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Funding & Compliance

The Education Service Center, Region 20 (ESC-20) provides training and technical assistance on federal funding requirements for Special Education.
Topics include Allowable Costs, eGrants Application, Excess Cost Calculation, High Cost Funds, and Maintenance of Effort (MOE).
Throughout this webpage, references to students with disabilities means students with an IEP (Individualized Education Program) under IDEA-B. References to LEAs (local educational agencies) includes Independent School Districts (ISDs) and Open-Enrollment Charter Schools. 
Please view the Acronyms and Abbreviations list for additional terms.


This section provides information on how to complete the eGrants application to apply for and budget IDEA-B funds.
Several steps must be completed before the LEA can access and submit the Special Education Consolidated Grant Application for IDEA-B funding.
Step One: 2023-2024 SC5003 Formula Grants Consolidated Schedule, available under the "Special Collections" heading in eGrants, must be completed first. This one schedule is applicable to three grant programs: ESSA, IDEA-B, and Perkins. One person at your organization should be designated to complete and submit the schedule, in collaboration with input from the three program areas.
The 23-24 SC5003 opened 5/1/23.
The SC5003 includes a section to list barriers that can impede equitable access to, and participation in, the federally-funded grant program. Maintain locally the strategies your organization takes to overcome these barriers. Examples of Barriers and Strategies are available below (after this section) for your convenience.
Step Two: 2023-2024 Special Education Consolidated Applicant Designation Form (Federal) (a.k.a. SPED ADC) must be completed and submitted. This form only becomes available after the SC5003 has been submitted.
The 23-24 SPED ADC became available 5/1/23, but only for LEAs that submitted their 23-24 SC5003.
Hover over the "Grants" heading in eGrants and select "Apply for Eligible Grants". Then select the link to "2023-2024 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application (Federal)". That will take you to the link for the "2023-2024 Special Education Consolidated Applicant Designation Form (Federal)".
Step Three: If you are an independent LEA, or a Fiscal Agent of a special education SSA, complete the 2023-2024 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application (Federal). The application became available on 5/11/23, but only for LEAs that submitted their 23-24 SC5003 and their 23-24 SPED ADC forms.
Hover over the "Grants" heading in eGrants and select "Grants in Process". Then select the link to "2023-2024 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application (Federal)". 
Select this link to access TEA Grant Application Training
The American Rescue Plan (ARP), from which LEAs received ESSER III funding, also provided additional IDEA-B funds to LEAs, with a period of performance of 7/1/21 through 9/30/23.
The eGrants application no longer requires specific positions to be budgeted in the application. Instead, the applicant checks boxes to indicate whether special education positions are LEA level (district-wide) or Campus level, and whether the positions are considered Professional or Paraprofessional.  It is your local determination regarding the distinction.
You must maintain local documentation of the types of positions being paid with federal IDEA-B funds. Best practice is to utilize a list of positions such as those displayed in the 23-24 Special Education Consolidated grant application since those pre-populated positions are allowable with IDEA-B funds.
For your convenience, ESC-20 created a Payroll Positions template you may modify to meet your local needs for documentation purposes. 


IDEA-B Maintenance of Effort (MOE) is a federal requirement for any LEA that receives IDEA-B funds, whether directly or indirectly from TEA. [An LEA receives funds indirectly if the LEA is a member of a special education shared services arrangement (SSA). The Fiscal Agent of the SSA receives the IDEA-B funds on behalf of its members.]
LEAs are required to spend at least the same amount of state and/or local funds for special education expenditures that was spent in the most recent prior year in which the LEA was compliant with MOE, unless the LEA qualifies for exceptions and/or adjustment. In Texas, we refer to adjustment as MOE Voluntary Reduction.
TEA's IDEA-B LEA Maintenance of Effort webpage provides information about MOE. The webpage also provides a Calculation Tool for determining compliance and an Exceptions Workbook for submitting exceptions/adjustment to TEA for failed tests. You must use the appropriate Calculation Tool and Exceptions Workbook designated to the specific year being monitored.
TEA posted their Preliminary Analysis of Compliance for 2021-2022 MOE on March 21, 2023 in GFFC Reports and Data Collection via TEAL.
To locate the report in GFFC:
Select "Report Title": IDEA-B LEA MOE Compliance Review
Select "School Year": 2022-2023
Select the Search button and then click on the link to the Compliance Review report that appears.
Row "h" will indicate whether your LEA preliminarily passed or failed each of the four tests. You only need to pass one test to be compliant.
If you fail at least one test, submit the 2022-2023 Exceptions Workbook and supporting documentation to justify decreased spending. Instructions are contained within the workbook. The Exceptions Workbook and supporting documentation must be submitted to TEA via GFFC in TEAL by April 7, 2023.
To determine eligibility and reduction amount for 2022-2023 MOE Voluntary Reduction, ESC-20 developed a template that may be used locally (not to be submitted to TEA).
To perform a self-analysis of MOE compliance for 2022-2023, prior to the posting of TEA's Preliminary Compliance Review, use TEA's 2022-2023 IDEA-B LEA MOE Calculation Tool available on the TEA IDEA-B LEA MOE webpage. Two separate versions are available: One for use by school districts; One for use by charter schools. 
A list of data sources you will need for completing the Calculation Tool is available below. Also, ESC-20 MOE presentations are accessible below.
Periodically monitor your 2022-2023 special education expenditures from state and/or local funds to ensure you will be compliant with MOE by the end of your fiscal year 2023. Compare your 22-23 MOE expenditures to the expenditures displayed on Page 2 of the final 2021-2022 IDEA-B LEA MOE Compliance Review that was posted in GFFC by TEA on June 1, 2023.
TEA will release a preliminary analysis of compliance for 22-23 MOE in March 2024.
TEA's 2022-2023 Calculation Tool for performing a self-analysis of compliance will not be posted to the TEA webpage until later in the year.
You may use a simple template developed by ESC-20 to monitor for Test 2 expenditures until the 22-23 TEA Calculation Tool becomes available. Test 2 is based on total special education expenditures from a combination of your state and local funds (Funds 199, 420, 437). Your self-analysis of compliance is for local use only. It is not submitted to TEA.
To determine eligibility and reduction amount for 2022-2023 MOE Voluntary Reduction, ESC-20 developed a template that may be used locally. It is not submitted to TEA.
A template for determining eligibility and reduction amount for 2023-2023 MOE Voluntary Reduction is also available. However, you need to wait until Final 2023-2024 IDEA-B Formula entitlements are available. The final entitlements will be posted by TEA around December 2023 or January 2024 on the TEA Entitlements webpage.
There are two standards applicable to MOE:
The Eligibility Standard and the Compliance Standard.
Both standards are to ensure that you don't reduce your special education spending from state and/or local funds below the level previously spent during the last year compliant with MOE, unless you qualify for exceptions and/or MOE Voluntary Reduction.
The Eligibility Standard requires that you budget enough in the new year with your general fund to be compliant with MOE. If you do so, you establish eligibility to receive IDEA-B funds. You are required to report data in the BS6016 Fiscal Compliance Schedule in the Special Education Consolidated Grant Application (Federal) to illustrate compliance with the Eligibility Standard.
The Compliance Standard requires that you actually spend enough on special education from your general fund to be compliant with MOE. TEA performs an analysis of compliance during the spring of each year and posts the results in GFFC (Grants and Federal Fiscal Compliance Reports) via TEAL.


This section provides information about state funding your LEA receives for special education. This is not the federal IDEA-B funds. This is state funding from the Foundation School Program (FSP). The Foundation School Program is the primary source of state funding for Texas LEAs.
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 89.1125 describes the allowable use of the state special education funds. 
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 89.1121 describes the formula for the allocation of state special education funds.
LEAs are required to spend 55% of their state special education allotment for the special education program, as noted in Texas Education Code (TEC) 48.102(h).
ESC-20 developed the "SSAM Template" to assist LEAs in monitoring compliance with the state spending requirement for certain special allotments from the Foundation School Program:
SSAM Practice Exercise 
Practice entering data into the ESC-20 SSAM Template.
Open the SSAM Template and download/save to your computer. Select the "Enable Editing" button at the top of the spreadsheet.
Select the SPED tab in the worksheet. 
Enter data for 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020, using the sample documents. Data can only be entered in the yellow cells.
Be sure to use the correct year's documents for the fiscal year for which you enter data.
Use ALLOCATED Data Only!!


Grant Management Workshops for 23-24 are listed in the document below.
Each participant must register in Connect20 first. Registered participants will then be provided the link to the ZOOM meeting. Please ensure your email address associated with your Connect20 account is accurate.
Please do not share the ZOOM link with others because the link is for your individual use only. Each participant must first be registered in Connect20 before receiving the ZOOM link. The Connect20 registration is not a group registration.
Thank you! We appreciate your interest in our sessions!


Within the Special Education Funding & Compliance webpage are resources developed, adapted, or acquired by ESC-20 from public websites and other public sources readily available in the public domain. No copyright is claimed for those materials.


ESC-20 and its affiliates and suppliers disclaim any representations or warranties that use of the  resources on this webpage will satisfy or ensure compliance with any legal obligations or laws or regulations. The disclaimer applies to, but is not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or other Federal or State statutes or regulations.


Use of the resources on this webpage are entirely at the LEA's risk and does not guarantee that the LEA will not have an audit finding or questioned costs.


To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, ESC-20, its affiliates, and suppliers disclaim all warranties, expressed or implied, including any warranty that the resources on this webpage are fit for a particular purpose, title, merchantability, data loss, non-interference with or non-infringement of any intellectual property rights, or the accuracy, reliability, quality, or content in or linked to the Special Education Funding & Compliance webpage.


Federal regulations require LEAs to maintain effective control over, and accountability for, all funds, property, and other assets purchased with federal funds and assure they are used solely for authorized purposes.
In addition, LEAs must have written procedures for determining the allowability of costs in accordance with Federal Cost Principles and the terms and conditions of the federal award.
Ensure that you are aware of the Federal Cost Principles outlined in 2 CFR Part 200, Subpart E Cost Principles.
Also, review TEA's Program Guidelines for allowable costs for your IDEA-B award, located on TEA's Grant Opportunities webpage.
Use the search options to locate the Special Education Consolidated Grant Application (Federal) for the specific year of your grant. Appendix A of the Program Guidelines lists allowable costs by class object category.
The Excess Cost requirement under IDEA-B stipulates that LEAs must not use IDEA-B funds to pay for all the costs directly attributable to the education of a child with a disability.
An LEA meets the Excess Cost requirement if it spends at least a minimum average amount for the education of its children with disabilities from other sources (from non-IDEA-B funds).
The LEA must demonstrate that it meets the Excess Cost requirement of IDEA-B by annually completing an Excess Cost Calculation.
TEA's Excess Cost Calculator Tool and Excess Cost Guidance Handbook are located on TEA's Excess Cost website. 
The High Cost Fund (HCF) is an additional source of federal IDEA-B funds that addresses the financial impact on the budget of an LEA providing FAPE to a student with disabilities whose needs exceed the typical needs of a child with a disability.
This is an optional source of funds.
TEA's High Cost Fund website provides information on how to apply for an award via the TEAL APEX application.
The 2023-2024 HCF application will open on March 1, 2024 and close on May 1, 2024.
The qualifying cost amount per high-need student for the 22-23 HCF was $34,386.  The qualifying cost amount for 23-24 will be posted in September 2023.
Awards will be finalized in July. Once finalized, log into your HCF application (in APEX via TEAL) to view your award amount. Print the cover sheet and student demographic pages for your local records. Use the ESC-20 template (will be added to this site in July) to determine the award per student.
TEA will deposit your LEA's HCF award directly into your bank account, during July or early August. Once your deposit is verified, reclassify your original expenditures (expenditures approved in your HCF application) to Fund 226.
Detailed instructions for completing the HCF application are available in TEA's APEX User Manual.