Basic Grants Management

Basic Grants Management

June 17, 2024 | Grants Management

Grants can be a great way to add funds to your school budget, but dealing with grants is not simple. The payoff of receiving grants can be worth it if you are cognizant of the regulations and rules of the grant. Before you venture too far into the grant waters, take the time to understand the basics of grant management. What types of grants are available? How do you apply? What are the financial responsibilities associated with the grants? Our Basics Grants Management online course will cover what you need to know to get started. 

CSS can help you go beyond the basics of grant management! Our team has deep knowledge to assist our clients with the most difficult aspects of grant management. 

What is grants management? 

Grants are highly specified funds and cannot be used for just any reason. Grants have a purpose and intent. Some of the aspects of grant management include: 

  • Compliance with grant policies and regulations (including being able to document compliance) 
  • Meeting deadlines for submission, reporting, and amending grants 
  • Maintaining financial and programmatic records for audit purposes 
  • Submitting payment request in accordance with the grant budget and allowable activities 

What are the types of grants? 

The most common types of grants for charters come from the federal or state government. Of course, private grants are an option too, but CSS focuses on the most widely-used grants. There are generally two types of grants: 

  1. Formula/Entitlement – You are eligible because of your public school status and enrollment. Funds are based on a formula, and you will receive the funds if you apply.
  2. Discretionary – These grants are narrower in focus, and all schools might not qualify. Even those who qualify might have to compete with each other to get the grant. 

CLICK HERE to Register for the Basic Grants Management online course.

Where can I view the available grants? 

The TEA Grant Opportunities website is a central resource for all state and federal grants administered by TEA. 

In addition, an administrator with TEAL access can log on to the eGrants application and see grants that are pre-selected for your charter district, although not all grants will be listed early-on for new charters. 

Lastly, formula grant entitlements are listed on the TEA entitlements website. 

Fiscal Responsibilities 

For each grant you are awarded and decide to participate, there will be both financial and programmatic requirements. However, there are some common expectations involving all state and federal grants. 

  • General and Fiscal Guidelines – apply to all grants that TEA administers 
  • Grants Management Written Policies and Procedures Manual – each LEA must have one (CSS has templates for our clients) 
  • EDGAR – general administrative regulations for all federal grants awarded by the USDE 

Whether you spend grant funds on payroll, contracted services, supplies and materials, or travel and fees, the proper procurement method and purchase order process must be followed. State and federal grants are generally spent and then “drawn down” (reimbursed) through the TEA secure Expenditure Reporting application. Budgeting and spending decisions will generally need to be a collaborative process with committee planning for the grants and opportunities for public comment.  

With proper planning and execution, grants can be an excellent resource to fund unmet needs for your students. Grants can take a great deal of time and effort, but they can be worth it. With learning, practice, and help from experts like CSS, it does get easier! 

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