Welcome everyone. We are very happy to bring to you today this webinar on the IDEA Part C Annual Grant Budget Calculator. Beth Cole and myself are going to review the purpose of this tool. We’re going to demonstrate its different features and how it works, and we’re going to discuss the various uses that you can use this Budget Calculator for.
The calculator began as a TA request from a state that needed a tool to help them develop and track their Part C budget. Now, we recognize that some states already have sophisticated processes for developing the grant and effectively tracking their funds. This is an optional TA product that some states might find helpful as a way to better address how the federal Part C funds are allocated, used and tracked.
The Part C team at CIFR initiated the development process after this TA request and developed it over a number of months as well as piloting internally by Alison. Thank you Alison. And then also, we developed to the instructions to go along with it. It was then piloted by a couple of states and then reviewed and checked and edited by OSEP and eventually approved by OSEP. The calculator has several uses described here on the slide and in a few minutes, Beth and I are going to demonstrate each of these uses in a sample spreadsheet that we’ve prepared.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a set of instructions that goes along with the Budget Calculator and these instructions provide a description of the purpose, tips for using the tool as well as guidance on how to use each of the worksheets and the Budget Calculator. Within the Excel tool, the design is such that it aligns with section three of the annual Part C grant application. The features also include some of the cells that auto calculate totals for you.
We all know that the template that OSEP shares doesn’t do any of the math for you and sometimes there are mistakes made in the addition of the numbers on the different pages. So this Excel tool will help you achieve accurate totals to put into your grant, and it also covers the full lifespan of the grant award. So it is an effective tool for tracking your funds over that life cycle of the Part C grant. The Budget Calculator is now posted on CIFR’s website and can be accessed at the link here. Once you’ve taken a look at the Budget Calculator and the instructions, if you need TA on how to use the Budget Calculator, please reach out to your CIFR TA liaisons. To get their contact information, you can go to the CIFR website, click on contact and select your state and the Part C TA liaisons for your state.
So before we move on to the demonstration and I switch screens, I’d like to highlight a few CIFR resources that may be useful in conjunction with the calculator. The first is the quick reference guide on the use of IDEA Part C funds, and this quick reference guide provides information on the appropriate and allowable uses of the Part C funds. The second resource is the understanding the IDEA Part C funding cycle and different fiscal years tool product. And this product lays out the 27-month timeline and the information about obligation and liquidation for your grant award.
All right. So now we’re going to move on to the demonstration. I am going to exit my PowerPoint. So as we begin, I’m on the title page. You will note along the bottom that we have different tabs. The first three are not directly aligned to the Part C grant but are needed to get started. Then you will note that at the bottom here of my screen, we have the different sections of the Part C grant. So we have the personnel section. Section three B is activities and so forth. So this is in each of the worksheets here from four on to nine are in alignment with the Part C grant application.
So now I’m going to move on to the Getting Started [tab]. This is an important page because this is where you enter your federal fiscal year for the grant you’re going to be working on. For each grant award you would want or application you would want to use a unique spreadsheet because it’s set up for that full grant award period. So let’s say if I’m addressing my budget for 2022, I enter that number. If I’ve already received my award, it’s helpful to enter your grant award number.
It’s always nice to have that handy because sometimes some states use that number to track the unique identifier for the grant award and then you would enter your grant amount. It’s important to fill out this page because these pages carry forward and populate the rest of the sheets with the appropriate year and budget amount. One thing we’d like to draw your attention to is that on each sheet we’ve provided the hyperlink to the Budget Calculator and it’s always important that if you’re starting a new sheet, a new calculator, that you use this link to make sure that you have the most current version. Sometimes OSEP may change something that we may need to make an adjustment to the formulas and to the layout of the tool. So by clicking on this and downloading the most current version, you’re always assured that you have the right information.
So now I’m going to go on to the Data Sources page. This is something that we’ve thought would be useful to states because there’s a number of different places that you access to get the data that you need to be able to develop your Part C grant, and this is an example of a page that you could use to document that information. We know that with staff turnover and succession planning and things like that, it’s important to have this information written down. So we’ve provided this as an optional page for states to use.
So for example, if I am getting ready to work on my grant application and I want to complete the personnel section, I don’t have the most current salary information on hand. That’s not my job. So I know I need to reach out to John Smith at HR. I’ve entered his contact information and what I need from him I’ve learned is the state fiscal year wage workup. That’s the report that’s going to give me the information I need for what I need to do in the Part C grant.
Then I could enter the hyperlink or a title and a more complete title of the document that I need. And then I make note of when do I like to get that? Well, generally I like to request John to print that out and send it to me in mid-November. That way I have it in time to develop my grant application personnel section in December to get ready for the public participation period when the grant application goes out for public review. So this is just an example how I have maybe recorded this information and if I leave the following year and take another job, then this information is populated here for the next person and they don’t have to learn the hard way how to get that information. So we do recommend using this as needed for your state.
The next section I’m going to talk about is I’m going to focus on developing the grant budget, the initial application budget. Beth is going to cover the later periods of the grant in a few minutes, but for now, focus on the green… excuse me, the blue shading. This is what we’re going to talk about now. So you can see that the fiscal year 2022 has carried forward. Had I not already filled out most of the grant application, I would be seeing the total from the previous page of getting started, that showed that I had 2.4 million to plan my budget. But because we’ve prepopulated, it’s showing a much lesser amount.
So the grant application asks for the title and the job description of personnel who are being funded with Part C funds. So we’ve entered the title. Some states may prefer to have a code that you use for your titles, like a position number or you could also populate the name, although you may not want to put a person’s name in the application. In column B, it’s the description of the job and also whether or not, and this is required in the Part C grant, that position works a 100% of their time allotted to lead agency activities or to lead agency and ICC activities.
So you’ll note here that the assistant Part C coordinator, their time is split between 90% of their time is on lead agency activities and 10% is on the ICC activities. So you’ll see that that’s information that you would want to determine. The next column is where we would use that wage workup information we’ve received to enter the total salary and fringe benefits for that position. So let’s say the Part C coordinator has a salary of $113,722, and then we need to determine what’s the percentage of time that they spend on their position is funded with Part C funds. And for this position it’s a 100%. So therefore it auto calculates into their total salary that I’m going to put into the Part C grant. Any of the fields that are in one of the colors, the state populates that. And then the white columns, the white cells are auto-populated. So I’ll just show you that if I change this first position to 90%, their position is funded 90% with Part C funds, say 10% is funded with state funds. When I click on this, it will auto calculate and adjust that salary.
Okay, so then sometimes you have positions that are not 100% funded, that they are split like I just demonstrated. Here’s for example, we have three positions that their positions are not funded at a 100%. And so you’ll see their total salary here, but by the time we adjust for the 70%, this is the salary that I’m going to put into the Part C grant application, and this is the total that will go into the application, 803,000. Oops. Now it just adjusted for my other adjustment I made above.
So we have seven positions that are full-time, and this is their salary that are a 100% funded by Part C, and this is the total. And then we have three positions that are funded less than a 100%. Also, on each of the worksheets, you’ll notice that we have a place where you can write here the data source information. You could hand enter this or you could hyperlink it back to worksheet three, which had the data sources entered. We also have a feature where you can take notes. So for example, if the data and policy support position was unfilled for six months, I might want to make a note of that and just keep track of when the position was filled. This is just a place to make note of any changes that are going to affect your budget.
Okay, now let’s go on to the next tab, which represents the Maintenance and Implementation activities in the grant. And in this section, we’ve just populated this with some of the common ones that we see in grant applications such as child find activities, auditing, fiscal monitoring evaluations, public awareness, that sort of thing. We’ve demonstrated the description and then we’ve populated the amounts. So this would go into section C or section B of my grant application and here’s the total.
So now we’re going to move on to direct services and in direct services, this depends on how state funds direct services. Some states don’t use any Part C funds to pay for the direct services, and some states pay for many of them or just a few. We’ve entered all of the services that are listed in the federal regulation, and some states use different names for these. We’ve used the names that are in the federal regs, and we’ve also provided the description that is in the federal regs.
This is up to you and your state, how you describe these services and which services you fund with Part C funds. There’s a lot of variety that you see among states in this section of the grant. We’ve entered some dollar amounts for those services that are being funded. We don’t have to include all of them if that’s the way our state functions. And then we have a total. For Section D of 3D of the grant application, this is the section where you describe funds that you allocate to other state agencies. So in this situation, we’ve decided to fund the school for the different blind for services to provide assessments and intervention for children who are hearing or visually impaired or dual sensory impaired, and we’ve decided to allocate $230,000 in the grant.
Then our state doesn’t use any Part C funds for the optional use. So we’ve skipped that page and then we get to the totals page, which is section F of your grant. And here you can see the numbers have carried forward. I have my totals. Oh, and now I see I still have $1,057. After I’ve allocated everything I think I need to do, I still see that I have some funds left, so I might want to go back to another section and add in $1,057. And if I do that, this is going to show up as just showing 30 cents left. So this is the way that the Budget Calculator can be used to develop your grant. It helps you get accurate additional information for completing your grant. So I am going to try to power through this next one before I lose my voice and then turn it over to Beth.
So this last sheet is a blank worksheet for states to use in whatever way you’d like. It might be where you add some information about your indirect cost or it might be where you’ve done some other… Carried forward some data from previous years that you want to consider. I’m going to go back to section F and just make note of something that I just skipped. All these other sections of the grant application A through E are auto-populated from the previous pages. However, if your state charges an indirect cost or has a cost allocation plan with an approved rate, you need to manually enter that here in this cell that’s shaded blue. So that’s important to note that you have to add that yourself. It’s not on any of the other worksheets, just like in the grant application. So you would enter that here.
Before we leave this page, I’d like to draw your attention to column B, row four. You’ll notice that there’s still $1,057.30 left because I have not allocated the full amount of the grant award, so I would definitely want to do that. You are only funded as much money as you put into your budget, so might as well use all of the funds that are available to you. So I need to go back and figure out where I’m going to add that additional funds, and then that will be my… Once it totals the full amount, then that will be the amount and the numbers that I submit to OSEP in the grant application. All right, Beth, I’m going to turn this over to you and go back to the personnel section.
Wonderful, thank you so much. So Ardith showed you how you can use this tool to develop your application budget, and I’m going to take it the next step and show you how you can use this tool to actually track your budget over time, over the course of the grant period. So you will see that each section has its own color coding. So the application section is the blue. What we’re calling the revised budget, or this is the active budget actually is that peach color. Then the Tydings Period is more of a green, and the Liquidation Period is a yellow.
So from the time you submit your grant application until you actually get your money and start the grant period, things may change, people may leave, people may get raises, other things might change in terms of how much money or how much percentage someone is allocated to be paid using the Part C funds. And so this revised budget is where you can put in actual working numbers. So for instance, if between the time the budget, the application was submitted and the grant actually begins, your Part C coordinator leaves. And for instance, you hire a new coordinator, but you’re paying the new coordinator $120,000 instead of $113,000 because the new coordinator has a lot more experience.
Yeah, there you go. And so you’ll see down at the bottom, if you scroll down to the bottom, the total amount that’s in the… What’s actually in the budget now is more than what was originally allocated. And so that’s a way to keep track of, “Oh, where are my funds? If there are no changes from the budget that was submitted with a grant application, you need to copy the budget amounts from the application budget into the revised budget using the paste special process outlined in the instructions on page six. Once you complete that, you’ll have your active budget to use for the grant period.
The other thing you can do with the Budget Calculator is you can start adding in what you’re actually expending over time. Now, how frequently you put in expenditures depends on your state. You could do it monthly, quarterly, twice a year, but we recommend that you do it at least once a year because this is a way to ensure that you are staying on track with what you actually budgeted. And if necessary, move line items around because you might have a position that is vacant for three months and then you have a large amount left at the end of the year and you need to figure out what you’re going to do with those funds.
Thank you Ardith. So you can see that even though you got a new Part C coordinator with a higher salary, that salary, that position didn’t start for the first three months. And so you have an extra $40,000 left at the end of the initial grant period. Now you can decide to either move that amount over to the Tydings Period, which is the next section, or you can decide to use those funds for a different purpose in the grant.
And then I’m going to go to the next, the activity section to show you another feature of the grant budget because if you are moving money around, you all know that you have to make sure that you get prior approval if something goes over 10% of the total grant, the expenditures. So we’re going to look at the data system. Originally $50,000 was budgeted, but as it turns out, the contract comes in for $500,000. And we’re going to scroll down and actually we’re going to go over to the totals page. And now you see an alert that gives you a hint that, “Oh, gosh, we have to get prior approval because we’ve changed the budget more than 10% from what it was originally.”
And then once you get the approval of the modified budget, you need to go back to the application budget and update it with the numbers, the new numbers that have been approved by OSEP, because the blue application budget is the budget that OSEP has that they are operating off of because this is the budget that they have approved. So if you get approval for that change, then you need to update the application budget with the new numbers.
So over time, you put in your amount expended, and then at the end of the initial grant period, you look at what’s left and then you can decide to move it over to the tidings period, which is the next 12 months to be expended during that time period. Or you can move funds around between light items. For instance, if you need more funding for speech therapy and less funding for salaries in the tidings period, you can move that under. You can move it over.
When you move unexpended funds from the initial grant period into the Tydings Period, make sure that all unexpended funds are moved to the Tydings Period so that no funds are left on the table. And as entries are made in the expended column, you’ll see at the top you have a total, and now it’s not $2.4 million because we’ve expended some of those funds. As your grant is used and information is put into the expended columns, that total will move down and allow you to see exactly how much you really have left to spend during the time of your grant period. And now we’re going to go to other agencies.
So this is a situation we budgeted and we funded the school for deaf and blind and we have a contract with them, but in the initial grant period, they only spent $50,000 of their $230,000. So they have $180,000 left, but you still have that contract, so you carry it over to the Tydings Period. And during the Tydings Period, they still only build for $140,000, which means they still have $40,000 left on the books.
Now, that can carry over to the Liquidation Period, and that is assuming that they have carried out the activities in the contract by September 30th. And then during that Liquidation Period, you can say, “You need to bill us this last $40,000.” So they can turn in the bill for $40,000 and then you’ll see that there’s nothing left. You’ve spent all the funds that were allocated to the school for deaf and blind. If they only bill you for $30,000 though, now you have $10,000 left of funds that you can’t use. And so this is why it’s really important to be keeping track of where you are in the budget, how much money you have left, and ensuring that all of your funds are obligated and liquidated within the appropriate time periods.
Thank you for watching the CIFR product training video. If you have any questions about this presentation, please contact us at [email protected]. For more information about CIFR, please visit our website at cifr.wested.org. You can also follow us on Twitter @CIFR_IDEA and on LinkedIn by visiting our group page and requesting to become a member.