Annual Audit Requirements: An Early Reminder

Annual Audit Reports Due December 30th

Annual audit reports are due within six months after the end of the audit period (e.g., reports for the fiscal year ending June 30th are due on or before December 30th). In accordance with Title 20-A, §6051:

  • The auditor is required to review the audit with the school board.
  • It is the school board’s responsibility to submit the annual audit document unless it is stated in the engagement letter that the audit firm will submit the audit to the Maine Department of Education (DOE) on behalf of the school board.
  • Municipal school units are required to submit either a combined annual audit or a school department audit and a municipal audit to the Maine DOE. The municipal annual report (a.k.a. town report) cannot be accepted in lieu of the complete municipal annual audit.
  • The Maine DOE must receive a Schedule of Expenditure of Federal Awards(SEFA), which includes federal award expenditures for all reporting entities, even if a Single Audit (formerly A-133 audit) is not required to be conducted. The SEFA provides information needed by Maine DOE to conduct sub-recipient monitoring as required by the US Department of Education and is due at the time of the annual audit.

In municipal school units where a combined audit is not conducted, Maine DOE should receive two audits: an audit with a SEFA for the school department, and an audit for the city/town including a SEFA.

  • If a management letter is prepared by the auditor, a copy must be submitted to Maine DOE with the annual audit, as this letter provides us with information needed to conduct sub-recipient monitoring, as required by US DOE.

Extensions and Subsidy Payments

If an extension or exception is needed for the deadline to submit either the municipal or school department audit, the superintendent must contact us to request the extension.

The forms are available on the Fiscal Review and Compliance webpage, under forms on the menu bar.

  • Initial extension requests will be for a period of 2 months, and 30 days thereafter.
  • Extension requests will be considered until June 30th (six months after due date); extensions will not be valid after June 30th and all municipalities and school administrative units with overdue audits which have not submitted an extension request before May 31th may have a delay in subsidy release. Those who have not submitted an extension request will have subsidy withheld until addressed.

Please submit all annual audit documents, reports, information requests, questions and other audit correspondence via email to DOE.Audit@Maine.gov.

Third Round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Begins on April 28, 2022

The third application filing window of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) will open on Thursday, April 28, 2022 and close on Friday, May 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. During the third window, schools and libraries will be able to request Emergency Connectivity Fund Program support for eligible equipment and up to 12 months of services that will be received or delivered between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023 for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons with unmet needs.

Apply Now

What Is the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

  • The Emergency Connectivity Fund is a $7.17 billion program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help schools and libraries support remote learning. The Program will provide funding to schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services that can be provided to students, teachers, and library patrons who lack connected devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, and/or lack broadband access during the pandemic.
  • The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted a Report and Order on May 10, 2021 establishing the rules and procedures for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
  • The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is the program administrator.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Funds Through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?

  • Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that are eligible for support under the FCC’s E-Rate program, are eligible to request and receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.
  • In addition, the Order clarifies that Tribal libraries, which are eligible for support under the Library Services and Technology Act, are also eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund.
  • Schools and libraries eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program do not need to be current E-Rate participants. Eligible entities that have not applied for E-Rate support should be prepared to demonstrate eligibility as a school or library under the Program rules during USAC’s application review.

What Equipment and Services Are Covered by the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program?

  • The following types of equipment purchased for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack sufficient connectivity to engage in remote learning are eligible for support:
    • Laptop and tablet computers
    • Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Modems (including air cards)
    • Routers
    • Devices that combine a modem and router.
  • Schools and libraries can also receive funding for commercially available broadband internet service that provides a fixed or mobile broadband connection for off-campus use by students, school staff, or library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connectivity sufficient to engage in remote learning.
  • In limited circumstances where a school or library can demonstrate that there are no available service options sufficient to support remote learning for its students, school staff, or library patrons, the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program may support the construction of new networks and the equipment needed for datacasting services.
  • Review the Eligible Services List for additional guidance on the equipment and services eligible for funding under the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

Apply Now  (https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/)

To participate, schools and libraries must have an active FCC Registration Number. Schools, libraries, and service providers who agree to invoice on behalf of applicants must also have a SAM.gov registration to be able to receive program support. Learn how to register with SAM.gov and the FCC CORES system.

Schools and libraries that have a SAM.gov registration or FCC Registration Number do not need to register again.

Please see the Public Notice (DA 22-309 ) for additional information about the third application filing window, the service delivery date, and invoice filing deadline applicable to equipment, other non-recurring service, and recurring service requests submitted during this filing window

For questions regarding this program or any school technology infrastructure support needs, please contact Jim Chasse at james.chasse@maine.gov or 207-707-0486.

Experiential Maine! – Summer Coastal Ecology Collaborative  

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will soon be releasing a Request for Applications (RFA) from community organizations that provide (or plan to provide) high quality, coastal ecology education and experiences for students in grades 6-12 as part of Experiential Maine! – a statewide initiative to increase access to hands on, outdoor education for all students in Maine.

This exciting initiative will help increase student access to experiential learning along the Maine coast during Summer 2022.  Fund awards must be used to expand student capacity in existing program opportunities or to design and implement an entirely new program during summer 2022. These will be two separate applications (one to expand existing programs, one to design and implement a program that did not previously exist). The Maine DOE will prioritize applications that prioritize access for students from low-income families and students with infrequent access to the coast based on geographic location.  

Here is a link to the Intent to Apply form which must be completed by April 21, 2022 at 5:00pm in order for your organization to be eligible for funding. 

For questions, please contact Page Nichols, Maine DOE Innovation Officer at page.nichols@maine.gov 

American Rescue Plan (ARP) Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program Information

As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Congress set aside $2.75 billion of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to students and teachers in non-public schools, as defined below, through the ARP Emergency Assistance to Non-public Schools (EANS) program. The purpose of the ARP EANS program is to provide services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of students from low-income families and are most impacted by COVID. 

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has been working with the U.S. Department of Education since the submission of Maine’s ARP EANS application on September 9, 2021. Approval from the US. Department of Education was received on March 16, 2022, and the Maine DOE is moving swiftly to support non-public schools through the $12,327,260 ARP EANS award process.  

An eligible non-public school is an elementary or secondary school that is non-profit; approved in accordance with state law; was in existence prior to March 13, 2020; did not, and will not apply for and receive a loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on or after December 27, 2020; and serves a low-income student percentage of 25 percent or greater. The low-income student percentage will be determined by the data on student eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Act.  

Non-public schools interested in participating in the ARP EANS II programs are encouraged to attend the Office of Federal Emergency Relief Programs’ Informational ARP EANS II webinar on March 31, 2022, at 10am.

Please register at https://mainestate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctd-GhqT0oGtCt4DQA_oQ9-exUOeTNYquV.

2022-2023 Maine Education Financial System (MEFS) Budget Upload Now Open

It is that time of the year again for each School Administrative Unit (SAU) and Career & Technical Regions to submit their school budgets. Per 20-A M.R.S. Chapter 606-B, school district budget uploads are due within 30 days of the school budget passing, or by August 15, whichever comes later.

Municipal School Units and Charter Schools must upload the budget expenditure and revenue files to MEFS. Budget backup consisting of the school budget warrant articles, budget meeting minutes, vote declaration of the referendum (if required), and a copy of the successfully uploaded budget expenditure text file, must be sent via email to Denise Towers.

Regional School Units, School Administrative Districts, Community School Districts must upload the budget expenditure and revenue files to MEFS and complete the EF-M-46 in NEO. Budget backup consisting of the school budget warrant articles, budget meeting minutes, vote declaration of the referendum (if required), and a copy of the successfully uploaded budget expenditure text file, must be sent via email to Denise Towers.

Career & Technical Regions must upload the budget expenditure and revenue files to MEFS and complete the EF-M-46V in NEO. Budget backup consisting of a copy of the budget presented at the time of the vote, the meeting minutes approving the budget, and a copy of the successfully uploaded budget expenditure text file, must be sent via email to Denise Towers.

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

For more information or assistance, please contact Denise Towers at 624-6863 or Mary Randall at 446-4148.