April 8, 2020
The first round of flexibility waivers under the CARES Act has begun. On Friday, April 3, 2020, the US DOE sent a letter to all State DOE Chief School Officers inviting them to submit fiscal spending waiver requests as set forth below. The purpose of each of these waivers is to allow the state departments of education to grant local school districts (a) additional time to spend funds, (b) flexibility in how they spend certain federal funding, and (c) the removal of barriers such as requirements for needs assessments for funding.
States are required to provide local school districts and the public with notice and an opportunity to comment on the waiver requests by posting a process for commenting on the State DOE website.
None of the waiver requests listed in this recent round (which is aimed at fiscal spending flexibility) address the much-needed relief from certain implementation requirements under the IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the CTE Act, or the ESSA. Under the CARES Act, the US DOE has until April 26 to submit additional recommendations to Congress that the US DOE believes are “necessary” to provide “limited flexibility” from implementation requirements in response to the coronavirus emergency. Likewise, none of these waiver requests currently impact any additional federal funding that has been allocated for distribution to the states under the CARES Act. We expect that guidance will be issued soon describing how states can receive additional funding allocated under the CARES Act.
The Fiscal Spending Waiver Requests authorized by the US DOE’s April 3, 2020, letter to the State DOEs include:
The following is the link to the US DOE’s waiver invitation. https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/04/invite-covid-fiscal-waiver-19-20.pdf
The US DOE also provided a simple waiver request form for the states to submit. https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/04/template-covid-fiscal-waiver-19-2020.pdf
There may be additional flexibility under the CARES Act, or other legislation, that may be available in the near future. Our team will monitor these developments closely.
If you have any questions or would like assistance in navigating your institution’s response to COVID-19, please contact Nina Gupta, Sherry Culves, or any members of the Nelson Mullins Education Team.
For additional information on COVID-19 related issues, please visit the Nelson Mullins COVID-19 resource page.
These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.