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​Prior Approval Form

To assist LEAs in complying with federal Uniform Guidance requirements, which require prior approval of construction, renovation, and other relevant GEER expenditures (including equipment purchases that exceed $5,000) from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, this page provides answers to frequently asked questions and the prior approval form.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Which expenditures require prior approval from PDE?

LEAs are required to obtain prior approval for certain expenditures in accordance with Federal Uniform Guidance. See 2 CFR § 200.407 for a list of items that require prior approval. For purposes of GEER, LEAs must obtain prior approval from PDE to use GEER funds for construction, capital expenditures (including equipment with a per-unit cost of $5,000 or more), buildings, and land. Prior approval is also required for travel and entertainment costs.

  • Construction means (A) the preparation of drawings and specifications for school facilities; (B) erecting, building, acquiring, altering, remodeling, repairing, or extending school facilities; (C) inspecting and supervising the construction of school facilities; and (D) debt service for such activities (ESEA section 7013(3), 20 U.S.C. § 7713(3)).
  • Capital expenditures means expenditures to acquire capital assets or expenditures to make additions, improvements, modifications, replacements, rearrangements, reinstallations, renovations, or alterations to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life (2 CFR § 200.1).
  • Equipment means tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000 (2 CFR § 200.1).

Does the prior approval requirement apply to all GEER funds?

Yes. Prior approval is a requirement of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR § 200.407), and therefore applies to relevant expenditures under GEER I and GEER II, as well as ESSER I, ESSER II, and ARP ESSER.

How long will it take to obtain prior approval?

For prior approval associated with GEER I or GEER II and ESSER I and ESSER II, your forms will be reviewed as quickly as possible.

For ARP ESSER, the prior approval process is embedded into the application process, and your request for prior approval will be reviewed with your ARP ESSER application.

If PDE has already approved my LEA's GEER I or II application, do I still need to seek approval for relevant expenditures using my GEER allocations?

Yes. Even if your LEA's GEER I or II application has been approved, you must seek approval from PDE for a relevant expenditure (even if you have already expended the funds). For GEER expenditures (as well as ESSER I or II expenditures), you must complete and submit the approval form to PDE: