Explanation of Returned $508,000 contains no new information

The response I received from the School Dept. for the $508,000 of returned Grant money was the same response they gave to the School Committee.

This is nothing more than what was included in the School Committee packet available on March 10th and discussed at the March 14th meeting. It amazes me it took that long to cut and paste and send me a response!

If you look at the DESE Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education Web Site upu find the following posted. (Bold Mine)

UNEXPENDED FUNDS AND PRELIMINARY EXPENDITURE REVIEW

Grants from the Department are generally awarded for a period of one fiscal year at a time. For all grants, unexpended funds must be returned with the Final Financial Report (FR-1) each year.

For grants funded with state money, unexpended amounts must be returned to Grants Management and these funds revert to the state at the conclusion of the fiscal year and cannot be reused. Unexpended amounts of $1.00 or less do not have to be returned. For all grants, the FR-1 and any unexpended funds must be submitted to Grants Management within sixty (60) days of the end date of the grant.

Most federal grants contain a provision known as the Tydings Amendment, which means that the funds are awarded to the state for use within a 27-month period. For grants funded with federal money, the Department currently has two different methods of ensuring that funds are expended within a twenty-seven month period so that money that has to be returned to the federal government is kept to a minimum.

Although the expectation is that grantees will fully expend grant funds within the year they are awarded, the Tydings Amendment provides flexibility to sub grantees for most federal entitlement programs such as NCLB Fund Codes: 140, 180, 305, and IDEA 240. The Amendment allows recipients to reapply for any returned funds as an extended use (carryover) grant. In such cases, the program office will issue guidance to recipients as to the procedures they must follow for this reapplication

So it is clear that it has to be returned and re-applied for. How can the Administration claim is was a carry over and not a new cary-over grant awarded after the return of the $508,000 (approx. 11%) of the Original $4,323,275 Grant received by the city?

When was the Carry-over Grant awarded and applied for? This is just another example of the lack of transparency and follow-up on financial matters by this current school committee.

In Total the City on the 2015/2016 School Year received a Grant for this program of $4,323,275.00..of which $508,000.00 (approx. 11%) was RETURNED.

Of the $4,323,275.00 received $4,084,949 goes to Support Staff, Stipends and Fringe Benefits. $57,000 to Supplies and $181,326 listed as misc. other including Transportation.

Who oversee’s the $19 million +/- the Schools receive in Grant Money and how is it accounted for? In the quarterly report from the School CFO there is no grant report showing expenditures.

The School Committee now more than ever needs to keep track and be able to account for all funding because we are asking for the citizens/taxpayers to take on another $300 +/_ a year in taxes for a new High School. We need to show the people of Lowell we are watching the bottom line closely.

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