Priority Notice: Proposed Revisions to Ch. 125, School Approval Standards

The State Board and the Department of Education are proposing the repeal and replacement of Chapter 125: Basic School Approval Standards: Public Schools and School Administrative Units.

The last repeal and replace of State Board of Education/Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 125 was in 2002. The resulting language was highly duplicative of statute. The proposed replacement eliminates redundancy when possible, and minimizes to include only what is required in law.

To this end, the proposed Rule is written to address school approval standards and requirements in a linear fashion, reflecting requirements in the order they appear in statute when possible, and providing detail where necessary. For clarity, a chart referenced in Section 4 of the proposed Rule resides on the Department web page and contains a comprehensive list of requirements and citations.

Specific revisions to the Rule are as follows:

  • Based on a cross-walk conducted by the Department, language which is duplicative of statute or is outdated has been updated or eliminated;
  • The definition of school has been revised;
  • Unnecessary definitions have been eliminated;
  • Certain requirement exceptions for SAUs that tuition all or whole populations of students out of the resident unit have been added;
  • Certain requirement exceptions for Career and Technical Regions have been added;
  • The Comprehensive Education Plan format determination remains with the SAU, but must equally include and reflect all schools within the unit;
  • The minimum requirements as required by M.R.S. 20-A Section 4502(5) are listed in Section 5:
    • 5.01 – Grade K now has a minimum instructional day of 3 hours;
    • 5.03 – added “Areas used for the provision of student services and health services shall be adequate to provide for the privacy and confidentiality of such services;”
    • 5.08 – revised language regarding school counseling program;
    • 5.12 – revised language regarding time out areas to reference Restraint and Seclusion;
    • 5.15 – added family outreach requirement, per statute;
    • 5.16 – added language around Promotion, Retention, Acceleration and Graduation of Students;
    • 5.18 – added requirement for Multi-tiered System of Support, per LD 651; and
  • Section 7.01 outlining the initial approval process for SAUs was revised to reflect current practice.

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 125:

  • December 16, 2019 from 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
  • All are welcome to attend, and no RSVP is required.  Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments via email to jaci.holmes@maine.gov or by mailing comments to:

Maine Department of Education
attention: Jaci Holmes
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333-0023
Comment Period Deadline: December 27, 2019

Maine DOE Kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week Early with Video Shout-outs to Maine Teachers #TeachMaine 

The Maine Department of Education will be releasing short video shout-outs starting on May 2nd of Maine DOE employees thanking Maine teachers who have influenced and inspired them.  

Teacher Appreciation Week runs May 6th through the 10th, and it is our hope that people throughout Maine, including students, will be encouraged to thank a teacher who has inspired or influenced them and share a video message through social media with the hashtag #TeachMaine. Please tag Maine DOE on Facebook and/or TwitterWe want to spread the word! 

This campaign is intended to honor and thank Maine teachers, and we appreciate your support in sharing positive messages. 

For further questions please contact Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov. 

 

2019-2020 Maine Education Financial System (MEFS) Budget Upload now open

It is school budget time of year again for each school administrative unit (SAU) and Career & Technical Regions. School district budget uploads are due within 30 days of the school budget passing, or by August 2, whichever comes later. This is in accordance with 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 606-B.

Municipal school units and Charter Schools must upload the budget expenditure and revenue files to MEFS, submit the school budgets warrant articles, budget meeting minutes, and vote declaration of the referendum (if required) to the department.

Regional School Units, School Administrative Districts, Community School Districts must upload the budget expenditure and revenue files to MEFS, submit the school budget warrant articles, budget meeting minutes, vote declaration of the referendum (if required), and fill out the EF-M-46 in NEO.

Career & Technical Regions must upload the budget expenditure and revenue files to MEFS along with meeting minutes of the meeting where the budget was approved and fill out the EF-M-46V in NEO.

Budget uploads to MEFS must reconcile to the budget warrant articles and other supporting documents.

For more information or assistance please contact Denise Towers, 624-6863 or Tyler Backus, 624-6635.

Webinar on ESEA equitable share participation of Maine’s SAUs and non-public schools

The Maine DOE will offer a WebEx session June 8, 2017 from 10 – 11 a.m. providing guidance to school administrative units (SAUs) and non-public schools in the delivery and agreement of equitable services under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The ESSA includes separate provisions governing equitable services for eligible private school students, teachers and other educational personnel, and families under Title I and programs covered under Title VIII, Part F, Subpart 1; as well as the Uniform Provisions Subpart 1—Private Schools: Equitable Services for Private School Students, Teachers, and Other Educational Personnel. Many of those requirements remain unchanged from requirements under the ESEA as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The ESSA, however, made a number of significant changes. Some of those changes are common to the equitable services requirements under both Title I and Title VIII; others are different.

The webinar will be conducted by Maine DOE’s Title I Consultant and Title II Coordinator, Jackie Godbout and Charles Lomonte, respectively. If you have questions prior to the event, please contact Charles Lomonte at 624-6723 or Charles.lomonte@maine.gov or Jackie Godbout at 624-6712 or Jackie.godbout@maine.gov.

Topics covered during the webinar include:

  • Consultation requirements between SAU and non-public schools
  • Deriving the proportionate share calculation
  • Allocation of funds
  • Eligibility
  • Types of equitable services
  • Evaluation of assessments

To participate in the webinar, please click here.  The conference phone number is 1-877-455-0244, followed by conference code: 8223978943.

The Maine DOE offers ESEA equitable services training for those Maine SAUs and non-public school leaders who must consult about participating in non-public school equitable share resources.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, review reports by April 12, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in April 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 2 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 2 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In April, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 2 and report any issues on these reports no later than April 12, 2017. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.