As part of program support, we provide Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to the field. This helps facilitate effective communication and improves the understanding of Adult Education policy. This FAQ has been compiled over several months of responses to the field of Adult Education in Illinois.
Q1. What publications must adhere to the Stevens Amendment?
Only those paper publications that reach the public. The Stevens Amendment does not apply to websites, television commercials, or radio advertisements.
Q2. In the ICCB Adult Education Provider Manual regarding the Stevens Amendment, does the term ‘project or program’ refer to our Adult Education program in its entirety, or is it referring to the specific marketing piece that is produced with those (federal) funds?
The amendment refers to your Adult Education Program in its entirety. It does not apply to a specific marketing piece. Your statement needs to indicate that $$$$$ or X% of your total program is supported with Federal funding. The program you would be promoting is your Adult Education Program and you would include any and all Federal funds used to support the program. If only ICCB Federal funds are used, then the total and percentage would be based upon that amount. However, if there are other Federal sources of funds then the total of all Federal funds and the percentage that is of all your resources used to fund the program would be the numbers used.
Q3. What salaries are allowed in the direct instruction row?
Direct Instructional salaries pertain to just that – Direct Instruction. Actual time in the classroom or actual time for classroom/instructional preparation or interaction with students, assignment grading, activities associated with a specific class, etc. would be considered part of Direct Instruction. If an instructor has other duties not associated with instruction, then that part of the salary should come from a different line item.
Q4. What is the difference between the 45% rule and the 51% rule?
At least 45% of the funding stream total (except State Performance) must be spent on Direct Instruction. At least 51% of the cost of a particular class must come from Adult Education funding in order for the provider to generate (claim all of the instructional units) off of that class. For example, if 51% of the instructional cost of a class is funded by Adult Education funds, then the students in the class can be assigned to Adult Education. If less than 51% of the instructional cost of a class is funded by Adult Education funds, then no students in the class can be assigned to Adult Education for generation purposes.
Q5. Where should photocopies be charged that instructors make for student use?
These should be charged to the Direct Instruction line, Supplies and Materials object of your budget.
Q6. What line in the budget should we use to charge transportation cost for the IACEA awareness day?
As with all costs, the purpose of the activity will determine where the costs will be charged. If staff are attending the IACEA Awareness day, then the cost of transportation should be charged to the administrative line as this is an administrative activity. If, however, students are attending and the program has spent time in the classroom discussing the process of government with these students visiting with their legislative leaders or visiting other historical sites in Springfield, then the trip could be classified as an instructional field trip with costs being charged to the Direct Instruction line in the budget.
Q7. Would staff who are funded partly by ICCB Federal Basic and partly through EL/Civics need to complete the time distribution sheets?
Programs are required to keep a time distribution sheet for staff that are funded with two or more funding sources or who are funded out of one funding source’s multiple line items.
Q8. How can my program go about requesting our Federal Funds?
Within your executed grant agreement and in the Adult Education Provider Manual, there are instructions and deadlines on how to request Federal funds. It is critical that you request the Federal Funds by the required deadline.
Q9. Can you clarify the supplemental charges that programs are allowed to charge students?
Students may not be charged for instructional costs including the cost of instructional materials. Any provider using State Basic and/or State Performance funds may supplement the cost of offering ASE classes using a $6.00 fee per student per unit of instruction with a cap of no more than $30 per semester per student. (Students receiving public aid under the Illinois Public Aid Code cannot be assessed this fee.) An accounting of all fees collected must be maintained for each fiscal year. Additionally, an accounting of how the collected fees were used to provide services to ASE students must also be maintained. The fees collected during a fiscal year must be spent during that same fiscal year. All records dealing with a fee charge are subject to monitoring and audit. (Illinois Policy)
Q10. How late can I turn in a budget modification?
Budget modifications are due prior to the expenditure of the modified fund(s) in question but no later than 30 days prior to the end of the grant period.
Q11. How do I do a budget modification?
Submit a signed Budget Modification form found in Appendix C of the Provider Manual along with a new signed post-allocation budget. The modification form should detail what funds are being moved.
Q12. Does the GATA 10% reflect 10% of the total award or 10% of the line item?
The GATA 10% rule reflects a 10% increase or decrease of funds for the individual line item. (Grant Agreement, JCAR 7000.40)
Q13. Are “entertainment costs” allowable?
Entertainment costs include parties, snacks, prizes for perfect attendance, high test scores, etc. These are not allowable. (EDGAR)
Q14. Are “gift cards” or other “cash gifts” given to students for attendance or as a reward allowable?
Gift cards are seen by the IRS as the same as a cash award and are not allowable to reward attendance. (EDGAR)
Q15. Are “advertising costs” allowable?
Advertising must be for a specific program. Advertising for the entity as a whole is not allowable. Unallowable costs include any SWAG/promotional gifts (mugs, t-shirts, hats, bags, etc.). (EDGAR)
Q16. Are “convocation costs” allowable?
Convocation costs are not allowable. (EDGAR)
Q17. Are “certification testing fees” allowable?
Certification test fees are only allowable if the test is part of the class requirement. (EDGAR)
Q18. Can the program purchase uniforms for students?
Uniforms are allowable as supply expenses, however, supplies cannot be given to students to keep. Uniforms are the same as tools (wrenches, stethoscopes, thermometers, welding machines, etc.). If uniforms are bought with grant funds, they must be maintained by the provider and must have proper safeguards to prevent theft, mistreatment, etc. (EDGAR)
Q19. What is the adult education grant policy on paying student tuition?
Tuition cannot be used to pay for courses for somebody’s college (certificate, associate, bachelor’s degree). That has never been allowable. Tuition would be allowable IF, and only if, the course in question were being used as a substitute/equivalent for an ABE/ASE/ELA – approved course. That could apply to any developmental courses the college would offer.
Tuition can only be paid with State funds for pre-approved 1.2-level courses that are part of an ICAPS or that lead directly to an industry credential.