The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking a waiver pursuant to section 3511 of Division A of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), P.L. 116-136 (H.R. 748), 34 Stat. 281 (Mar. 27, 2020 from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).
The U.S. Department of Education requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, solicit and respond to public comment on the request and provide evidence of the available comment period. This 15-day public comment period from April 24 – May 9, 2020, waives requirements related carryover limitation, period of allowability, Title IV, Part A of the ESEA, and professional learning definition.
The Maine DOE is working diligently to continue supporting Maine’s schools during this pandemic of COVID-19. The state education agency and local education agencies are immediately impacted by the Department’s waiver request.
Requirements from which Maine is seeking a waiver include:
Carryover limitation in section 1127(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2019 Title I, Part A funds (i.e., the Title I, Part A funds that will become carryover funds on October 1, 2020): the requirement that limits an SEA’s ability to grant to its LEAs a waiver of the 15 percent Title I, Part A carryover limitation in section 1127(a) more than once every three years.
Period of availability of funds in section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA): to extend the period of availability of FY 2018 funds for programs in which the SEA participates under its approved consolidated State plan until September 30, 2021. The programs:
- Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs), including the portions of the SEA’s Title I, Part A award used to carry out section1003 school improvement, section 1003A direct student services, if applicable, and Title I, Part D, Subpart 2
- Title I, Part B of the ESEA (State Assessment Formula Grants)
- Title I, Part C of the ESEA (Education of Migratory Children)
- Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 of the ESEA (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk)
- Title II, Part A of the ESEA (Supporting Effective Instruction)
- Title III, Part A of the ESEA (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement)
- Title IV, Part A of the ESEA (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)
- Title IV, Part B of the ESEA (21st Century Community Learning Centers)
- Title V, Part B, Subpart 2 of the ESEA (Rural and Low-Income School Program)
- McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program
The following requirements in Title IV, Part A of the ESEA. Note: These requirements are only applicable to LEAs that received $30,000 or more in Title IV, Part A funds:
- Needs assessment requirements in section 4106(d) for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Content area spending requirements in section 4106(e)(2)(C), (D), and (E): the requirements to use a minimum percentage of Title IV, Part A funds for activities under sections 4107, 4108 and 4109 for FY 2019 funds and any available FY 2018carryover funds.
- Spending limitation in section 4109(b): the 15 percent limit on the use of funds undersection 4109 to purchase technology infrastructure for FY 2019 funds and any available FY 2018 carryover funds.
The definition of professional development in section 8101(42) of the ESEA for the2019-2020 school year.
Federal program affected by the requested waiver
The state education agency and local education agencies will be impacted due to the following reasons:
- allow Maine to waive the carryover limitation and allow schools to maintain and use FFY19 (Ste FY20) Title I, Part A funds that excess of the 15% carryover limitation,
- extend the period of availability from September 30, 2020 to September 30, 2021 for federal funding,
- reduce certain perimeters for LEAs that received $30,000 or more in Title IV, Part A of the ESEA, and
- redefine professional development.
Comments may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov