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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Expending IDEA and IDEA ARRA Funds for Construction, Buses, and Equipment

Source: Shelley Witherbee, Director, Funds Management

Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Finance Administrators

Date: April 27, 2009

Districts are allowed to expend IDEA and IDEA stimulus funds for construction on special education facilities and to purchase special education buses.  However, federal law and regulations require PRIOR approval from DESE.

Furthermore, the federal law and regulations provide that the purpose of the construction and/or equipment MUST be to improve the services the district is providing to students with disabilities.  The construction and/or equipment must be necessary and reasonable for the proper and efficient performance of the IDEA/Part B program.  It must also be authorized and not prohibited under state and local regulations.  The construction and/or equipment must be adequately documented.

We are developing a procedure for you to request approval.  We anticipate it being a fairly painless process.

According to recent guidance published by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the construction and/or bus purchases must meet the requirements outlined below, in addition to the purposes identified above.

Please note that expending IDEA ARRA funds for these items entails additional requirements.  Other equipment valued over $1,000 also requires pre-approval, but the Division anticipates this process will be completed through the ePeGS Part B Budget Application as part of the normal practice for requesting Part B funds.

Construction for Special Education Facilities with Regular IDEA Funds:

- Must be pre-approved by DESE (2 CFR 225, Appendix B, 15.b)

- Must comply with the American with Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines (28 CFR 36, Appendix A)

- Must comply with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (34 CFR

300.718)

- Must comply with the requirements in the Education Department of General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 75.600-75.617)

Construction for Special Education Facilities with ARRA IDEA Funds

- Must be pre-approved by DESE (2 CFR 225, Appendix B, 15.b)

- Must comply with the American with Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines (28 CFR 36, Appendix A)

- Must comply with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (34 CFR

300.718)

- Must comply with the requirements in the Education Department of General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 75.600-75.617)

- Must comply with the general criteria under OMB Circular A-87 (2 CFR Part 225)

- Must comply with the requirements relating to the use of American iron, steel, and manufactured goods (ARRA, section 1605)

- Must comply with wage rate provisions (ARRA, section 1606)

Purchasing Special Education Buses

- Must be pre-approved by DESE (2 CFR 225, Appendix B, 15.b)

- Must meet 2007 MO Minimum Standards for school buses (RSMo 304.060)

The Division will notify districts via SELS as soon as approval procedures are determined.  Please contact the Funds Management Section if you have any questions at (573) 751-0622 or webreplyspefm@dese.mo.gov.