As part of the application process for ESSER and GEER grants, the local educational agency’s (LEA’s) Authorizer must attest to one of the following:
- The LEA has been paying, and will continue to pay, employees and contractors in the same manner as before any disruptions or closures related to the coronavirus.
- The LEA has discontinued payments to any employee or contractor during disruptions or closures related to the coronavirus, but will resume these payments upon receipt of CARES Act funds.
- The LEA will continue to pay employees and contractors to the greatest extent practicable. The LEA will be required to provide a reasonable explanation as to why the LEA is unable to pay its employees and contractors in the same manner as before any disruptions or closures related to the coronavirus, and how payments to employees and contractors will be made to the greatest extent practicable.
This certification is part of the application in WISEgrants. An Agency Authorizer needs to provide this certification before ESSER funds become available for budgeting and claiming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Agency Authorizer?
The Agency Authorizer is the person(s) authorized by the agency’s governing board to sign legal documents or enter into agreements with other entities on behalf of the LEA. Many LEAs identify their district administrator and/or their business manager as their Agency Authorizer(s). The Agency Authorizer has exclusive rights for sections in WISEgrants in order to digitally sign forms on behalf of the LEA. This role in WISEgrants is assigned by the LEA and not DPI.
To see who is identified in WISEgrants as the Agency Authorizer(s) for your LEA:
- Log into WISEgrants
- In the blue ribbon menu bar, click “Reports” then “Subrecipient Authorizers.”
- If there are individuals listed who are no longer with the LEA, the District Security Administrator for the LEA must remove the person’s access to WISEgrants through WISEsecure. If you need assistance with this process, please submit a help ticket, selecting WISEsecure in the “Application” field.
Who determines “to the greatest extent practicable”?
The LEA’s administrators and its governing board.
What is a "reasonable explanation"?
A reasonable explanation includes the decisions made and the process by which the LEA went about making those decisions.
Do LEAs need to update their certification regarding the continued payment to employees and contractors to the greatest extent practicable if their circumstances change (i.e. need to lay off staff at the end of the semester)?
LEAs are encouraged to keep their certification regarding the continued payment to employees and contractors to the greatest extent practicable as up-to-date as possible. State legislators and vendor groups review this data periodically to ensure employees and contractors are continued to be paid during the pandemic.
Legal Reference: CARES Act, Division B, Title VIII, Sec. 18006. A local educational agency, State, institution of higher education, or other entity that receives funds under “Education Stabilization Fund”, shall to the greatest extent practicable, continue to pay its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.