34 CFR Appendix to Part 81, Illustrations of Proportionality
(1)Ineligible beneficiaries. A State uses 15 percent of its grant to meet the special educational needs of children who were migratory, but who have not migrated for more than five years as a Federal program statute requires for eligibility to participate in the program. Result: Recovery of 15 percent of the grant - all program funds spent for the benefit of those children. Although the services were authorized, the children were not eligible to receive them.
(2)Ineligible beneficiaries. A Federal program designed to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented children requires that at least 80 percent of the children served in any project must be identified as gifted or talented. A local educational agency (LEA) conducts a project in which 76 students are identified as gifted or talented and 24 are not. The project was designed and implemented to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students. Result: The LEA must return five percent of the project costs. The LEA provided authorized services for a project in which the 76 target students had to constitute at least 80 percent of the total. Thus, the maximum number of non-target students permitted was 19. Project costs relating to the remaining five students must be returned.
(3)Ineligible beneficiaries. Same as the example in paragraph (2), except that only 15 percent of the children were identified as gifted or talented. On the basis of the low percentage of these children and other evidence, the authorized Departmental official finds that the project as a whole did not address their special educational needs and was outside the purpose of the statute. Result: The LEA must return its entire award. The difference between the required percentage of gifted and talented children and the percentage actually enrolled is so substantial that, if consistent with other evidence, the official may reasonably conclude the entire grant was misused.
(4)Ineligible beneficiaries. Same as the example in paragraph (2), except that 60 percent of the children were identified as gifted or talented, and it is not clear whether the project was designed or implemented to meet the special educational needs of these children. Result: If it is determined that the project was designed and implemented to serve their special educational needs, the LEA must return 25 percent of the project costs. A project that included 60 target children would meet the requirement that 80 percent of the children served be gifted and talented if it included no more than 15 other children. Thus, while the LEA provided authorized services, only 75 percent of the beneficiaries were authorized to participate in the project (60 target children and 15 others). If the authorized Departmental official, after examining all the relevant facts, determines that the project was not designed and implemented to serve the special educational needs of gifted or talented students, the LEA must return its entire award because it did not provide services authorized by the statute.
(5)Unauthorized activities. An LEA uses ten percent of its grant under a Federal program that authorizes activities only to meet the special educational needs of educationally deprived children to pay for health services that are available to all children in the LEA. All the children who use the Federally funded health services happen to be educationally deprived, and thus eligible to receive program services. Result: Recovery of ten percent of the grant - all program funds spent for the health services. Although the children were eligible to receive program services, the health services were unrelated to a special educational need and, therefore, not authorized by law.
(6)Set-aside requirement. A State uses 22 percent of its grant for one fiscal year under a Federal adult education program to provide programs of equivalency to a certificate of graduation from a secondary school. The adult education program statute restricts those programs to no more than 20 percent of the State's grant. Result: Two percent of the State's grant must be returned. Although all 22 percent of the funds supported adult education, the State had no authority to spend more than 20 percent on secondary school equivalency programs.
(7)Set-aside requirement. A State uses eight percent of its basic State grant under a Federal vocational education program to pay for the excess cost of vocational education services and activities for handicapped individuals. The program statute requires a State to use ten percent of its basic State grant for this purpose. Result: The State must return two percent of its basic State grant, regardless of how it was used. Because the State was required to spend that two percent on services and activities for handicapped individuals and did not do so, it diverted those funds from their intended purposes, and the Federal interest was harmed to that extent.
(8)Excess cost requirement. An LEA uses funds reserved for the disadvantaged under a Federal vocational education program to pay for the cost of the same vocational education services it provides to non-disadvantaged individuals. The program statute requires that funds reserved for the disadvantaged must be used to pay only for the supplemental or additional costs of vocational education services that are not provided to other individuals and that are required for disadvantaged individuals to participate in vocational education. Result: All the funds spent on the disadvantaged must be returned. Although the funds were spent to serve the disadvantaged, the funds were available to pay for only the supplemental or additional costs of providing services to the disadvantaged.
(9)Maintenance-of-effort requirement. An LEA participates in a Federal program in fiscal year 1988 that requires it to maintain its expenditures from non-Federal sources for program purposes to receive its full allotment. The program statute requires that non-Federal funds expended in the first preceding fiscal year must be at least 90 percent of non-Federal funds expended in the second preceding fiscal year and provides for a reduction in grant amount proportional to the shortfall in expenditures. No waiver of the requirement is authorized. In fiscal year 1986 the LEA spent $100,000 from non-Federal sources for program purposes; in fiscal year 1987, only $87,000. Result: The LEA must return 1/30 of its fiscal year 1988 grant - the amount of its grant that equals the proportion of its shortfall ($3,000) to the required level of expenditures ($90,000). If, instead, the statute made maintenance of expenditures a clear condition of the LEA's eligibility to receive funds and did not provide for a proportional reduction in the grant award, the LEA would be required to return its entire grant.
(10)Supplanting prohibition. An LEA uses funds under a Federal drug education program to provide drug abuse prevention counseling to students in the eighth grade. The LEA is required to provide that same counseling under State law. Funds under the Federal program statute are subject to a supplement-not-supplant requirement. Result: All the funds used to provide the required counseling to the eighth-grade students must be returned. The Federal funds did not increase the total amount of spending for program purposes because the counseling would have been provided with non-Federal funds if the Federal funds were not available.
(11)Matching requirement. A State receives an allotment of $90,000 for fiscal year 1988 under a Federal adult education program. It expends its full allotment and $8,000 from its own resources for adult education. Under the Federal statute, the Federal share of expenditures for the State's program is 90 percent. Result: The State must return the unmatched Federal funds, or $18,000. Expenditure of a $90,000 Federal allotment required $10,000 in matching State expenditures, $2,000 more than the State's actual expenditures. At a ratio of one State dollar for every nine Federal dollars, $18,000 in Federal funds were unmatched.
(12)Application requirements. In order to receive funds under a Federal program that supports a wide range of activities designed to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education, an LEA submits an application to its State educational agency (SEA) for a subgrant to carry out school-level basic skills development programs. The LEA submits its application after conducting an assessment of the needs of its students in consultation with parents, teachers, community leaders, and interested members of the general public. The Federal program statute requires the application and consultation processes. The SEA reviews the LEA's application, determines that the proposed programs are sound and the application is in compliance with Federal law, and approves the application. After the LEA receives the subgrant, it unilaterally decides to use 20 percent of the funds for gifted and talented elementary school students - an authorized activity under the Federal statute. However, the LEA does not consult with interested parties and does not amend its application. Result: 20 percent of the LEA's subgrant must be returned. The LEA had no legal authority to use Federal funds for programs or activities other than those described in its approved application, and its actions with respect to 20 percent of the subgrant not only impaired the integrity of the application process, but caused significant harm to other Federal interests associated with the program as follows: the required planning process was circumvented because the LEA did not consult with the specified local interests; program accountability was impaired because neither the SEA nor the various local interests that were to be consulted had an opportunity to review and comment on the merits of the gifted and talented program activities, and the LEA never had to justify those activities to them; and fiscal accountability was impaired because the SEA and those various local interests were, in effect, misled by the LEA's unamended application regarding the expenditure of Federal funds.
(13)Harmless violation. Under a Federal program, a grantee is required to establish a 15-member advisory council of affected teachers, school administrators, parents, and students to assist in program design, monitoring, and evaluation. Although the law requires at least three student members of the council, a grantee's council contains only two. The project is carried out, and no damage to the project attributable to the lack of a third student member can be identified. Result: No financial recovery is required, although the grantee must take other appropriate steps to come into compliance with the law. The grantee's violation has not measurably harmed a Federal interest associated with the program.