Independent Schools’ COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program

About the Program

House Bill 1793 created the Independent Schools’ COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program. The legislation authorized $10 million to reimburse schools for eligible expenses incurred by implementing health measures and distance learning as a result of COVID-19. The time period for the expenses is March 1 – December 1, 2020. The maximum grant award for each eligible independent school is $100,000. Applicants who have questions about their application or subsequent process can call 833-456-4560.


Apply for the Independent Schools COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program
Independent Schools COVID-19 Assistance Rules
View House Bill 1793

FAQs

Where can I view the program Rules and Regulations?

View rules and regulations here

Who is an Eligible Independent School?

Any private or nonpublic primary school (that is, elementary school serving grades kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade), intermediate school (that is, middle school serving grades fifth or sixth grade through eighth grade), or secondary school (that is, high school serving ninth grade through twelfth grade) operating within the State of Mississippi that is a member of MAIS or is accredited by a state, regional or national accrediting organization and is not subject to the authority of the Mississippi Department of Education. Eligible independent school includes independent universities that are not subject to the authority of the State Institutions of Higher Learning.

How were Eligible Independent Schools’ maximum grant awards determined?

The legislature determined these total grant amounts in HB 1793.

What are eligible expenses?

A cost incurred by an Eligible Independent School from March 1,2020 through December 1, 2020 due to an interruption in learning and/or for public health measures.
Eligible Expenses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Training and professional development of the Eligible Independent School staff and employees regarding measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and familiarity with technology programs and devices to facilitate distance learning
  • Purchasing facility sanitization supplies and other expenses of disinfection of the Eligible Independent School’s facilities to mitigate or respond to COVID-19
  • Purchasing technology programs and equipment for the expansion of internet connectivity and broadband access within the Eligible Independent School’s facilities to be used by school administrators, faculty and staff to facilitate online distance learning
  • Purchasing necessary equipment and accommodations and providing adequate services for students with disabilities
  • Purchasing medical supplies and personal protection equipment (“PPE”) to address COVID-19
  • Developing infrastructure necessary at the Eligible Independent School to increase capacity in workforce development or skills training classes for students who are unemployed, underemployed or seeking new employment as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19
  • Medical expenses incurred by the Eligible Independent School to treat or dispense treatment for COVID-19, including COVID-19 testing and serological testing, emergency medical response and transportation, and telemedicine expenses related to COVID-19

When can eligible expenses be incurred?

“Eligible Expense” means a cost incurred by a recipient/applicant beginning on March 1, 2020 and ending on December 1, 2020.

What is Duplication of Benefits (“DOB”)?

Duplication of benefits means benefits under this program reimbursed from any other source. Any submitted expense is not eligible for reimbursement if it has already been paid by another state or federal program.

If an Eligible Independent School has received PPP, EIDL, EIDL Emergency Advance, or other state and federal grant funds, are they still eligible for the program?

If an Eligible Independent School has received other state or federal funds, they are still eligible for the program. However, they cannot submit expenses for reimbursement if those expenses have previously been reimbursed by another program (see “What is Duplication of Benefits?”).

What is the reimbursement request?

Reimbursement request means the form that each Eligible Independent School recipient must complete online and submit in order to be reimbursed for eligible expenses for cost incurred during the time period March 1, 2020 to December 1, 2020. Accompanying the reimbursement request, there ought to be documentation of the claimed expenses (e.g.: receipts, purchase orders, invoices, etc.). A contract or lease is an acceptable claimed eligible expense that can be reimbursable as long as the expense occurred between March 1, 2020 to December 1, 2020.

Why a 30-day reimbursement period?

In order to process the expected volume of grant applications, MDA determined that accepting one reimbursement request per Eligible Independent School per thirty-day period was appropriate.

How will applications be prioritized?

Applications will be processed in the order by which they are received.

If I have trouble filling out the application, where can I ask for help?

There is a help video on the application portal website that explains how to properly fill out, complete, and submit the application.

If a school initiates a lease on equipment (versus purchasing outright) in response to COVID-19 related needs (sanitization fogger, technology, etc.), is this lease expense reimbursable and, if so, only the amount charged during the period from March 1 through December 1, 2020 or full amount of lease contract?

Yes, the expense is most likely an eligible expense as long as it is due to an interruption in learning and/or for public health measures and falls in the time period March 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020.

If a school hires personnel in response to COVID-19 related needs (medical personnel, mentor/coordinator for distance learning, online instructors, etc.), is this expense reimbursable and, if so, only the amount payable during the period from March 1 through December 1, 2020 or full amount of contract?

Yes, the expense is most likely an eligible expense as long as it is due to an interruption in learning and/or for public health measures and falls in the time period March 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020.

If a school purchases resources to benefit students in response to COVID-19 related needs (online course or program access, tutoring programs, etc.), is this expense reimbursable and, if so, only if utilized/consumed during the period March 1 through December 1, 2020 or resource simply must be purchased and have the reimbursement request submitted during that period?

Yes, the expense is most likely an eligible expense as long as it is due to an interruption in learning and/or for public health measures and falls in the time period March 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020.

If a school leases a facility in order to use it as a testing center for those students who elect to transition to full-time online learning (as an off-campus “clean site”) is the lease expense reimbursable and, if so, only the amount payable during the period from March 1 through December 1, 2020 or full amount of lease contract?

Yes, the expense is most likely an eligible expense as long as it is due to an interruption in learning and/or for public health measures and falls in the time period March 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020.

If a school contracts for staff and employee professional development in response to COVID-19 related needs (familiarity with technology programs and devices to facilitate distance learning), is this expense reimbursable and, if so, only if the professional development occurs during the period of March 1 through December 1, 2020?

Yes, the expense is most likely an eligible expense as long as it is due to an interruption in learning and/or for public health measures and falls in the time period March 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020.

If a contract or lease is prepaid during the March 1, 2020 through – December 1, 2020 timeframe but the term of the lease or contract lasts longer than December 1,2020 how much can be reimbursed?

Only if the lease or contract is an eligible expense, then it can be reimbursed for the time period March 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020.

What can I do if I have additional questions about my application?

Call 833-456-4560 for assistance with your application.