School Bus Purchase Program Applications Open November 1

The Maine Department of Education is accepting applications to receive subsidy for new school buses purchased through the School Bus Purchase Program.  The application period is November 1 through November 25, 2019.

The Department will be able to approve about $9 million in school bus allocations that combines new bus requests and the prior year bus term commitment.  Round one applications will be accepted.  This program provides subsidy to school administrative units (SAUs) in order to offset partial cost of new school buses that are used to transport students to and from home and school and school events.  This program is a resource to help SAUs purchase new school buses, retire end of life school buses, and respond to emergency and special bus needs.  Eligible vehicles must meet Code of Maine Regulations Chapter 85 minimum qualifications, with the exception of Section 3.1.

The School Bus Purchase Program instructions and application information are available on the Maine DOE’s NEO website dashboard.  For more information or technical assistance, please contact Pat Hinckley at 624-6886 or email pat.hinckley@maine.gov .

Reminder of Initial Audit Requirement Due November 1

We would like to remind business managers, and those with fiscal reporting responsibilities for SAUs, that the statements of assurance and the Maine Education Financial Systems (MEFS) Financial reconciliations are due by November 1st, as required by Title 20-A MRSA §6051 (4).

The statement of assurance should include:

  • Written determination of whether or not proper budgetary controls are in place
  • A written determination of whether or not the annual financial data submitted to the department is correct, including submission of an audited reconciliation of the annual financial data prepared and certified by the auditor;
  • A written determination as to whether the school administrative unit has complied with applicable provisions of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act.

Any adjustments identified by these reconciliations should be submitted to Maine Education Financial System by November 30th.

For more information or assistance, please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Compliance Associate, School Finance & Operations for the Department of Education at 207-624-6807 or Stephanie.Clark@maine.gov.

National Board Certified Teacher Salary Supplement Request Due October 15, 2019

Do you have National Board Certified teachers on your staff? Awesome! We are sending along a reminder to those fortunate superintendents, or directors of a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region, with eligible staff who have attained National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification prior to July 1, 2019. We need you to let us know, so we can provide you with their legislatively allocated salary supplement!

In order to qualify for the salary supplement, eligible staff must be currently employed by a Maine public school, or by a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region in Maine.  Eligible position titles include classroom teacher, special education teacher, literacy specialist, long-term substitute teacher, library media specialist, guidance counselor, and teacher leaders with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or its successor organization.

The amount of the salary supplement for fiscal year 2019-20 is $3,000.00, unless proration is necessary.  The submission form and further information is available at National Board Certification Salary Supplement.

If you have questions, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov by phone at 624-6863.

EF-M-13 Private School October Resident Enrollment Counts

This is a reminder that the EF-M-13 Private School October Resident Enrollment Count report is open October 1st.  Private schools that do not have any “publicly funded students” may complete only the EF-M-13 October 1st Resident Enrollment report, but have the option to also enroll their non-publicly funded students in the Synergy State Edition.

Private schools with publicly funded students must report all “publicly funded students” in Synergy State Edition.  Synergy State Edition reporting is necessary in order for the sending school administrative unit to be allocated subsidy for the student. State subsidy to a school administrative unit is often the source of funding that is used to pay the student’s private school tuition.

A “publicly funded student” is defined as a Maine resident student whose educational cost (such as tuition) has been paid for by public funds from a public entity such as the following:

  • Municipal school unit (including those in a School Union)
  • School administrative district
  • Regional School Unit
  • Community school district
  • Education in the Unorganized Territory
  • Maine Indian Education
  • State Funds from a State Agency such as the Maine Department of Education
  • Federal Funds from a State or Federal Agency

The excel form for this report is located on the helpdesk webpage inside the ‘Data reporting Instructions’ tile,  as well as an instructional walkthrough on completing this form.
For questions regarding this report or Synergy/NEO Access, please contact:
Reporting: Trevor Burns – Student Data Coordinator
Email: Trevor.R.Burns@maine.gov                   Phone: (207) 624-6678

Synergy/NEO Access: MEDMS Helpdesk
Email: medms.helpdesk@maine.gov               Phone: (207) 624-6896

PRIORITY NOTICE: Mandatory Annual Notification of Eligibility for Schoolwide Programs

Updated annual notification of eligibility for schoolwide programs 

Schools that receive federal Title I funds, have poverty rates of at least 40 percent and have approved Title IA Schoolwide Plans are eligible to use their Title I funds – and funds from other sources – to develop “schoolwide programs.”

Schoolwide programs are comprehensive reform strategies, aimed at raising the achievement levels of all students.

To facilitate the inclusion of students with disabilities in schoolwide programs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the federal regulations at 34 CFR §300.206(a) allow school administrative units to use a portion of the funds they receive under Part B of IDEA for any fiscal year to fund such schoolwide programs.

SAUs can use those funds, as long as students with disabilities receive the services to which they are entitled under their Individualized Education Programs and that are guaranteed under IDEA.

The amount of Part B funds a school expends for schoolwide programs cannot exceed the amount the SAU has received for that fiscal year, divided by the number of children with disabilities in that unit, multiplied by the number of children with disabilities participating in the schoolwide program.

For more information, contact Maine DOE’s Title I Coordinator Monique Sullivan at monique.sullivan@maine.gov, or Acting Director of Special Services Jan Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov.