Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education ESA Matching Grant

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
Act 154 of 2020
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents; General Business Managers; Bookkeepers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

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Memo Text

Act 154 of 2020 required the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education to set aside monies to be used to provide school districts with matching grants for expenditures of evidence-based programs intended to improve the academic achievement of identified national school lunch students.  Act 154 of 2020 appropriated $5.3 million for the 2020-2021 school year for these programs.


These programs shall be limited to:

  • Tutors as set out in Ark. Code Ann. § 6-20-2305(b)(4)(C)(i)(b)(4);
  • Before-school academic programs and after-school academic programs, including transportation to and from the programs under Ark. Code Ann.  § 6-20-2305(b)(4)(C)(i)(b)(2); and
  • Prekindergarten programs under Ark. Code Ann. § 6-20-2305(b)(4)(C)(i)(b)(3).


Only those expenses coded with the appropriate codes for the allowable uses outlined by the Act will be eligible for matching funds.  The allowable program codes to be used when coding expenditures are as follows:


004* ESA, Before and After Academic Program

005* ESA, Pre-K 

006* ESA, Tutors

204* ESA/SP ED, Before and After Academic Program

205* ESA/SP ED, Pre-K 

206* ESA/SP ED, Tutors


Funds will be distributed to school districts on a dollar for dollar matching basis for allowable expenditures unless the total of statewide expenditures exceeds the amount of funding allowed by the Act, at which point, funding will be paid on a pro rata matching basis to the districts.  For a pro rata basis, a matching percentage will be calculated by dividing the amount of funding available by the statewide total of allowable expenditures, and applying that percentage to the districts expenses in order to determine the funds reimbursed to the district.


Below are examples demonstrating the dollar for dollar matching and a pro rata matching basis.  



Total Allowable Expenditures for ALL Districts

Funding Available

Percentage of Funds Paid Back to Each District

Dollar for Dollar Matching




Pro Rata Matching





In order for the ESA matching funds not to be calculated towards the 85% ESA expenditure requirements in the fiscal year in which the matching funds are received, the funds must be receipted and expensed using the following new fund and revenue code:


2282  32382        NSL Match Grant 


Matching funds may be used only for the expenses allowed under this program and are meant to supplement, not replace, the districts ESA spending.


Only expenses incurred from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, are eligible for reimbursement from funding available for 2020-2021.  The Department will publish a commissioner’s memo in October 2020, listing the reimbursements each district is expected to receive.




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