Frequently Asked Questions


What is GCFS’s primary responsibility? The Office of Grants Compliance and Fiscal Services is responsible for grant services after award to close-out. GCFS consists of four separate offices, the Office of Grant Compliance, the Office of Grant Fiscal Services, the Office of Nonpublic Programs and the Office of Federal Programs, all working together to maximize the resources available to the students of Philadelphia.  See the GCFS Home Page for more information.


What are the policies and procedures that govern grant management and compliance at the SDP?  Please visit the GCFS’s Policies and Procedures section for comprehensive documents and forms.


What is the role of a Grant Compliance Monitor?  Grant Compliance Monitors (GCMs) are assigned to specific schools or offices to provide support to managers of grant funds in complying with applicable rules and regulations. Primarily focused on Federal grant funds and regulations, GCMs review virtually all grant expenditures before they are executed to ensure that no violation of grant rules occurs. GCM’s also provide advice and support to grant managers in many different areas related to grant management.


Who is my Grant Compliance Monitor?  A list of Grant Compliance Monitor assignments is maintained on the Office of Grant Compliance (GCO)’s website.


What is the role of the Board of Education in grant-seeking? In addition to setting the overall priorities of the District and approving the District’s overall strategic plan, the Board of Education must approve acceptance of all grant funds and authorize the District to implement all grant-funded activities in compliance with all related terms and conditions.


What is an Action Item and when is it needed?  Action Items are the mechanism by which the Board of Education formally authorizes a wide variety of actions by the School District. All external grants, regardless of value, must be accepted through an Action Item of the Board of Education. Board Policy 702 governs acceptance procedures for grants of all sizes. You can find policy 702 by clicking on this link.


When is a Limited Contract Authority (LCA) needed? For contracts of $20,000 or less (whether grant-funded or not), you may take advantage of the Limited Contract Authority (LCA) process. For more information about the District’s contracting process, contact the Office of General Counsel.


What is a Charge Account Code (formerly an ABC code)? Once a school or administrative office is awarded a grant, the Office of Grant Fiscal Services within GCFS will establish a charge account code as the identifying “account number” which must be written on all expenditure requests related to the grant.


When do Offices or Schools need to contact GCFS? Central offices, schools and staff that would like to respond to a grant opportunity of more than $20,000 must contact the Grant Development Office before proceeding so that the opportunity may be reviewed by the Development Committee as required by District policy. Interested internal applicants should submit the Internal Intent to Apply Form to the Office of Grant Development, which will then share the request with the Grant Development Committee. For grants of $20,000 or less, review and approval by Grant Development Committee is not required; however, it is still advisable to contact the Office of Grant Development before proceeding so that appropriate guidance and support can be provided.


Are there any rules or regulations for outside entities applying for grants in our schools?  Prior to applying for any proposal requiring School District involvement–even if the District is not the lead applicant–outside entities must complete an External Entity Intent to Apply Form and submit it to the Grant Development Office, which will then share the request with the Grant Development Committee. For outside entities wishing to apply for an Education Improvement Tax Credit letter of support, please complete and submit the EITC Intent to Apply Form.  Entities wishing letters of support should give the District at least 2 weeks to turn around requests.


Who is responsible for approaching Foundations or Corporations?  Approaching Foundations or Corporations for funding should be coordinated through The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.