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IDEA - Allowable Costs

For a particular cost to be allowed, it also must be necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient performance and administration of the grant. A cost is reasonable if it does not exceed what a district would normally incur in the absence of federal funds. Additional guidance about standards for determining costs for federal grants is addressed in the Federal Uniform Grant Guidance.

Any individual charged to a federal grant must keep time and effort reporting documentation.

Allowable Costs Guidance

Flow-through and Preschool Entitlement Allowable Costs

Designed in a chart format, this document lists items in alphabetical order and provides clear and concise information on types of costs that are either allowed or not allowed under the IDEA grant. It was updated on 11/2/2017 and includes information on locating the cost in the WISEgrants budget application.

Flow-through and Preschool WUFAR combinations (updated for FY 2018-19)

This spreadsheet lists the flow-through WUFAR combinations currently available in the WISEgrants budget drop down menu choices as of July 2018. These same combinations are also available in the preschool budget, except for those related to student transition services (work experience). Combinations of allowed costs are added to the budget software per district request. A list of WUFAR functions available for FY 2017-18 can be viewed here

WISEgrants Technical Assistance for Flow-through and Preschool

This document, updated on a regular basis, provides the user with common issues discovered when DPI reviews budgets. This document will be helpful when entering items into the flow-through or preschool budgets in WISEgrants to ensure that required fields are filled out correctly. 

Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse of IDEA Funds

Contains contact information for the US Inspector General and a description of whistle blower protection rights.

Indirect Cost Recovery

Indirect Cost Recovery Recorded Webinar
This document provides an overview of indirect cost recovery using federal grant funds as well as providing a link to step-by-step instructions for budgeting and claiming indirect cost recovery through the IDEA, Title I, II, and III grant budget software programs. 

Allocating Software Costs 

This document provides guidance on how software programs, used by multiple departments, may be allocated to IDEA flow-through. 

Funding Special Education Costs from Multiple Sources

Funding Activities with IDEA and State Special Education Categorical Aid

One-page document that describes the relationship between allowable costs that can be funded with both IDEA grant dollars and state special education categorical aid.

Contracting for Special Education Services - Private and Public Vendors

Private Vendor Contracted Instructional Services  

Two Wisconsin Acts, 2011 Act 105 and 2013 Act 255, amended WI Stat. §115.88(1) to expand the types of private vendor contractual services eligible for state special education categorical aid to include substitute teachers, paraprofessionals (aides),orientation and mobility training services, educational interpreter services, educational audiology, speech therapy, and pupil transition services for students ages 18 to 21.

These contracted services are now eligible for state categorical aid reimbursement (special education and high cost) and may also be charged to the IDEA grant. LEAs should be aware that all LEA employed staff or privately contracted staff must be highly qualified and hold appropriate licensure to be eligible for state categorical aid or IDEA reimbursement.

Pupil Transportation

Special Education Transportation Overview

This document provides a thorough analysis on when a transportation route actually is "specialized" and thus eligible for state or federal special education aid. It identifies costs that are eligible for state or federal special education aid when the services are provided on a regular transportation route. The document also addresses students without disabilities being transported on a dedicated specialized transportation route. 

Categorical Aid Reimbursement for Eligible Transportation Costs

This is a very thorough technical assistance document that addresses the types of transportation costs that are eligible for state special education categorical aid when a student's IEP identifies transportation as a related service. The document helpfully identifies costs by object. It also provides examples of transportation routes and when costs within those routes are eligible for state special education aid. This document also outlines the necessary steps for ensuring that a vehicle purchased solely for special education purposes is eligible for state special education categorical aid reimbursement. 

Equipment and Other Capital Costs

Instructions for Vehicle Disposition

The Special Education Vehicle Disposal document outlines the steps for selling a vehicle that had been purchased with federal IDEA funds. The document provides the LEA options for handling the revenue from the sale.

Questions on Allowable Costs may be directed to Rachel Zellmer or Matt Baier

To schedule a conference call with Rachel Zellmer, please visit our Bookings page.

General questions regarding IDEA Flow-through and Preschool Entitlement budgets should be directed to the DPI special education consultant assigned to the district. A listing of consultant assignments can be located at