January 14, 2020

(RURAL EDUCATION) Permanent link

New Application Process for Small Rural School Achievement Program

Last week, the Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education announced a new application process for school districts applying for the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Program. The impetus for this change stems from a review of the SRSA application, which determined that the applicant burden could be significantly reduced while maintaining appropriate accountability guardrails for the grantmaking process. As a result of these actions, a much simpler application will be open to districts on February 3, 2020.

Listed below are some noticeable highlights from the new 2020 SRSA application:

·   The new quick and easy process relies on a single platform – OMB Max Survey – to gather school district information. The previous process required school districts to navigate three sites and took three hours to complete an application. The new application process is estimated to take no more than 30 minutes to complete.

·   Eligible school districts will access the application through a unique link that the Department will send via email invitation to school district contacts, which will be provided to the Department by state educational agencies. The Department will also provide the approximately 2,500 school districts that are eligible for both the SRSA and Rural Low-Income School (RLIS) program enhanced guidance on how to choose between SRSA and RLIS, including award estimates for both RLIS and SRSA in the email invitation. This will help ensure that school districts are more informed when they choose between SRSA and RLIS

·   In order to complete the SRSA application, the school district contact will need to confirm or provide the following:

1.       School district name and contact information;

2.       Authorized representative contact information;

3.       Secondary contact information;

4.       Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number;

5.       General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) statement information; and

6.       Assurances.

·   After an application has been submitted, each school district will receive a confirmation email that includes the PR/award number and a summary of the school district’s SRSA application responses to keep for its records. Additionally, the school district contact will be directed to the System for Award Management (SAM) at SAM.gov to update its DUNS status.

·   The Department will conduct webinars for school district staff on February 4, March 19, and April 2, 2020 to determine the new quick and easy process for submitting the SRSA application (webinar invitations are forthcoming). The application process will also be demonstrated at the National ESEA Conference on February 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia (for additional details click here)