There are two ways to set aside MEP funds at the State level for program administration. It depends on whether the funds are for general program administration (in which case there is a cap), or for administrative costs that are considered unique to the MEP (in which case there is no cap). See below for details:
- General Administrative Costs
SEAs may set aside a portion of their awards from Title I, Part A, Part C (MEP), and Part D to carry out general administrative functions. These are activities related to program operation or oversight that are common across programs. Some examples of general administrative costs are:
- Design and distribution of forms required to operate the program, such as local educational agency (LEA) applications, performance and financial reports, and evaluation reports;
- Processing of project applications (but not necessarily the costs of reviewing them for compliance);
- Review and aggregation of reported data of the type generally reported under the ESEA;
- Monitoring of projects for fiscal compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements;
- Maintenance of fiscal control and accounting procedures; and
- Dissemination of information.
In general, SEAs may set aside 1% from each of their Title I, Part A, Part C (MEP), and Part D awards for general costs of administering the programs (or $400,000 total— whichever is greater). However, in any year when the total amount appropriated by Congress to all three programs exceeds $14 billion, the law requires an adjustment to the actual amount SEAs may set aside from each program for general administrative costs, so it won’t be exactly 1% of the amount the SEA received. This was the case in FY 2018 and for several prior years. Basically, award amounts are adjusted to calculate what each SEA would have received for each program, if $14 billion total had been authorized, and SEAs base their 1% set aside on that adjusted amount. Each fall, the Department issues a spreadsheet to SEAs that shows the adjusted amount for the three programs.
SEAs may keep these set-asides separate for the administration of each program, or combine them into a single pool of funds that may be used for general administrative costs of any of those three programs.
(See section 1004 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended; 34 CFR §200.100(b); and Chapter XI, A1 and A2 of the MEP Non-Regulatory Guidance.)
- Administrative Costs Unique to the MEP
In addition to the funds set aside for general administration of the program, SEAs may set aside additional funds from their MEP award for administrative functions that are more unique to the program. Some examples of administrative costs we consider to be “unique to the MEP”:
- Statewide identification and recruitment;
- Interstate and intrastate coordination of the State MEP and its local projects with other relevant programs and local projects in the State and in other States;
- Procedures beyond those required generally by State and local agencies for providing educational continuity for migratory children through the timely transfer of educational and health records;
- Collecting and using information needed for accurate distribution of subgrant funds;
- Collecting and using information needed to report Category 1 and Category 2 child counts;
- Development of the statewide needs assessment and comprehensive State plan for MEP service delivery;
- Supervision of instructional and support staff;
- Establishment and implementation of the State parent advisory council; and
- Conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness of the State MEP.
There is no specific cap in terms of dollar amount or percentage of the MEP award that may be set aside for these purposes. It depends on each State’s size and program design.
(See 34 CFR §200.82 and Chapter XI, A4 of the MEP Non-Regulatory Guidance.)