Public comment regarding waiver of eligibility requirements to extend use of funds due Dec. 22

Due to the continued extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented challenges students, educators, staff and schools continue to face during the 2021-2022 school year, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes it may not be possible to obligate federally awarded funds on a timely and responsible basis due to several factors.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has already requested and received a waiver from the U. S. Department of Education according to section 8401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) for provisions to:

1) Extend the period of availability of FY 2016 School Improvement Grant 1003(g) unobligated funds for programs in which MDE participates under Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) and its approved Consolidated State Plan (MS Succeeds) until September 30, 2022, and;

2) Directly provide for activities or arrange for their provision in accordance with Section 1003 (a)(2)(b)(B).

The MDE is preparing to request a waiver in accordance with ESEA section 8401(b)(3)(A) of the eligibility requirements for FY2016 School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to support schools through professional learning that have been determined to need support and improvement due to the impacts of unfinished learning resulting from the pandemic.  The non-identified comprehensive and targeted support and improvement public schools receiving support will be in addition to those schools in the state that are already identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI). Receipt of this waiver will allow The MDE to widen the reach and use of these funds beyond their original intent and create the opportunity for non-identified schools to participate in activities supported by these funds.

As part of the waiver process under the federal, local education agencies and the public are invited to provide comments during a public comment window. Please email comments to by close of business Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Please indicate “ESEA Waiver” in the subject line. The MDE will consider all comments.