CHEYENNE – The U.S. Department of Education (USED) granted Wyoming a waiver Tuesday, April 7, 2020 from certain federal funding and programmatic requirements related to title-funded programs in light of the widespread school closures due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The flexibility afforded through the waiver extends the use of fiscal year (FY) 2018 funds through September 30, 2021, and expands the possible uses of some title programs in an effort to allow districts to meet the educational needs of their students.
“The United States Department of Education was quick to respond to the immediate needs of states and their school districts,” said Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Granting flexibility in how funding is traditionally used lets districts make critical decisions to fill gaps and think strategically about the best ways to serve students, staff, and parents during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The USED announced the availability of this waiver on Monday, April 6, 2020 and information was immediately sent to states on the waiver submission process. The waiver removes some requirements of the Education and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) relative to Federal FY 2018 and 2019 funds. Sections of the federal statutes being waived are detailed below:
- Waiver of sections 1127(a) and (b) allows the WDE to approve districts’ waivers, more than once every three years, of the 15 % carryover limitation for fiscal year (FY) 2019 Title I, Part A funds.
- Waiver of section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) extends the period of availability of FY 2018 funds for programs in which the WDE participates under its approved consolidated State plan through September 30, 2021.
- Waiver of section 4106(d) Title IV, Part A increases flexibility for the use of funds without the requirement to update the needs assessment for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Waiver of sections 4106(e)(2)(C), (D), and (E) of Title IV, Part A removes the percentage requirements for the use of FY 2019 funds allowing districts greater flexibility.
- Waiver of section 4109(b) of Title IV, Part A removes the spending limitation for technology infrastructure for FYs 2018 and 2019.
- Waiver of section 8101(42) expands the definition of “professional development” to include shorter term training events for the 2019-2020 school year for training topics that would typically be allowed under each program.
The waiver language can be viewed here. The Wyoming Department of Education will take public comment on the waiver through May 14, 2020. Comments can be submitted online or mailed to:
Wyoming Department of Education
Attn: Shelley Hamel
122 West 25th Street, Suite E200
Cheyenne, WY 82002
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Michelle Panos, Communications Director