Federal Tax Credit Bond applications due May 26

The Maine Department of Education will accept applications for the Federal Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) Program through May 26, 2016. The Department currently has $2,898,000 of QZAB allocation 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 ten percent matching grant from a private entity.  The QZAB program is a tax credit bond program and not a grant program.

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 Facilities, Safety and Transportation Coordinator Ann Pinnette at ann.pinnette@maine.gov or call 624-6885.