September 28, 2015
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Projected Impact to LEAs from Potential Federal Government Shutdown
By October 1, 2015, the US Congress must authorize the federal budget for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016. Failure to pass a spending plan by that deadline would trigger a partial shutdown of the federal government. The purpose of this letter is to outline the impact that a potential federal government shutdown would have on Texas local educational agencies (LEAs) and on TEA in terms of current federal education grants.
Potential Impact of Partial Government Shutdown on LEAs
As long as TEA receives the expected October 1 grant award notifications for 2015-2016 from the US Department of Education (USDE) prior to the shutdown, as has traditionally been the case, there should be minimal to no impact to LEA federal grant funds received through TEA.
Appropriations for School Year 2015–2016
Federal education grant funds for the current school year (2015–2016) were appropriated last year, in the FFY 2015 budget. Deliberations over the FFY 2016 budget will determine appropriations for the next school year (2016–2017). At this time, it is anticipated that appropriations already determined for school year 2015–2016 would not be jeopardized.
Other Education-Related Grants
The Head Start and Impact Aid grants, which TEA does not administer, are funded differently than the appropriations described above. Therefore, the shutdown could affect those grants differently, with a significant impact for some grantees. If you have not already received guidance from your federal program office, we recommend you contact them before September 30, 2015, for specific guidance on these federal fund sources.
Impact of Partial Government Shutdown on TEA
A partial government shutdown will impact the ongoing processes associated with TEA’s administration of federal grants, such as the following:
• Future grant award notifications to TEA from the USDE may not be timely.
• USDE staff may not be available to assist with timely reimbursements of TEA drawdowns or respond to questions, such as clarifying the new EDGAR.
TEA continues to be in communication with USDE regarding these potential impacts and any effect they may have on LEAs.
Further Information Provided When Available
TEA will contact LEAs with any further developments as they are known. In the meantime, if you have questions about this letter, please submit a help request to the TEA Help Desk and enter “federal shutdown” in the subject field.
Commissioner of Education