Average Daily Attendance for the Rural Education Initiative

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO: 26
POLICY CODE:  DD

TO: Superintendents of Schools
FROM: Angela Faherty, Ph.D, Commissioner of Education
DATE: November 29, 2010
SUBJECT: Average Daily Attendance for the Rural Education Initiative

In preparation for the school year 2011-12, we anticipate that federal rural education funds will once again be available.  The Rural Education Initiative is made up of two programs: (1) the Small, Rural School Grant Program under which 82 SAUs (School Administrative Units) were funded this school year; and (2) the Rural and Low-Income School Program under which 50 SAUs were funded.   The United States Department of Education will award funds on a formula basis by State, proportionate to the number of students in average daily attendance served by eligible local educational agencies in the State compared to the number of all such students served by eligible local educational agencies in all States.  SAUs will still receive their Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – No Child Left Behind (NCLB) funding if they participate in either program.

In addition, the Rural Education Achievement Program’s (REAP) REAP-Flex option will again be available as part of the NCLB application.  REAP-Flex allows small rural SAUs to flexibly use most ESEA-NCLB funds for SAU priorities regardless of the program from which they were allocated.  Even if an eligible SAU does not receive supplemental funds under the Small, Rural School Grant Program, they still will have the flexibility to use funds under the REAP-Flex option in their ESEA-NCLB application.  This option is not available for recipients of the Rural and Low-Income School Program.

For Maine to receive funds under this program, we must again collect the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure of all the schools in your SAU for the period from the beginning of this school year 2010-11 until December 1, 2010.  This number, combined with that of other SAUs, will generate funds for the State of Maine to be used in this program.  We need this information by Friday January 14, 2011 to meet the federal reporting requirement.

As of the 2007-08 school year, the State of Maine definition of “Kindergarten” changed, and it is defined as a program for children at least 5 years of age.  Although pre-K or 4 year-old programs can be supported with Title VI funding, these students will no longer generate funds.  The new definition, passed during the 123 rd Legislative Session, is located in Maine Law under Title 20-A Section 1(15). Please do not include pre-K or 4 year-olds in your ADA count.

Your SAU may not have been eligible for funding last year.   Since the formula allows the State to use Title IA eligibility data, SAUs that did not qualify last year may be eligible for the 2011-12 school year funds.  Several other Maine school SAUs had poverty data just short of the cutoff levels required for funding last year and may be eligible this school year.

Data are collected under the school SAU structure that exists for the 2010-11 school year.  The State Rural Education Grant Director will work with the Federal Rural Education Office to combine ADA and ESEA-NCLB Grant totals in the late Spring for those SAUs that vote to be part of a new RSU or AOS.  Rural Education Grants awarded after July 1, 2011 will reflect RSU changes for the 2011-2012 school year.

Even if your SAU chooses not to participate in the Rural Education Initiative programs or REAP-Flex, the Secretary of Education will use your attendance data to generate the State’s allotment from which grants will then be awarded to eligible SAUs on a formula basis.  Thus, even if your SAU chooses not to participate, we will need the relevant Average Daily Attendance (ADA) data no later than January 14, 2011 to meet the federal reporting requirement.

Attached is a copy of the form called the Rural Education Information Form.  It is on our website, http://www.state.me.us/education/nclb/reap/home.htm under Rural Education as a MSWORD document. Please complete this form and return it by January 14, 2011.   It can be submitted by mail, email, fax or hand delivered.

If you have any questions please contact the Rural Education Grant Director:  Dennis Kunces, Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station Augusta ME  04333-0023, 624-6815 (with voicemail), 624-6791 (fax) or dennis.kunces@maine.gov (email).

Rural Education Information Form School Year 2010-11

Please complete this Rural Education Information Form to assist the State in collecting data used to determine the amount of funding that will be made available to us under the two grant programs that are part of the Rural Education Initiative, and to indicate whether or not you plan to participate in any of the rural programs. SAUs within our largest cities with population bases of greater than 25,000 residents and with locale codes of 5 or lower as determined on the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) Website (http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/SAUsearch/ ) do not need to respond.   Otherwise, please supply the data whether or not you will participate in either of the two grant programs or the REAP-Flex alternative.

To be eligible for either grant, you must: supply the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for your SAU; and check “Yes’ in the “Plans to Participate” box.  All Rural, Small School grantees must have a D-U-N-S number * (all participating SAUs obtained one their first year of eligibility).

SAU Name __________________________________________________________________

Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for all schools in your SAU from the start of the 2010-2011 school year to December 1, 2010 is: ____________ (Round up to the nearest whole number of students)

If eligible, my SAU intends to participate in Rural Education Initiative program(s) or to be able to use the flexibility provision of the REAP-Flex Alternative Uses of Funds option of the ESEA-No Child Left Behind legislation.

[  ] Yes               [  ] No

_________________________________________              ___________________________
Signature, Superintendent of Schools                                                                 Date

Email address ________________________________________________________________

Return by January 14, 2011 to
:

Dennis Kunces
Rural Education Grant Director
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station, Cross State Office Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
Fax to 624-6791 or email dennis.kunces@maine.gov

For more information contact Dennis Kunces at 624-6815 or email at the above address.

* The contact information for new Small Rural Schools Grant participants, if you have never obtained a D-U-N-S number, is listed below.  LEAs that do not have a D-U-N-S number may obtain one by calling 1-800-333-0505 or by completing the D-U-N-S number request form that can be obtained via the Internet at http://www.dnb.com on the web.