Category Archives: Funding

Simple strategies for safer, more effective schools

Next week, I have the honor of speaking about school security at the Maine Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference. I am excited to share all the advancements we’ve made here in recent years to strengthen the safety and security of our schools, especially since the shootings at Sandy Hook.

Most notably, thanks to two security reports commissioned by the Legislature and our Department and produced by Safe Havens International and PDT Architects, Maine schools now better understand their vulnerabilities and opportunities to better ensure student and staff safety.

Knowing how important this work is can often make it daunting for districts and schools boards to figure out where to best begin. That’s why as a follow-up to those assessments and in partnership with Safe Havens International, we are pleased to provide a free school security guide entitled 20 Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools.

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School Facility Management System to go offline June 30

In an effort to reduce the burden of unfunded education mandates, the Legislature recently accepted the Department’s recommendation to repeal the requirement that the Maine DOE provide a facilities maintenance template and capital planning software to school units. Therefore, the School Facility Management System (SFMS) will no longer be available after June 30, the end date of the current contract with VFA, Inc., the software provider.
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Notice to superintendents on 2014 Commissioner’s Conference

Dear Superintendents,

I wanted to personally invite you to save the date for our 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, scheduled to run from noon on Monday, June 23 through noon on Wednesday, June 25 at Point Lookout in Northport (please note the Monday start).

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Using targeted transition funds in K-8 schools

Last fall, the Maine DOE distributed $2 million to school administrative units (SAUs) to support their transition to a proficiency-based diploma. In the months since, the Department has received inquiries related to the use of these targeted transition funds in K-8 schools.

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New federal provisions on maintenance of effort requirement under IDEA

A provision included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. 2014 (signed by the President in January) sets forth the level of effort a local educational agency (LEA) must meet under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Part B in the year after it fails to maintain the level of local, or State and local, expenditures for the education of children with disabilities (known as LEA MOE). The provision is effective for the federal fiscal year 2014 Part B grants, which are awarded on July 1, 2014.

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Innovative Bridge Year ensures college, career readiness

Yesterday, Governor LePage and I announced the 12 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Centers who will share in $500,000 granted by the Department to support the expansion of the innovative Bridge Year Program.

This funding will allow as many as 225 students to earn approximately two semesters of college credit before they even graduate from high school and develop technical and life skills for success in college, careers and civic life. More importantly, this program reflects an unprecedented collaboration between high schools, CTE centers, higher education and the workforce that will certainly change the lives of these students and the future of our state.   Continue reading

Equipment grants available for Maine food service programs

Maine has received $73,808 in National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant funds. These funds from the United States Department of Agriculture will assist school food authorities (SFAs) in purchasing equipment needed to meet the new nutritional standards for schools as required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Continue reading

Maine DOE bridges transition to college, careers with $500,000 in grants

The funding will allow students to earn post-secondary credit while still in high school and develop technical and life skills for success in college, careers and civic life

AUGUSTA – As many as 225 students will earn approximately two semesters of college credit before they even graduate from high school, thanks to $500,000 from the Maine Department of Education to support the innovative Bridge Year Program.  Continue reading

Priority schools invited to apply for $1.7 million SIG

For the fifth straight year, the Maine DOE has been awarded money from the U.S. Department of Education Title I School Improvement Grants (SIG) program to turn around our state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools. Continue reading

Preliminary FY 2015 State subsidy printouts available

The Department is pleased to let you know that the FY 2015 (2014-15 school year) preliminary State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, are now available here on our website. Continue reading