Grants and Applications for Grants
APS schools and programs may apply for grants to enhance instruction and learning. These grants may be from federal, state and local government agencies or granting foundations and companies. Grant applications must be coordinated through the Grants Writer/Manager. This Procedural Directive applies to grant applications that involve one or more of the following:
- Award amounts in excess of $5,000.
- Reporting requirements to the funding agency that require detailed financial and/or evaluative information.
- Expense reimbursements requests to the funding agency.
- Allocation of grant funds to multiple schools/ district sites.
- Allocation of grant funds to support personnel.
Notification of Interest/Intent to Apply
Prior to beginning any grant application work on behalf of a school(s) or the district, or by the district, the following must take place:
Any party interested in applying for a grant in the name of the school district is to submit to the Grants Writer/Manager the Grant Concept Form advising of the applicant’s interest and requesting permission to apply for the proposed grant. This form is available online at: http://www.aps.edu/finance/grant-management/grant-process/pre-approval-grant-concept-form
- Commitments of current or future APS resources, space, or financial requirements must be fully disclosed and will be carefully reviewed before the District grants approval.
- The Grants Writer/Manager will review all Grant Concept Forms and grant or deny permission for the interested party to proceed with the grant application process.
Grant Application Process
After the Grant Concept Form is approved, the procedure listed below must be followed:
- Applicants must submit the semi-final draft copies of the application and budget to the APS Grant Management Office and the Grants Writer/Manager’s Office one week before the application deadline.
- The Grant Management Office will review the application and budget for completeness, and for district obligations. The Grants Writer/Manager’s Office will review the application for alignment with the district’s strategic direction. For applications over $100,000, it is strongly recommended to submit concepts four to six weeks prior to submission deadline to allow the Grants Oversight Committee to review the application and present to the Board of Education for final review as required by policy.
- After review and approval, the Grants Writer/Manager will return the application to the applicant for submission. If the application is not approved, the Grants Writer/Manger will notify the applicant of the decision and the reason for the decision.
It is expected that all grant applicants adhere to this timeline, however, when grant announcement timing will not allow it, the Director of Grant Management and the Grants Writer/Manger must be contacted to address any variance.
All grants must include a budget item for audit fees and indirect costs, unless disallowed by the granting agency. Applicants should contact the Grants Writer/Manager to confirm the best appropriate fiscal agent—APS Grants Management or APS Education Foundation—and to verify accurate annual rates for the appropriate fiscal agent.
Pre and Post Grant Coordination and Oversight
Oversight and Coordination
The Grants Writer/Manager will establish a Grants Oversight Committee (GOC) to (1) review grant proposals over $100,000; (2) to increase cross departmental coordination and collaboration on strategic initiatives and proposals; (3) to initiate effective implementation post-award; and (4) to resolve grant conflicts, compliance issues and/or corrective audit findings. The GOC will meet quarterly.
- The GOC will be chaired by the Grants Writer/Manager and will prepare quarterly grant reports for the Board of Education.
- The GOC will include designees from the following departments as appropriate for the grant: Budget, Grants Management, Curriculum/Instruction, Professional Learning, Principal Support Representative, Technology and HR.
Subcommittees may be created at the discretion of the Grant Writer/Manager to address a particular issue or emergent need.
Upon notification by the granting agency, contact the Grants Writer/Manager who will ensure the following: (1) the grant writing team and/or appropriate personnel are updated; (2) if necessary, convene the Grant Oversight Committee to update leadership and initiate implementation activities; or (3) request Reviewer’s comments and share with leadership.
After approval by the granting agency, the applicant must adhere to the following budget process to be in compliance with the NM Public Education Department (PED) requirements:
- Applicant receives written notification of grant award which must indicate the following:
- Dollar amount of award.
- Funding period. (Beginning Date, Ending Date, and Last date to draw funds)
- Cash Request Requirements
- School/department submits the following information to Grant Management office:
- Original Award letter or contract.
- Budget approved by funding agency.
- Original Grant proposal (contract, application) approved by funding agency.
- Board and PED documentation for set up (request form from Grant Management)
- Grant Management staff prepares Board documents and state budget adjustment request (BAR).
- Director of Grant Management schedules date to request budget increase approval from Board Finance Committee.
- Budget increase request presented to Board Finance Committee. Forwarded to full Board for approval.
- Budget increase formally approved at regularly scheduled Board meeting.
- BAR entered and submitted electronically to PED through OBMS on line.
- BAR forwarded to PED for electronic signatures/approval. Budget authority is granted on the date that the BAR is completed in OBMS.
- Funds are not to be obligated before this date.
- The Grant is assigned to a technician in the Grant Management office.
- Cost accounts are set up for school or department to begin expenditures. Grant Management will notify school or department when this is done with the list of cost accounts and amounts allocated to each
Post Grant Reporting
The District will produce and submit accurate and timely programmatic and fiscal reports as stipulated by grantors or as required by law.
- Grant Program Managers are responsible for preparing programmatic reports.
- Grants Management Fund Specialists will support Grant Program Managers in preparing program financial reports.
- When applicable, RDA is responsible for preparing and submitting formal program evaluations.
- Preparation for interim, annual, grant award closeout, and fiscal year-end reports should occur prior to the end of the project period or fiscal year and be sent to the Grants Writer/Manager with enough time to allow for corrections, adjustments, reviews, and if necessary, extension applications.
General Procedural Guidelines for All Grant Funds
All district policies will apply to programs funded by grants. This includes but is not limited to policies and regulations related to hiring, employee compensation, procurement, finance, research and privacy of student information.
Impact on the District’s Operations and Budget
All applicants for potential grant awards must determine the impact of the grant on the district’s operations and budget in relation to space, utilities, personnel, additional reporting, evaluation and data requirements, in-kind/matching contribution requirements and maintenance of effort beyond the funding period of the grant.
Unless agreed to in the grant application and approved by the Grant Oversight Committee, grant applicants must understand that the district is under no obligation to provide additional resources, or sustain FTE funded by the grant or continue grant activities and programs beyond the funding period of the grant.
The applicant must also consult with all departments potentially affected by the grant award. Any grant involving research studies with students, staff, parents, etc. must be cleared by the district’s office of Research, Development and Accountability (RDA) to insure that all legal and ethical requirements are met. This information must be reported on the Grant Concept Form prior to being submitted.
Education Department General Administrative Regulations: (EDGAR-limited)
Restricted Use of Funds
All grant-related expenditures are restricted to the allowable use of funds outlined in the respective grant application approved by the funding agency. A statement of justification must accompany all grant expenditures to insure compliance with the intent of the specific grant.
EDGAR C.2 states that "A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost." This principle will be enforced by program managers and the Grant Management Department as grant funds are expended for goods and services.
Obligation of Funds EDGAR § 75.707
When obligations are made.
The following table shows when a grantee makes obligations for various kinds of property and services.
If the obligation is for—
The obligation is made—
(a) Acquisition of real or personal property
On the date the grantee makes a binding written commitment to acquire the property.
(b) Personal services by an employee of the grantee
When the services are performed.
(c) Personnal services by a contractor who is not an employee of the grantee
On the date on which the grantee makes a binding written commitment to obtain the services.
(d) Performance of work other than personal services
On the date on which the grantee makes a binding written commitment to obtain the work.
(e) Public utility services
When the grantee receives the services.
When the travel is taken.
(g) Rental of real or personal property
When the grantee uses the property.
(h) A preagreement cost that was properly approved by the Secretary under the cost principles identified in 34 CFR 74.171 or 80.22
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474 )
[45 FR 22497, Apr. 3, 1980. Redesignated at 45 FR 77368, Nov. 21, 1980, as amended at 57 FR 30340, July 8, 1992]
All travel must be specified within the approved grant application and pre-approved by the traveler’s supervisor, the APS program officer of the grant, and the Director of the Grant Management Office prior to the travel date. Reimbursement will be disallowed for travel requests submitted after the fact. Employees will be reimbursed on actual costs for meals and other allowable incidentals.
See Travel policy at: http://www.aps.edu/about-us/policies-and-procedural-directives/procedural-directives/d.-fiscal-management/travel-and-reimbursement
Contracts and Procurement
Any person or business entity contracted to perform services for an APS school or department must have an approved Professional Services Agreement (PSA) in place, which must include a vendor number and NM CRS number. Services on the contract may not begin until the PSA is fully approved. Payment for services rendered prior to the approval date of the contract will be disallowed.
See Professional Services Policies at: http://www.aps.edu/procurement/information-for-schools-and-departments/procurement-guidelines
Other Important EDGAR regulations:
Other District Guidelines
The district purchasing deadlines apply to all Federal, State, local and private grants.
Salary Schedules and Employment
EDGAR Attachment B.11.(3).b states that “Compensation for employees engaged in work on federal awards will be considered reasonable to the extent that it is consistent with that paid for similar work in other activities of the governmental unit.” New and existing positions paid with grant funds must conform to current district policies for hiring, rating, placement and compensation on the position’s respective salary schedule. The district is under no obligation to continue funding a grant position beyond the funding period of the grant.
Stipend rates for teachers and EA’s are determined in their respective negotiated agreements. As such, there is no flexibility on these rates regardless of the funding source. Current rates are as follows:
- Teachers: $18.00/hour ($20.00/hour for teaching summer school)
- EA’s: $7.50/hour or as specified by Human Resources
Flat rates may be paid as long as documentation is submitted indicating that payment does not exceed the negotiated hourly rates. Stipends for administrative personnel will only be allowed if specified in the approved grant application and approved by the appropriate superintendent. All stipend timesheets associated with grants must be submitted to the Grant Management Department for approval 2 days prior to the district payroll deadlines and must include time logs indicating the date, hours and description of the work performed.
The district is required to pay non-exempt employees time-and-one-half for all time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. This is a non-negotiable item required by the Fair Labor Standards Act that needs to be considered as the grant budget is planned.
Administrative Position: Chief Financial Officer/Chief of Staff
Department Director: Grants Management/Grant Writer
Legal Cross Ref.: Manual of Procedures for Public Schools Accounting and Budgeting
SDE 1990 revised Personnel, Policy, and Procedures on Management
Board Policy Cross Ref: DD – Grants and Special Projects
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.: Annual Budget Formulation
NSBA/NEPN Classification: DD
Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: April 1997
Revised: March 1998
Revised: March 2005
Reviewed: December 11, 2013
Revised: December 13, 2013