Category Archives: Legislation

Notice of proposed rule changes to Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine

The Maine Department of Education is proposing to repeal and replace Chapter 81: Uniform School Bus Standards for Pupil Transportation in Maine in order to modernize the rule.

The proposal involves four major changes:

  1. Change the format of the rule to separate the rule into shorter and cleaner regulations.
  2. Remove forms from the rule making it easier to adapt to national changes and align with the federal medical examination regulations.
  3. Update the bus specifications to meet current bus technology, standards, and specifications.
  4. Clarify safety, training, and program language to make the rule easier to interpret.

Proposed language of rule Chapters 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86 can be found on the Department’s website. Written comments should be mailed to: Maine Department of Education, Attn: Pat Hinckley, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023, or emailed to pat.hinckley@maine.gov. The comment deadline is Friday, Jun. 16, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Spring ESEA Training and Updates for ESEA Coordinators, Title Administrators and Private Schools

The Maine DOE will be providing training for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Coordinators and individual Title administrators who manage Federal ESEA programs and funds with responsibilities for the ESEA Consolidated Application and Performance Report. Business managers are welcome to attend.

The training day will focus on changes to Title programs and private school equitable services as a result of the implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and changes to the annual ESEA Consolidated application for funding.

The training will include:

  • Introductory program overview for each ESEA Title contained within the ESEA Consolidated Application and Performance Report
  • Guidance regarding project construction and the development of measurable outcomes
  • Allowable costs
  • Fiscal compliance
  • Private school consultation and equitable service requirements; and
  • Important reporting dates.

Tentative agenda:

8:30                      Check In – (Refreshments unavailable)

9:00                      ESEA Program Updates with Q & A

12 noon               Working Lunch (Provided with the exception of the Augusta location)

1:00                      Annual ESEA Consolidated application overview with Q & A

3:00                      Adjourn

There will be four (4) opportunities to attend the training. Please register for only one (1) date.

May 3, 2017       Jeff’s Catering, 15 Littlefield Rd, Brewer

May 4, 2017       Hampton Inn, 768 Main Street Presque Isle

May 17, 2017    Best Western Merry Manor Inn, 700 Main Street, South Portland

May 18, 2017    Augusta Armory, 179 Western Avenue, Augusta

REGISTRATION

Please register by clicking the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/Y52sIS0xUJtIUEh02  Registrations must be received by April 28, 2017

Additional questions regarding the training should be directed to Eric Buckhalter at Eric.Buckhalter@maine.gov or (207) 624- 6770.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Seeking Public Comment for the Maine Department of Education Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan

The Maine Department of Education is seeking 30 days of public comment on Maine’s ESSA State Consolidated Plan from March 1 – 30, 2017

The passage of the Every Students Succeeds Act in 2015 shifted the former Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 from a federally driven, highly prescriptive set of programs and regulations to a state determined plan to ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students.

The U.S. Department of Education is requiring every state educational agency to submit a Consolidated State Plan. “When developing its consolidated State plan, the Department encourages each State Educational Agency to reflect on its overall vision and how the different sections of the consolidated State plan work together to create one comprehensive approach to improving outcomes for all students.”

As a result, the Maine Department of Education ESSA State Plan is based on prioritized needs identified in Maine’s existing strategic plan. This plan was stakeholder informed and driven in 2012 and correlates with the five overarching elements of the federal Consolidated Plan, which are as follows:

  1. Long-Term Goals
  2. Consultation and Performance Management
  3. Academic Assessments
  4. Accountability, Support, and Improvement for Schools
  5. Supporting Excellent Educators
  6. Supporting All Students

By this integration the Department is utilizing the ESSA Plan as the enhancement mechanism to move Maine’s educational priorities forward.

The Department engaged over 40 Maine educators representing different stakeholder groups to serve as members of the ESSA Advisory and Workgroup teams to examine the components of the consolidated application pertinent to their focus area and to discuss potential recommendations for each specific component.

 Please note the changes which may affect the final format of  plan:

  • Possible changes in the ESSA Accountability federal regulations
  • Changes to the Consolidated Plan template indicated by the U. S Department of Education Secretary Devos on February 13, 2017 to reflect only those components that are “absolutely necessary”.

The Full Maine Consolidated State Plan
The Executive Summary (Includes an introductory letter from Acting Commissioner Hasson)

Comments may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov

Guidance on general education interventions for public preschool children

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is providing this guidance to ensure that all Maine school administrative units (SAU) receive direction on general education interventions for public preschool children.

As required by Maine DOE rules, Code of Maine Regulations (05-071 CMR Chapter 101, II, 2015) all SAUs shall develop and implement general education interventions. It is the Department’s interpretation that these requirements are for all children enrolled in your SAU, including children in your public preschool program(s). The Maine DOE also expects that general education interventions are utilized prior to making a referral to Child Development Services (CDS) and that any general education intervention data is shared when making a referral to CDS.

For more information, please contact the Department’s Director of Special Services Janice Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov or 624-6676.

Proposed changes to Chapter 115, “Certification, Authorization and Approval of Education Personnel”

On April 6, 2016 the Maine Department of Education received a letter from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education which reflected the impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B application. ESSA reactivated an IDEA statutory provision which requires that special education teachers be fully certified. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is requiring that Maine amend the Chapter 115 regulations by June 30, 2017 to come into compliance with the reactivated IDEA statutory provision. As Department staff began to address the OSEP concerns it became evident that there were components of Chapter 115 that need to be revised for all educators. The State Board of Education voted unanimously at its Oct. 12 meeting to initiate the joint rulemaking process with the Department.

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Blue Ribbon Commission To Meet Monday, October 17

Augusta – The next meeting of the Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine will be held on Monday, Oct. 17 at 9:00 a.m. at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center. The Lewiston Regional Technical Center is located at 156 East Avenue in Lewiston. A copy of the meeting agenda and documents relating to the Commission’s work will be posted here as they are made available.

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Message from Adult Education Director on Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

With the passage and implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), there has been some discussion about the act’s potential effect on the basic skills instruction provided by adult education.

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Maine school districts begin school year with new teacher and principal evaluation systems

AUGUSTA – As the 2016-17 school year gets underway, Maine schools are undertaking newly revised teacher and principal evaluation systems. This year, for the first time, the majority of teachers and principals will be evaluated based on a professional practice model using a system that incorporates a student growth measure for educators.

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Physical education requirements for children with disabilities

Under Maine’s system of learning results, each student is required to study and achieve proficiency in the eight content areas including physical education. In addition to State requirements, federal regulations for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) require that states follow the guidelines set forth in sections 34 CFR 300.39 and 300.108.

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Next Blue Ribbon Commission meeting rescheduled to Sept. 26

AUGUSTA – The next meeting of the Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine has been rescheduled and will now be held on Monday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. at RSU #17 Central Office, located at 232 Main Street in South Paris.

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