Category Archives: Funding

Acting Commissioner Hasson Announces $3 Million Available for Grants to School Administrative Units for Regionalization and Efficiency Efforts

Department will develop application for integrated regional school construction.

On January 3, Acting Commissioner Robert Hasson announced that the Maine Department of Education has identified $3 million in funds that will be made available through a competitive application process for school districts pursing regionalization and efficiency efforts. An application for School Administrative Units (SAUs) is available on the DOE website at http://www.maine.gov/doe/.

“There is a clear appetite across Maine to discover new, efficient ways to increase educational opportunities for students in Maine.  The Department encourages every district considering innovative approaches to achieve efficiencies and deliver educational services in new or collaborative ways to apply for these funds. We hope to see ambitious proposals that serve Maine students and free up resources that can enhance educational opportunities,” said Acting Commissioner Hasson. “The Department has been urged by many stakeholders to provide support and incentives for voluntary efforts to regionalize and pursue cost efficiencies. We have heard those calls and are thrilled to take this step to support local efforts.”

“We carefully manage General Purpose Aid for Local Schools (GPA) to ensure that all available funds are available for our schools,” said Acting Deputy Commissioner Suzan Beaudoin. “When we passed the budget last year, we estimated the amount of funds that would be needed for adjustments to state subsidy. Based on the timing of bond issuance and the way that events unfolded, we believe that there are $3 million in funds that would not be dispersed. This grant will allow us to distribute those funds to school districts as adjustments to promote regionalization and efficiency, as allowed under GPA.” According to Acting Deputy Commissioner Beaudoin, undispersed funds resulted from sources such as delayed bond issuance for school construction and money set aside for districts that did not qualify for sudden and severe adjustments.

Acting Commissioner Hasson also announced that the Department is developing an application for regional schools construction projects. The process will support multiple districts working together to program and provide space for students. More details will be made available when the application is finalized and released.

INDIRECT COST RATE INFORMATION

MAXIMUS Consulting Services will be managing the indirect cost rate calculation process on behalf of the Maine Department of Education for sub recipients of Federal funds passed through the Department.

Sub recipients of Federal awards are not required to recover indirect costs; doing so is optional for a sub recipient.

Recovered indirect costs are considered revenue to a sub recipient’s general fund.  This revenue will have the effect of lowering expenditures which are used in the calculation of tuition rates and EPS per pupil rates.

Indirect costs may only be recovered once; if a cost is included in the indirect cost rate calculation, it cannot also be charged as a direct cost to a Federal award.

Indirect cost rates are applied only to the amount of the award actually expended, not the total amount budgeted/awarded.

Including indirect costs in an award application budget does not mean the amount of the award will be increased.  The amount of entitlement awards (supplement not supplant grants) available to be applied to direct services will be reduced by the inclusion of indirect costs.  Including indirect costs in discretionary grant application budgets may result in increased funding.

Two indirect cost rates will be calculated for a sub recipient; restricted indirect cost rates are utilized with Federal awards that have a “supplement not supplant” requirement.  Restricted indirect cost rates are lower than unrestricted rates meaning, a lesser dollar amount will be recovered under indirect costs for “supplement not supplant” awards.

A template is available to provide sub recipients of Federal awards through the Maine Department of Education with a format for calculating both restricted and unrestricted indirect cost rates.  The template, with instructions for submission, is available here:

http://www.maine.gov/education/audit/indirectcostrate.shtml

MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, report review by January 13, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in January 2016 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2016 Quarter 4 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 4 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In January, the 2016-17 State subsidy printouts (ED279s) will be updated reflecting these adjustments and are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues: To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 4 and report any issues on these reports no later than January 13, 2016. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Notice: MaineCare Billing For Contracted Services

School administrative units who contract with a provider to provide special education related services for MaineCare eligible students with an IEP/IFSP should be aware of certain requirements concerning billing.

First, the contracted provider must be enrolled as a MaineCare school-based provider.  Second, the contracted provider must bill MaineCare according to the MaineCare school-based billing guide specifically indicating that the service was provided at a school location.

All school administrative units who contract with a provider of special education related services have responsibility for the seed portion of the claims.  This is handled as a deduction from state subsidy.  When contracted service providers are not correctly enrolled in MaineCare as school-based or are not correctly billing for school-based services, the “seed” is not correctly assessed and goes unpaid.

Please direct any questions regarding this matter to Denise.Towers@maine.gov.

Notice: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments made, report review by December 23, 2016

MaineCare Seed Adjustments

In consideration of the recent seed recovery issues, the Department will be changing the process of reviewing reports and the recovery of the seed for those reports.

Current Process:

  • Maine DOE adjusts SAU’s ED 279.
  • Maine DOE sends notification to SAUs that the quarterly reports are ready for review.
  • SAUs request corrections; those corrections (after verification) are adjusted in a future quarter.

New Process:

  • Maine DOE sends notification to SAUs that the quarterly reports are ready for review.
  • The Department allows approximately 30 days for SAU to review reports.
  • Any requests for corrections (after verification) will be adjusted.
  • Maine DOE adjusts SAU’s ED 279.

The new process will allow for a review of data and corrections to be made before the ED 279 is adjusted for seed recovery beginning with the Q416 adjustment scheduled in January.

MaineCare Seed payment adjustments made, report review by December 23, 2016

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2016 Quarter 3 revised MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 3 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

Updated 2016-17 state subsidy printouts (ED279s) reflecting these adjustments are available at www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.

Reporting issues:

To ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy, SAU staff must review student-by-student reports for Quarter 3 and report any issues on these reports no later than December 23, 2016. Any questions regarding these reports should be addressed to denise.towers@maine.gov.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with supporting evidence and also include the following:

  • Identify the type of report (Public or Private) and the quarter in which the claims are located
  • Student’s State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (to and from)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Should this inquiry result in a change to the subsidy adjustment, the revision will be reflected in subsequent monthly subsidy checks.

Summer services:

The Department has found that a number of students are provided services during the summer. If the student was a resident of your SAU during those months, your SAU is still fiscally responsible for the MaineCare Seed as this is considered an extended school year for these students. Students in extended school years must be enrolled during these periods to ensure accurate adjustments.

For more information on MaineCare Seed payments, including links to prior communications, accounting instructions and instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus, please click here. For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov.

Information on certain provisions of LD 1576

LD 1576, an Act To Amend Certain Education Laws went into effect as Public Law 2015, Chapter 448.

Among the provisions of the law are changes that affect students who may have no school in which to enroll. The law directs the Commissioner of Education to designate a receiving school administrative unit (SAU) to enroll a student who resides in a SAU that neither maintains a school nor contracts with another SAU. The law contains a provision allowing the superintendent of the residing SAU or the superintendent of the receiving SAU, if dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s decision, within ten calendar days of the Commissioner’s decision, to request that the State Board of Education review the transfer. The State Board may approve or disapprove the Commissioner’s designation within 45 calendar days of receiving the request and shall provide a written decision which is final.

The law also provides that if a student under this section is receiving special education services, the state subsidy of special education costs for the transferred student may not be reduced as a result of the transfer.  For other provisions related to funding for students with disabilities, please refer to the law here.

LD 1576 also requires a resident SAU to pay to the receiving SAU tuition and other costs directly related to the student’s special education program, and costs associated with due process proceedings.

The law also provides that, when the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) places a state ward in an out-of-state residential treatment center, the Department of Education Commissioner may designate the Maine DOE as having responsibility for oversight of the child’s individualized education program to ensure that child receives a free, appropriate public education.

If you have questions about these provisions of law, please contact Debra Plowman, Maine DOE’s Director of Policies and Programs, at debra.plowman@maine.gov or 624-6620.

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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Maine DOE accepting School Improvement Grant applications through December 14

The Maine Department of Education will once again be accepting applications for School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding during the 2016-17 school year. Grant awards made under this program could yield up to $1.5 million each to help close achievement gaps.

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Statements of Assurance and MEFS (Maine Educational Financial System) Financial Reconciliations (formerly MEDMS) due Nov. 1

Statements of assurance and MEFS (Maine Educational Financial System) Financial reconciliations, as required by Title 20-A MRSA 6051 §4, are due by November 1, 2016. Any adjustments identified by these reconciliations should be submitted to MEDMS Financial by November 30, 2016.

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Maine DOE offers 2017 performance evaluation and professional growth mini-booster grants to SAUs

In an effort to continue assisting school administrative units (SAUs) in their performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) development the Maine Department of Education is offering mini-booster grants of $1,500 for the purpose of continual development and implementation of PEPG systems. The grants will be available to all Maine districts that operate a school.

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