School funding update: Department will distribute funding amounts in 18/19 ED 279s until legislature acts

Included in the bills that have not yet been acted upon by the 128th legislature in the 2018 legislative session, there was an appropriations bill LD 1869 that, among other things, finalized specific figures used for calculating school funding in the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) formula, the formula used to distribute funds to districts throughout the State.

If the legislature does not reconvene and act upon school funding appropriations by July 1, 2018 (start of the next fiscal year), the Department will distribute subsidy amounts estimated in the 2018/19 ED 279 subsidy print-outs until the legislature acts.

To view the 2018/19 ED 279 subsidy print-outs visit: http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/

Districts that have questions regarding subsidy print-outs can contact the School Finance Team: Tyler Backus at tyler.backus@maine.gov; Paula Gravelle at paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov; or Ida Batista at ida.batista@maine.gov.

Maine DOE publishes preliminary Title IV, Part A allocations for 2018-2019

The Maine Department of Education, in an effort to assist local districts plan for the coming school year, has issued preliminary allocations for the federal Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program.

Enacted under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the SSAE program provides formula grant awards to eligible school districts.  The purpose of this funding is to raise student academic achievement by increasing the capacity of local education agencies and schools to

  • Provide all students with access to a well-rounded education;
  • Improve school conditions for student learning by fostering safe and healthy students; and
  • Support the effective use technology in schools and classrooms.

States, local education agencies, and schools are all currently within the first year of administering SSAE programs and activities, with relatively limited funding compared to other ESEA programs.  In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, federal funding for the SSAE program is slated to see a rather significant increase, which would in turn result in funding increases for many eligible school districts nationwide.  It is due to this significant change in funding that the Department has made these available statewide.

The Department would also like to remind all eligible Title IV, Part A recipients of the requirements under Section 4106 of ESSA, which states that local education agencies, as part of a comprehensive needs assessment, must examine the needs for improvement of:

  • access to, and opportunities for, a well-rounded education for all students;
  • school conditions for student learning in order to create a healthy and safe school environment; and
  • access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology and professional development for the effective use of data and technology.

In order to comply with federal law, any local education agency receiving an allocation of $30,000 or more in Title IV, Part A funding, must include the pieces outlined above as part of their Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA)/SAU Consolidated Plan.  All CNA/SAU Consolidated Plans are due to the Department by July 1, 2018.

Once available, the Department will be posting final FY19 allocations for the Title IV, Part A programPlease note that preliminary allocations for all other ESEA title programs are not available at this time.

For more information on the SSAE program under Title IV, contact the Department’s Federal Grant Coordinator Travis Doughty at travis.w.doughty@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE announces alternative rural and low-income federal allocation formula; more districts now eligible for funds

The Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) received notification that its proposed Title V, Part B, Sub Part 2 allocation formula, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) in November 2017, has been approved. The approved alternative formula provides increases funding through the Title V Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) grant to districts that have higher poverty rates.

Contained in their April 5, 2018 approval email the U.S. DOE indicated the following:

“We appreciate your patience as we carefully considered whether Maine’s proposed alternative RLIS funding formula meets the standard under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(C) that an alternative formula better target RLIS funds to LEAs serving the highest concentrations of children from families below the poverty line.  We have determined that your proposed formula meets this standard given that, in general, LEAs with the highest percentages of low-income children will receive higher awards than they would under the current ADA-based formula under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(B).”

The new RLIS formula divides the Title V, Part B, Sub part 2 state allocation between poverty (70%) and Average Daily Attendance ADA (30%). Under the alternative distribution, there are some districts that will receive less funding under Title V, however, overall more districts and students will be served. The alternative formula provides a more equitable distribution of the funds across the State, including:

  • 71 Districts (up from 55) will receive funding from the RLIS grant
  • 67,608 students (up from 64,740) will be served by RLIS grant funds

The Title V RLIS grant will be included in the ESEA Consolidated Application with Title IA, II, III, and IVA for FY19.

Further questions regarding the formula or to better understand the calculation process contact Maine DOE Title V Coordinator, Daniel Weeks, at 207-624-6749 or daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov.

Maine Education Financial System to update identification numbers for uploads

The Maine Education Financial System will be moving from MEDMS IDs to ORG IDs on July 1, 2018. Over the past few years the Maine Department of Education data collection systems have been migrating towards using ORG IDs to identify School Administrative Units, and other organizations, in their data collection systems.

Starting on July 1, 2018 the Maine Education Financial System will also use the new ORG IDs for all uploads from the school accounting systems.

ORG ID can be located at the top of the ED 279, on each page, to the left of the SAU name. ED 279s can be located here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/

School units should work with their vendor to update this field for the export that their local accounting system creates. Starting July 1, 2018 if a school administrative unit is still using the MEDMS ID their file will not upload to the Maine Education Financial System.

For further information contact Tyler Backus, School Finance & Compliance Coordinator at 207-624-6635 or Tyler.Backus@maine.gov.

Preparation for April Attending Student Report

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) is in the process of preparing an April Attending Student Report for the purpose of calculating tuition rates. In preparation for this report, it is vital that each school administrative unit (SAU) keeps their attendance data accurate as well as complete.

The April Attending Student Report will be based on the SAUs attending students as of April 1st and will be due by June 30, 2018.

It is expected that the report will be available mid to late April. Once it is ready, the Attending Report will be available in the Maine DOE’s NEO system within the student data link-under the student reports tab with the title “April Attending Student Report”.

Please continue to monitor future DOE updates in the Maine DOE Newsroom about instructions and webinars regarding this reporting requirement.

If you are unable to login to NEO, contact the Helpdesk 624-6896 for assistance.

If you have questions about the report please contact Travis Wood at 624-6742.