and occupational skill training and promoting linkages with employers
  11. Linkages with postsecondary educational institutions.

Q. MAY A STATE OPTING TO DO ONLY ONE OF THE STATE LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES LISTED UNDER Sec. 223 SELECT ANY ONE?

A. No. Unless a State decides to fund monitoring and evaluation, only with State funds, a State opting to do just one must choose (5), monitoring and evaluation, because it is required by the State Plan language in Sec. 224 (b) (3).

XIV. Financial and Other Considerations

This section presents the procedures a State must follow in awarding grants to local programs and the financial considerations governing these awards.

Q. WHAT LOCAL ENTITIES ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR A BASIC GRANT FROM THE STATE?

Section 203 (5)

A. The following public or private non-profit entities are eligible to apply to the eligible agency for an award: local educational agencies, community-based organizations of demonstrated effectiveness, volunteer literacy organizations of demonstrated effectiveness, an institution of higher education, a public or private nonprofit agency, libraries, public housing authorities, nonprofit institutions, not described above, with the ability to provide literacy services to adults and families, and a consortium of the agencies, organizations, and institutions, libraries, or authorities described above.

Q. CAN FOR-PROFIT ENTITIES STILL JOIN CONSORTIA RECEIVING AWARDS UNDER THE NEW ACT?

A. No. Only nonprofits can now receive adult education funds under the new Act. [Sec. 203 (5)]

Q. FOR WHAT PERIOD OF TIME MUST LOCAL GRANTS BE AWARDED?

Section 231(a)

A. The eligible agency shall award multiyear grants or contracts, on a competitive basis, to eligible providers within the State or outlying area to enable the eligible provides to develop, implement, and improve adult education and literacy activities within the State.

Q. WHAT IS THE ELIGIBLE AGENCY??S RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THE DIRECT AND EQUITABLE ACCESS PROVISION?

Section 231 ( c )

A. Each eligible agency shall ensure that --

  • All eligible providers have direct and equitable access to apply for grants or contracts under section 231; and
  • The same grant or contract announcement process and application process is used for all eligible providers in the State or outlying area.

Q. WHAT CRITERIA MUST THE ELIGIBLE AGENCY CONSIDER IN DETERMINING WHICH LOCAL PROVIDERS RECEIVE ASSISTANCE?

Section 231 (e)

A. The eligible agency shall consider --

  1. The degree to which the eligible provider will establish measurable goals for participant outcomes;
  2. The past effectiveness of an eligible provider in improving the literacy skills of adults and families, and, after the one-year period beginning with the adoption of an eligible agency??s performance measures, the success of the an eligible provider receiving funds in meeting or exceeding such performance measures, especially with respect to those adults with the lowest levels of literacy.
  3. The commitment of the eligible provider to serve individuals in the community who are most in need of literacy service, including individuals who are low-income or have minimal literacy skills.
  4. Whether or not the program--
    • is of sufficient intensity and duration for participants to achieve substantial learning gains, and
    • uses instructional practices such as phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension that research has proven to be effective in teaching individuals to read;
  5. Whether the activities effectively employ advances in technology is appropriate, including the use of computers;
  6. Whether the activities are built on a strong foundation of research and effective educational practice;
  7. Whether the activities provide learning in real life contexts to ensure that an individual has the skills needed to compete in the workplace and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship;
  8. Whether the activities are staffed by well-trained instructors, counselors, and administrators;
  9. Whether the activities coordinate with other available resources in the community, such as by establishing strong links with elementary schools and secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, one-stop centers, job training programs, and social service agencies;
  10. Whether the activities offer flexible schedules and support services (such as child care and transportation) that are necessary to enable individuals, including individuals with disabilities or special needs, to attend and complete programs;
  11. Whether the activities maintain a high-quality information management system that has the capacity to report participant outcomes and to monitor program performance against the eligible agency performance measures; and
  12. Whether the local communities have a demonstrated need for additional English literacy programs.

Q. DOES SEC. 231(e) REQUIRE STATES TO WRITE ALL THESE ELEMENTS INTO THEIR CRITERIA FOR MAKING AWARDS? OR CAN IT USE JUST SOME?

A. Yes, all these elements should be included in the selection criteria.

Q. IF A STATE IS IN THE SECOND OR THIRD YEAR OF MULTI-YEAR GRANT AWARDS, DOES IT HAVE TO ESTABLISH A NEW COMPETITION TO ACCOMMODATE THE NEW "CONSIDERATIONS" IN SEC. 231(e)?

A. Yes, unless somehow there is a way to accommodate all these considerations and still make awards to the same providers.

Q. MAY A STATE DISTRIBUTE FEDERAL ADULT EDUCATION FUNDS ON A FORMULA?

A. The law requires a competitive process. A State could run a competition to determine what program will be funded and then distribute funds based on a formula.

Q. IN MAKING GRANTS TO LOCALS, MAY A STATE WEIGH THE CONSIDERATIONS REQUIRED IN THE LAW DIFFERENTLY, COUNTING SOME AS WORTH MORE THAN OTHERS?

A. Yes, as long as those differential weights are uniformly applied to all providers. A State could not establish different weightings of the same criteria for different classes of providers. This would not comply with Sec. 231( c )(2) which requires that the same announcement process and application process be used fore all providers.

Q. WHAT MUST THE LOCAL APPLICATIONS CONTAIN?

Section 232

A. Each eligible provider desiring a grant or contract shall submit an application to the eligible agency containing such information and assurances as the eligible agency may require, including--

  • A description of how funds awarded under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act will be spent; and
  • A description of any cooperative arrangements the eligible provider has with other agencies, institutions, or organizations for the delivery of adult education and literacy activities.

Q. CAN STATES USE ALREADY ESTABLISHED CRITERIA IN AWARDING GRANTS TO LOCAL PROGRAMS?

A. All competitions must address the considerations listed in the law, but they may be weighted differently [Sec. 231(e)]. After all the considerations have been addressed in making local awards, States may add their own selection criteria, providing the effect of the additional criteria the State uses does not nullify the intended effect of the considerations in Sec. 231. A State could not use additional criteria that, for example, made coordination with community resources optional.

Q. DO THE NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR DIRECT AND EQUITABLE ACCESS MEAN THAT STATES MUST USE A SINGLE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFPs) OR CAN THEY USE SEPARATE FOR FAMILY LITERACY, ENGLISH LITERACY, AND WORKPLACE LITERACY PROGRAMS?

A. The Act requires that "the same grant or contract announcement process and application process", not the same application, be used for all eligible providers [Sec. 231( c )(2)]. States may use different RFPs for different competitions, but all eligible providers must receive all RFPs, be given the same time to respond and be judged by the same criteria. Criteria in all competitions must address the considerations listed in the law, but they may be weighted differently [Sec. 231(e)].

Q. WHAT DEFINITION DO STATES NEED TO USE TO DETERMINE IF PROGRAMS SEEKING FUNDING ARE "OF SUFFICIENT INTENSITY AND DURATION FOR PARTICIPANTS TO ACHIEVE SUBSTANTIAL LEARNING GAINS"[SEC. 231 (e)(4)(A)]. AND WHAT DEFINITION IS BEING APPLIED TO "SUBSTANTIAL LEARNING GAINS?"

A. Because States are very different, each State will need to decide what these terms mean given the target populations they serve, resources available, location of the program in urban or rural settings and other factors. Ultimately, the decision can be made with input from a competitive process allowing consensus on these issues to be built among expert reviewers on a case-by-case basis.

XV. Cost Requirements

State Requirements

Q. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS?

Section 222 (a)

A. Each eligible agency shall use not more than 5 percent of grant funds or $65,000, whichever is greater, for the administrative expenses of the eligible agency.

Q. WHAT KINDS OF EXPENSES MAY BE INCLUDED UNDER STATE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS?

A. Allowable administrative costs are for management and supervisory activities such as salaries, rent, supplies, and travel.

Q. ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL ALLOWABLE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS THAT STATES MAY INCUR OUTSIDE THE 5 PERCENT CAP?

A. NO.

Q. CAN STATES STILL FUND POSITIONS UNDER `ANCILLARY COSTS???

A. No ancillary costs exist. Positions, or parts of them, that deal with items listed in Sec. 223 (State Leadership) such as professional development, technical assistance, technology assistance and monitoring and evaluation could be funded out of the 12.5% reserved for State Leadership.

Local Requirements

Q. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS?

Section 233(a)

A. An eligible provider shall use no more than 5 percent of the amount made available for planning, administration, personnel development, and interagency coordination.

Q. ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THE 5 PERCENT LIMIT FOR NON-INSTRUCTIONAL COSTS?

Section 233(b)

A. Yes. In cases where the 5 percent cost limit are too restrictive to allow for adequate planning, administration, personnel development, and interagency coordination, the eligible provider shall negotiate with the eligible agency in order to determine an adequate level of funds to be used for noninstructional purposes. Please note that the funds subject to the 5 percent limitation are much broader than the "local administrative costs" allowed under the Adult Education Act and include, in addition to administrative activities, staff development, planning, and interagency coordination activities.

XVI. Cost-Sharing Requirements

Q. HOW IS COST SHARING OR MATCHING DEFINED?

Section 222(b)(2) --EDGAR 80.24

A. These terms refer to the value of third-party, in-kind or cash contributions and that portion of the costs of a grant-supported project or program not borne by the Federal Government.

Q. WHAT IS THE MATCHING REQUIREMENT FOR THE PROGRAM?

Section 222(b)

A. Each eligible agency shall provide, for the costs to be incurred by the eligible agency in carrying out the adult education and literacy activities for which the grant is awarded, a non-federal contribution in the amount equal to --

  • in the case of an eligible agency serving an outlying area, 12 percent of the total amount of funds expended for adult education and literacy activities in the outlying area, except that the Secretary may decrease the amount of funds required for an eligible agency (in an outlying area); and
  • in the case of an eligible agency serving a State, 25 percent of the total amount of funds expended for adult education and literacy activities in the State.

XVII. Maintenance of Effort

Q. WHAT IS THE MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT REQUIREMENT?

Section 241(b)

A. This requirement specifies that a State??s non-Federal share used to meet cost sharing requirements cannot be reduced more than 10 percent without an accompanying reduction in Federal funding.


 
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Last Modified: 10/12/2007