Category Archives: Legislation

Maine DOE adopts rules for suicide awareness and prevention

Rule Chapter 38:  Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools has been finally adopted by the Department of Education and took effect June 29, 2014.

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Responsibility for FAPE for deaf or hard-of-hearing students

Under Public Law 2013, Chapter 552 (formerly LD 1769) An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Report Defining Cost Responsibility for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Students Receiving Services from the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, beginning July 1, 2015

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Maine DOE’s legislative summary posted

Maine DOE has prepared a summary of major laws related to education enacted by the Second Regular Session of the 126th Maine Legislature. This information may prove helpful to educators when planning for the 2014-15 school year.

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Department provides additional guidance on FERPA amendments

Last year, the Department posted a dispatch on amendments to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) resulting from the Uninterrupted Scholars Act.  These amendments to FERPA included an Additional Exception to Parental Consent Requirements for Students in Foster Care and an Exemption to Notice Requirement When Records Released Under Court Order.

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Maine DOE provides flexibility to SAUs to ensure implementation of proficiency-based diploma

The following Priority Notice was distributed to superintendents today, affirming the Department’s commitment to the state’s students being awarded diplomas based on proficiency and previewing the flexibility it was providing to districts in meeting a requirement to do so by 2018.

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Maine DOE strengthens educator effectiveness

Following several changes by the Maine Legislature, I am pleased to say that the Department has finally adopted Rule Chapter 180, which establishes standards and procedures for the implementation of performance evaluation and professional growth systems (known as PE/PG systems) that each school administrative unit (SAU) is required to have implemented by the 2015-16 school year. PE/PG systems for teachers and principals improve educator effectiveness by establishing clear expectations for professional practice and student learning/growth and providing actionable feedback and support to help educators meet them.

The Department outlined the changes it made through the public rulemaking process last fall in a previous Commissioner’s Update dispatch. It is important to note that during the Legislature’s review this spring of Maine DOE’s provisionally-adopted rule, there was agreement that student growth measures should be a significant factor in determining a teacher or principal effectiveness rating and that local school boards have the authority and responsibility to approve or reject the stakeholder group’s proposed PE/PG system plan. Additionally, the Legislature maintained that the Maine DOE will still have to approve PE/PG system plans and that there are contingencies if local stakeholder groups can’t reach consensus, including adoption of a State model.

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School nutrition standards to become effective July 1

Federal school nutrition standards adopted in 2010 will become effective on July 1. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) requires that all foods sold on a school campus outside of the school meal program must meet the Smart Snacks nutrition standards set forth in the interim final rule titled “National School Lunch Program (NLSP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP): Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School as required by the HHFKA of 2010.”

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Certification changes to become effective May 14

The Maine State Board of Education has finally adopted the revised Rule for Certification, Authorization and Approval of Education Personnel. The two part (Rule Chapter 115, Part I and Part II) revised rule becomes effective May 14.

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Maine DOE to offer trainings on National School Lunch Program improvements

Maine DOE Child Nutrition Program staff will be offering training sessions this summer to update local school unit nutrition program staff on federal and State improvements to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). A regional training schedule will be available in June and published in the Commissioner’s Update and on the Department’s professional development calendar.

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Message to districts: Updated ED 279s posted

Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,

The Department is pleased to let you know that we have just posted updated FY 2015 (2014-15 school year) State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, here on our website.

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