Category Archives: Legislation

ESSA web page launched

The following Priority Notice was sent on July 7, 2016

The Maine Department of Education has launched its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) web page that will continue to develop as the State builds its framework in implementing the law signed by President Obama in December.

ESSA reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to create a long-term, stable federal policy that gives states additional flexibility and encourages innovation, while at the same time holding states accountable for results.

You can visit here to learn more about the six areas of interest being developed. In addition, Maine DOE recognizes the value of local stakeholder engagement, and the Department asks for feedback via a survey. Survey results will be collected now through August 31.



Maine’s certification process: A precise, manual review

Maine’s certification statutes and rules, administered by the Department of Education’s certification team, apply to approximately 97,000 individuals in Maine who seek to work in Maine schools. The processing of applications is still a manual process, though the Department is working to transition to an electronic system within the next 18 months.

Continue reading

Maine DOE seeks districts to apply for TIF grant to support teachers and leaders in high-need schools – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

The Maine Department of Education is in the process of applying for a third, five-year Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant. This latest round of federal grants, called TIF 5, will expand the number of Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE) districts and offer the opportunity for 20-30 additional high-need schools to gain access to quality educator effectiveness programs, professional development and performance-based compensation.

Continue reading

Schools, Pests, and Pesticides: What superintendents need to know

All public and private schools serving any grades K through 12 are required by State regulations to adopt an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to preventing and controlling pests in buildings and grounds to protect students, staff and visitors from exposure to pesticides and health-threatening pests.

Continue reading

Professional standards for school nutrition professionals

The Federal School Food Service Professional Standards took effect July 1, 2015. This impacts the hiring process for new School Food Service Directors or someone responsible for director duties hired after July 1, 2015.

Continue reading

Certification requirements for special education teachers update

On May 16, the Maine Department of Education issued a Priority Notice about the federal requirement under ESSA that all teachers of students with disabilities be fully certified. Maine DOE estimates approximately 300 to 400 teachers may be affected by this requirement.

Continue reading

Regional training for ESEA Coordinators and Business Managers

The Maine Department of Education is providing regional training for Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Coordinators and Business Managers this summer. This training is also for individual administrators and bookkeepers who manage federal ESEA programs and funds with responsibilities for the ESEA Consolidated Application and Performance Report.

Continue reading

Top teams compete in final Farm to School cook-off

AUGUSTA –School food service staff from RSU 61 and a combined team of Five Town CSD/MSAD 28 and RSU 13 will compete to become the 2016 Maine Farm to School Cook-off Champion. The final cook-off will be held today, Tuesday, May 17 at the Kennebec Valley Community College, Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley at the Averill Building.

The competing teams are the top winners from the regional cook-offs which were held in April at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta. This is the first annual Maine Farm to School Cook-off to promote locally grown products in school meals.

Each team will prepare two meals within a specific time frame using at least three ingredients that are grown, raised, caught, or manufactured in the State of Maine and meet National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements. All recipes will later be shared in a Maine farm to school cook-off recipe book.

A panel of judges consisting of a Kennebec Valley Community College culinary arts student, school nutrition director, and professional chef will score the dishes based on presentation, taste, creativity, and feasibility to be used in a school breakfast or lunch program. The winning team will be awarded a plaque and have the opportunity to be spokespeople for the second annual cook off in 2017.

The cook-off is part of the State’s child nutrition projects and follows legislation to support healthy meals in schools. For more information on Maine’s Local Foods to Local Schools program, visit

Members of the media are welcome to attend the May 17 final cook-off but need to confirm prior to the day of the event.

For more information and to confirm coverage, contact: Anne Gabbianelli at or call 624-6747/592-4439.


Full certification for special education teachers under ESSA

The purpose of this notice is to address the issue of full certification for special education teachers under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and amended some provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to reflect changes made by ESSA. The amendments to the IDEA related to personnel qualifications impact Maine schools in significant ways.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended IDEA by reinstating a pre-NCLB requirement. That requirement (34 CFR Section 602(10)(B)) mandated that a person employed as a special education teacher in elementary school, middle school, or secondary school must have obtained full certification as a special education teacher. The teacher must not be working under certification or licensure requirements that are waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

In their respective applications for IDEA Part B (Local Entitlement) funds, states were required to assure that for the 2016-17 school year, in accordance with section 612(a)(14)(C), that any public elementary or secondary school special education teacher has obtained full certification. Maine was not able to give that assurance because of our use of conditional, targeted needs, transitional and waived certificates.

As a result, Maine was required to submit an assurance that the State will revise policies and procedures no later than June 30, 2017 which will address special education teacher certification to bring us into compliance with the provisions of IDEA.

The Maine Department of Education will move ahead in the next year with the development of statute and/ or rules that eliminate the above mentioned less than fully certified credentials for special education teachers.

We wish to inform Maine school administrators that effective July 1, 2017, you will not be able to employ a special education teacher who is not fully certified. Please encourage your staff to work towards full certification between now and July 1, 2017.

If you have questions, contact Janice E. Breton, Director of Special Services

Blue Ribbon Commission on Education

The Blue Ribbon Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance is now underway, after enactment by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Paul LePage. It is now recorded into statue as PUBLIC Law, Chapter 389, LD 1641.

Continue reading