Commissioner’s Update – March 6, 2014

From the Maine DOE

The Department is very close to completing the creation of the preliminary State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s. As soon as those are finalized, we will post them on our website and immediately alert superintendents and business managers via a priority notice.

It will be important for districts to remember that those printouts will reflect the currently enacted biennial budget, and will likely be adjusted as the Legislature responds to current and projected budget shortfalls, including the $9.5 million General Purpose Aid reduction already proposed by the State’s Office of Policy and Management.

In past years, the Department would send out a general subsidy spreadsheet in February and the actual ED 279s in April. After hearing for years from superintendents that it is the ED 279s and the extensive information they provide that is of most value to informing the local budget preparation process, our Finance Team has refocused its efforts to get those out much earlier and are pleased we will be able to do that in early March.

Notices and Reporting

More Notices
Administrative Letters
Reporting Calendar


News & Views

Education Commissioner applauds expansion of student learning opportunities

AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Jim Rier released the following statement this week in response to the Maine Charter School Commission’s approval of the state’s first public virtual charter school. The unanimous approval authorizes the independent Commission to enter into contract negotiations with Maine Connections Academy, which plans to start serving as many as 300 students from across the state this fall. | More

Maine DOE speaks in support of educator effectiveness rule

Maine DOE Director of Policy and Programs Deborah Friedman spoke to the Maine Legislature’s Education Committee this week in support of the Department’s provisionally-adopted Chapter 180: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems rule. | More

Applications open for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

Maine is now accepting applications for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for the 2014-15 school year. Applications must be completed for each school that is eligible for participation. | More

Classroom resources available for Statehood Day

March 15 marks Statehood Day, which according to State statute is intended to “commemorate the admission of Maine as a state into the United States of America and the ideals and wisdom of those men and women who have formed Maine’s history and traditions.” Maine schools are urged to observe the day and  a number of online resources are available to support classroom learning and celebrations. | More

Maine DOE adds standards resources

The Maine DOE has recently added a new Standards in a Proficiency-Based Education page to its Getting to Proficiency website with resources intended to support educators as they make these local decisions. | More

Yarmouth Middle School finalist for national environmental competition

The Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth has been named as one of 15 national finalists for the Samsung Solve to Tomorrow Grant. The environmental issue students focused on for the competition was the invasive European Green Crab that is currently having a negative impact on Maine’s shellfish industry and coastal environments. | More

MPA offers workshop on having hard conversations in education

The Maine Principals Association will host a day-long  interactive workshop with an international educational and communications consultant who will focus on how school and districts leaders can successfully communicate with supervisees, peers and supervisors in a wide range of difficult situations. | More

More

Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner