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Grant FAQ

FAQ

 
Timeline
 
Reimbursement
What is the deadline for submitting for reimbursement? 
 
Other Rules

FAQ Answers


1. When will the application be available, and how will I receive it?
The application will be emailed to school district superintendents and district administrators, and to the heads of private schools, on January 7, 2019. Eligible purchases made any time on or after July 1, 2018 are reimbursable, as long as they are included in the application.

2. Which schools are eligible to receive funding?
All schools with 9th grade students are eligible for the grant, including district charter schools, independent charter schools, private schools, and tribal schools.  Because the funding formula is based on 9th grade student counts, school districts or private schools that do not have 9th graders are not able to participate in the grant.

3. What is eligible for reimbursement under the grant?
Mobile devices and supporting software, curriculum, and professional development are eligible for reimbursement. Eligible devices must be mobile, able to access the internet, and “assignable to an individual pupil at any given time, to be used solely by that pupil at any given time.” This includes mobile devices that are handed out to students during a particular class period or period of time, as long as each student has the device for his or her exclusive use during that period. In detail, the following purchases are eligible:

Personal electronic computing devices:

  • tablets
  • laptop computers
  • Chromebooks
  • phones capable of accessing the internet
  • mobile hotspots (as long as they have not been reimbursed by TEACH)
Software that is used by any eligible device. This includes software that is purchased as part of a curriculum package, and software accessed over the internet (via the cloud).
 

Curricular materials, as long as some part of their content can be accessed using eligible devices.

Expenditures to provide training of professional staff on how to effectively incorporate personal electronic computing devices into a classroom at any grade level, and into the high school curriculum. Professional staff for the purposes of this grant are teachers, administrators, and pupil services staff. Substitute teachers and para-professionals are not counted as "professional staff" for the purposes of the grant. Note: Professional development expenditures are not eligible if they have already been reimbursed by a TEACH program.

4. How much funding is available?
The total amount appropriated for the grant is $9,187,500 annually, to provide up to $125 per ninth grade student to every eligible school district or school.

5. Are schools restricted to using funds for only 9th graders?
While the amount of funding is based upon counts of 9th graders, the funding can be used to support ANY students in the school or school district. The law does not limit the use of grant funds (or the required local match) to just 9th grade students; that is, the district or school may use the grant and local match funds for students in any and all grades.

6. Are applicants required to provide matching funds, and what counts as a match?
Applicants are required to provide funds to match the amount they request in reimbursement. For example, if a district or school requests $10,000 in reimbursement, it must make $10,000 in match-eligible expenditures during the same fiscal year. So, it must spend $20,000 to be reimbursed for $10,000 in expenditures.  Any purchase that supports the Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan is eligible to be used as a matching expense. Examples include:

  • Computers and servers
  • Network infrastructure, including routers, switches, firewalls, access points, and access point controllers
  • Systems and consultation to support data privacy and security
  • Online assessment expenses
  • Management systems such as learning management systems, and mobile device management, monitoring, and filtering

Any reimburseable items as described in FAQ 3 can also be used as a match if not paid for by the grant.

7. How should purchases, reimbursements, and matching funds be coded under the grant?
For this grant the source will be 630 and the project will be 296. The object and functions should be like any other expenditure with consideration given to the new WUFAR technology code changes that should be out in September. The department has determined that we will not be prescribing a required coding method for the matching funds for this grant.

8. If I received E-rate reimbursement for Category 2 equipment, can I use the full cost of the equipment as matching funds?
Only the unreimbursed portion of Category 2 equipment expenditures can be used as matching funds

9. When can eligible items be purchased?
Eligible expenditures made any time between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible for reimbursement. Note that under statute 115.438, if total amounts applied for in any year exceed the appropriation ($9.2 million), payments to grantees will be prorated.

10. What is the application timeline?
The application will be sent out on January 7, 2019. The application deadline is February 15, 2019.

When the application is released, it will be pre-populated with the 9th grade student count data (and thus maximum grant award) for each district and school, as reported by that district and school to DPI. Student counts will not be subject to modifications by school districts. DPI will use a snapshot for pupil counts regardless of any growth or decline in the actual number of 9th grade students within the school year.

Notice of grant awards will be made on February 22, 2019.

Reimbursements will be made by June 24, 2019.

11. Is device insurance eligible?
Device insurance is eligible only if included as a one-time cost as part of the purchase price of the device.

12. Can districts be reimbursed for the cost of self-insuring devices?
The cost of self-insuring devices can be used as a matching expenditure, but cannot be reimbursed.

13. Is network infrastructure (firewalls, routers, switches, access points, wireless controllers, network cabling, and other E-rate Category 2 equipment) eligible for reimbursement?
No, but network infrastructure expenditures can be used as matching funds.

14. Are Chromebook admin licenses eligible for reimbursement?
As part of a mobile device management system, Chromebook license expenditures are not reimbursable, but can be used as matching funds.

15. Is a Chromebook carrying case eligible for reimbursement?
Yes.

16. Can devices be given or sold to students or student families?
Districts must retain ownership of purchased devices until they have reached the end of their useful life as defined by district policy.

17. Are leased devices eligible for reimbursement?
Lease payments are eligible for reimbursement as long as the lease agreement specifies that the school or district will own the devices at the end of the lease period.  Payments made during the grant period (July 1 - June 30) can be reimbursed, regardless of when the lease was signed.  

18. What if the total amount of all eligible requests is more than the total appropriation?
In this case, the amount allocated to each applicant will be prorated. For example: if the appropriated amount is 90% of the total amount requested, each applicant will receive 90% of the funding requested.

19. How will grant payments be made?
Payments will be deposited by ACH into school or district bank accounts.  See FAQ 21 for information on how to get set up to receive electronic fund transfers from DPI.

20. For how many years will the grant be available?
Under current law, the grant will be provided beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, ending in the 2022-2023 school year. Funding beyond the 2022-23 school year will be contingent on action taken by the Legislature in the future.

21. Private schools only: How can receive my reimbursement electronically if I do not currently receive funds from DPI?
You will need a DUNS number, and to have your banking information set up in "AidsBanking."

To get a DUNS number, go to the Dun and Bradstreet website , or call 866-705-5711.

To get set up in AidsBanking, contact Jacque Jordee at Jacqueline.Jordee@dpi.wi.gov or call her at 608-267-9134. You will need the following information:

  • Agency name
  • Contact person/authorized representative's name, email, and phone number
  • Agency address
  • FEIN

22. What forms of professional training are covered?
All expenses that are required as part of eligible training are reimbursable. This includes conferences, classes, hired trainers, travel and lodging, if they are required as part of eligible training.

23. What if prior to this year we already purchased all of the mobile devices we will need for this year?  Can we still receive funding under this grant?
Yes, you can still receive reimbursement for software, curriculum, and professional development as described in FAQ 3.

24. Is the ACH setup for reimbursement the same or different than the ACH we do for state aid?
The ACH setup for this grant is the same as the ACH setup for state aid.  

25. Will the grant amount change each year based on enrollment or are the 17-18 numbers used in all years of the grant?For each of the five years of the grant, the grant amount will be based on prior year 9th grade membership for public school districts, and current year 9th grade enrollment for private schools, independent charter schools, and tribal schools.

26. Can reimbursable expenses (mobile devices, software, curriculum, and professional development be used as matching funds if they are not submitted for reimbursement?
Yes.

27. If you request $10,000, does that mean you must have spent $20,000?
Yes.  You will have had to spend $10,000 for reimburseable items as described in FAQ 3, and an additional $10,000 for matching items as described in FAQ 6.

28. Will we as the LEA get the funds for our non-instrumentality charters?
Yes.  The LEA will receive a single application to cover the whole school district, including any non-instrumentality charter schools, and will be the sole recipient of payment.

29. Is it okay to submit an invoice for more than the amount of reimbursement?
Invoices for more than the amount of reimbursement are okay. Note that schools must keep documentation of purchases on file, but will not be required to submit invoices as documentation of purchases.

30. What if the district doesn't have a useful life policy, but has a practice of offering graduating seniors the option to purchase the Chromebook after 4 years of use? Unpurchased Chromebooks are either maintained for parts or sold to a buy-back program.
This practice is equivalent to a policy defining the useful life of a Chromebook as four years; so the district can sell or give Chromebooks purchased under the grant to students after four years.

31. Does the individual who completes the application, also then complete the request for reimbursement? Does one person complete everything, beginning to end?
Any authorized person in the district can submit the application, and any authorized person can submit the reimbursement request -- whether or not they are the same person.

32. Does the mobile device have be assigned to and only used by that student? 
The mobile device can be used by more than one student, as long is it is not used by more than one student at a time.

33. Can 9th grade enrollment and membership numbers be changed to reflect changes during the course of the school year?
Ninth grade enrollment and membership counts provided in the grant application define the maximum grant amount for every school and district and cannot be changed after the application is released.

34. Can technology support staff salary be used as a match? 
No; see FAQ 6 for examples of allowable matches.

35. What is the purchase period of the grant?
Purchases made any time between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible for reimbursement.

36. What is the deadline for submitting for reimbursement?

  • Purchases made any time between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Expenses must be obligated by June 30, 2019.
  • Expenses must be liquidated by September 30, 2019.
  • Reimbursement request forms must be submitted by September 30, 2019.
  • Applicants wishing to receive reimbursement before June 30, 2019 must submit their reimbursement request form by May 31, 2019.

Please submit any other questions. We will add them to the FAQ as more information becomes available.

For questions about this information, contact Bill Herman (608) 267-2346