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Allowable Costs

Questions about allowable expenses?

Contact the Title I, Part A office at OSPI, 360-725-6100.

Take Advantage of Funding for Allowable Activities

LEAs and schools must provide a broad range of services designed to help parents help their children succeed at school - Section 1116 of ESSA. The activities allowable under the parent and family engagement provisions of Title I, Part A are generally linked to:

  1. Academic goal(s),
  2. Education and training,
  3. Participation in school-related meetings,
  4. Inclusion in the education of their children, and
  5. Removing barrier(s) for greater participation, so families can attend intentional activities that are linked to achievement goals and help build their intellectual, social, and human capital.

Ask these questions before approving Title I, Part A expenditures

Business managers, principals, or federal program directors must be able to respond appropriately to each of the following questions:

  1. How is the activity/expenditure aligned to the Title I, Part A plans (LEA annual plan-iGrant 201, Schoolwide plan, Targeted Assistance plan)?
  2. Is the need addressed and described in the LEA annual plan-iGrant 201 page 4B, Schoolwide plan, and/or Targeted Assistance plan?
  3. How will the expenditure be evaluated to measure positive impact?, AND if applicable,
  4. How does the expenditure directly support professional development?
  5. How does this expenditure increase participation of parents in school activities or assist parents to support student achievement?

Gifts & Incentives Are Not Allowable.

Do not use state or federal funds to pay for gifts/incentives related to parent and family engagement programs or activities. The provisions of Section 1116 of ESSA forbid this use of your allocation, as does the Washington State Constitution (Article 8, Sections 5 and 7).

Examples of Title I, Part A Purchases

ALLOWABLE
  • Consumables such as paper, glue, scissors for make and take projects that promote academic learning.
  • Instructional kits, workbooks, reading materials included as part of the PFE activity.
  • Books for loan programs or check out system.
UNALLOWABLE
The following items may be donated by others:
  • Gifts or items that appear to be gifts.
  • Entertaiment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and associated costs.
  • Souvenirs, memorabilia, or promotional items, such as T-shirts, caps, tote bags, imprinted pens, and key chains.
  • The following items may be donated by others: door prizes, movie tickets, gift certificates, pass to amusement parks, etc.

Below is a typical list that LEAs and schools charge to Title I, Part A. Keep these three factors in mind:

  1. This list is not complete, just typical
  2. These activities must be reasonable, necessary and allowable under Title I, Part A.
  3. The activity removes barrier(s) for greater participation, so families can attend intentional activities that are linked to achievement goals and help build their intellectual, social, and human capital.
Examples
  • Transportation and child care costs to make it possible for parents to attend meetings and training sessions.
  • Registration and travel costs for parent representatives/committee members to attend in-state workshops and conferences that support parent education and involvement. The expectation is that parent participants will share new knowledge with other parents.
  • Translation and interpretation services to make it possible for parents to attend meetings and training sessions related to program activities.
  • Facility rental and usage, unavoidable costs related to the facility in which you conduct parent and family engagement activities.
    For example, holding meetings at different times of the day or at a center location (church hall or meeting room, apartment complex gathering area, community centers, etc.) where parents feel familiar and can attend. Remember this should be reasonable and necessary.
  • Meals/refreshments to encourage attendance when parent and family engagement meetings and trainings conflict with family meals or schedules, see scenarios below.

Scenario of PFE Activity for a Schoolwide and Targeted Assistance School

PFE Activity: Family Literacy Night that includes a short parent workshop on how to monitor child's progress at grade level.

Schoolwide Building Example

Apple School Total Enrollment: 687

All families of students invited.

Sign-in sheet demonstrates: 200 participants attended the event.

Event cost estimation: Estimate event costs based on average participation at similar PFE activities over the last three years. For example, an LEA may determine average participation was 200 participants at similar events resulting in expenditures of approximately $1,000. LEAs should ensure meals provided are within state/GSA meal per diem limits.

Total Cost: $1,000 ÷ 200 = $5.00/per person

Based on historical participation and event costs, this would be considered a reasonable per person expenditure.


Targeted Building Example

Grape School Total Enrollment: 687, but only 200 eligible Title I students.

Families of the 200 eligible students invited.

Sign-in sheet demonstrates: 90 participants attended the event.

Event cost estimation: Estimate event costs based on average participation at similar PFE activities over the last three years. For example, an LEA may determine average participation at similar events is approximately 90 participants resulting in event costs of approximately $450. LEAs should ensure meals provided are within state/GSA meal per diem limits.

Total Cost: $450.00 ÷ 90 = $5.00/per person

Based on historical participation and event costs, this would be considered a reasonable per person expenditure.

Note: LEAs should be cautious when having an event that includes non-Title I families. Targeted Buildings should ensure they document their methodology for allocating costs across programs that benefit from the event.


Evidence/Documentation for Auditing

  1. PFE Activity is aligned to Schoolwide or Targeted Program's needs assessment and plans.
  2. Agenda clearly states the purpose of the PFE activity or activities (must be an allowable Title I, Part A activity).
  3. Sign in sheets for all participants (this includes all attending family members).
  4. Itemized receipts - Receipts should provide enough detail to determine was purchased and # of items.

Need help planning your PFE activity making sure it is allowable?

PFE Activity Guide/Plan Template. This document helps in planning PFE activities based on the 5 opportunity and process conditions from ED's Dual Capacity Framework, Family-School Partnerships. In addition, it intends to serve as a guide for best practices when a Local Educational Agency (LEA) or school is planning PFE activities, such as Literacy, Math, Science Nights, etc., as well as PFE activities coordinated with other state or federal programs, such as Bilingual, Migrant, Learning Assistance Program (LAP) or Special Education. The LEA or school has the option to adapt this guide/plan or create their own to meet student and family needs.