Investing with Transparency and Accountability
Transparency in how ARP ESSER funds are used and their impact on the nation's education system is a fundamental responsibility of federal, state, and local government. It is important for an LEA to continuously monitor progress by collecting data and adjusting its strategies, based on impact. The collection of data should be disaggregated by student group, where applicable and to the greatest extent practicable.
Reporting parameters for ARP ESSER will generally reflect reporting requirements for both ESSER I and II. Consistent with statutory requirements, each ESSER fund must be tracked and reported separately. ARP ESSER reports will also include a distinct field for reporting on the LEA's initiatives to address learning loss including for populations most impacted by the pandemic.
PDE's contracted monitors and Division of Federal Program coordinators will be responsible for monitoring ARP ESSER Fund grant implementation. This will take place in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, virtual monitoring and desk audits. PDE's FedMonitor system will be used to document monitoring.
Documentation of all expenditures, including fiscal management system records, procurement records, staff time and effort documentation, and other records, as appropriate, will be reviewed to ensure a system of internal controls to eliminate fraud, waste, and other abuse of federal grant funds. Single audits will be required by all LEAs that expend $750,000 or more in federal grant funds in one fiscal year (i.e., the single audit threshold). Single audit reports will be reviewed, and all audit findings investigated, through PDE's subrecipient review process.
Quarterly and final program reporting will take place via eGrants and the Future Ready Comp Plan Portal (FRCPP). Additionally, recipients will complete regular quarterly fiscal reporting to continue monthly payments through FAI, and some data may be collected through PIMS.
While reporting requirements are not yet finalized, reporting will likely focus on the following:
- How the LEA is developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies and plans in line with the CDC guidance related to mitigating COVID-19 in schools;
- Overall plans and policies related to LEA support for return to in-person instruction and maximizing in-person instruction time, including how funds will support a return to and maximize in-person instruction time, and for advancing equity and inclusivity in participation with in-person instruction;
- Data on each LEA's and school's mode of instruction (fully in-person, hybrid, and fully remote) and conditions moving forward;
- LEA uses of funds to meet students' social, emotional, and academic needs, including through summer enrichment programming and other evidence-based interventions, and how they advance equity for underserved students;
- LEA uses of funds to sustain and support access to LEA-supported early childhood education programs;
- Impacts and outcomes (disaggregated by student subgroup) through use of ARP ESSER funding (e.g., quantitative and qualitative results of ARP ESSER funding, including on personnel, student learning, and budgeting at the school and district level);
- Student data (disaggregated by student subgroup) related to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected instruction and learning;
- The URL(s) where the public can readily find:
- Data on school operating status;
- LEA Health and Safety Plan; and
- LEA Plan for use of ARP ESSER Funds;
- Appropriate use of the funds;
- Requirements under the Federal Financial Accountability Transparency Act (FFATA); and
- Additional reporting requirements as may be necessary to ensure accountability and transparency of ARP ESSER fund use.