QZAB Tax Credit Bond applications due October 15

The Maine DOE will accept applications for the Federal Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) Program through October 15. The Department currently has $1,435,000 of QZAB issuing authority to distribute to qualifying schools units.

A Qualified Zone Academy is any public school or academic program within a public school  designed in cooperation with business to enhance curriculum, increase graduation and employment rates, and better prepare students for college and the workforce. In order to be eligible, schools must have at least a 35 percent free or reduced lunch rate.

QZAB funds can be used for rehabilitation or repair of a facility, equipment purchases, developing course materials, and training teachers and other personnel. A school district issuing a QZAB is required to obtain a 10 percent matching grant from a private entity.

The QZAB program is a tax credit bond program and not a grant program.  School units who receive QZAB allocations must issue their bonds by December 31, 2016.

If qualifying requests exceed available funding, awards will be prioritized based on previous issuance of QZABs by the school unit, financial and demonstrated need for the proposed use of funds, and the proposal’s impact on students.

The QZAB application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s facilities website. For more information or technical assistance related to the QZAB program, contact Ann Pinnette at 624-6885 or ann.pinnette@maine.gov.