Applications for the Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Equity Formula grant awarded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) are now available through IWAS for school year 2020-2021 (FY 2021). All eligible applicants must create and submit an application through the IWAS system. Once in the system, create the application by selecting the Yes box that appears. The fiscal year should display 2021, along with a Project Code and a Project Title. Choose "Create New Project" to create the application.
NOTE: Entities who started or submitted a proposal for the competitive
Elementary and Secondary Relief – Digital Equity RFP will have previous answers to some narrative pages transferred into this formula grant application automatically.
Allocations: Illinois Local Education Agencies (including state-authorized charter schools, university lab schools, and Regional Offices of Education on behalf of qualifying safe schools and alternative programs) with an FY 2020 or FY 2021 Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) Final Percent of Adequacy level of 70% or lower are eligible to apply. Allocations were computed at a base funding amount plus a per pupil allocation for both devices and connectivity. The formula uses the Average Student Enrollment from FY 2021 Evidence-Based Funding calculations. The base grant amount is $28,975 with a per pupil allocation of $56.80 for devices, connectivity or both. Allocations can be accessed at
Application Due Date, Start Date and Pre-award Costs: Applications are due to ISBE on or before November 1 to ensure a July 1 start date. The CARES funds for the Digital Equity program allow for eligible expenditures to be charged back to March 13, 2020. In the event your LEA has eligible expenditures for the Digital Equity grant prior to July 1, please notify Erich Grauke in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Formal documentation will be provided from ISBE staff documenting the pre-award costs for audit purposes.
Reimbursement: Once approval is received, LEAs may submit expenditure reports via the Electronic Expenditure Reporting System in IWAS for reimbursement. Expenditure reports must be submitted on a cumulative (i.e., year-to-date) basis from July 1, 2020, through the date of the period reported. At minimum, quarterly expenditure reports will be required beginning with expenditures through September 30. Funding and Disbursements staff voucher each Wednesday so all expenditure reports submitted by Tuesday evening will be paid. Revenue should be receipted under revenue code 4998 Other Restricted Grants Received from Federal Government through the State.
Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Requirements:
Applicants must ensure Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) requirements are met before the FY 2021 state or federal grant application is fully executed. Applicants must complete prequalification registration in the GATA portal and complete a Fiscal and Administrative Risk Assessment via an Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ). The GATA portal can be accessed at
The steps below are necessary to fully execute the FY 2021 grants.
- Grantee must register
https://grants.illinois.gov/portal/ and complete the Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ)
- Complete and submit the Organizational Risk Assessment via IWAS. Results will apply to all FY 2021 grants.
- ISBE Grant-Specific Assessments will be included in each FY 2021 grant.
- A combination of the results of the two risk assessments will generate the Programmatic Risk Conditions in each grant.
To create and submit the application, an IWAS user must obtain and receive access and approval level by the local education agency's superintendent. For technical assistance, please contact the Erich Grauke at