Completing the Semi-Annual Certification for Federally Funded Staff
If you are paying all or part of a qualified campus-based staff position from a Federal grant or State Compensatory Education (SCE) funds, then it is time to complete the Semi-Annual Certification form for the first semester. The purpose of the Semi-Annual Certification is for the employee and supervisor to attest that the work performed that semester was for the federal grant job description that was signed at the start of the year, and no other type of work was paid for by the federal funds. The Semi-annual Certification form becomes part of time and effort documentation that is frequently asked for by auditors.
Over the next two weeks, the CSS team will be communicating with client schools about the Semi-Annual Certification requirement to be sure that federally funded staff salaries are appropriately documented.
Based on the recommendations of Grant Compliance Staff at TEA, the CSS team recommends that all charters apply to use the Substitute Time and Effort system to support salary expenditures for federally funded staff. However, this year TEA has changed their process, and the application is not yet available. We have been advised that LEA participation will be retroactive to the beginning of this school year IF the LEA’s eligible employees are completing the required employee schedule and certification form (instead of monthly PARs). The schedule and certification form can be found on the Substitute System TEA Website. Please be advised that you will have to manually change the year to 2020-21 on the form.
What do you mean by “qualified” campus-based staff position?
For a staff position to be “qualified,” that individual must have:
- A regular daily/weekly schedule and has a salary partially from Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, IDEA B, or SCE funds, AND
- You request permission to use TEA’s Substitute Time and Effort system when it becomes available. (You cannot use this form for spit-funded staff if you do not get on the list when it opens up.) OR
- The campus-based staff person receives a salary fully funded 100% by a federal grant (such as Title I or IDEA B). In this case, the form will be marked 100% from the appropriate fund source.
*Please note that Cares Act funding is considered a federal award and is subject to time and effort documentation.
What is the benefit of using the TEA’s Substitute Time and Effort and Semi-Annual Certification documentation?
Using Semi-Annual Certification for qualified staff members eases their burden of time and effort documentation and is currently in line with federal guidelines. It is much less time consuming than completing monthly PARS for employees who are split-funded but follow a regular schedule. Split-funded staff who do not follow a regular schedule, may NOT use this system and must complete monthly PARS to determine how much of their pay each pay period comes from each fund source based on time worked.
What are the steps in the process?
- Qualified campus-based staff members should have downloaded and completed the schedule portion of the employee schedule and certification form. Both a sample version and fillable version are available on the Substitute System TEA Website.
- The form includes 3 tabs: instructions, schedule, and certification.
- Open the Certification tab. Using the totals on the Schedule, provide the requested totals on the Certification page.
- Print the page, secure the appropriate signatures, and keep it on file with back up documentation.
- The certification should be signed and dated immediately after the last pay period of the semester ends.
- The backup should include a copy of the teacher’s individual daily and weekly schedules.
- Remember that time and effort documentation is ALWAYS after-the-fact.
- Download and complete a schedule for the Spring Semester.
- Retain the original Semi-Annual Certification form in the employee HR record for audit purposes. It is not submitted to TEA unless requested.
- Keep watching for TEA to post the application to use the substitute system that will be retroactive back to the start of the year, and apply as soon as it is available.
Who can help me if I have questions about the Semi-Annual Certification?
Please contact the Charter School Success Federal team:
Sharon Benka, Federal Programs Director
Dr. Sheila K. Sherman, Federal Grant Manager
Jean Cornelius, Federal Grant Manager