Category Archives: Funding

U.S. Department of Education New Title V Application Process and Funding

This message is for school administrative units that have received funding under the following grants under Rural Education Assistance Programs (REAP) including the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) or Rural and Low Income Schools (RLIS). If your district has not received funds from these programs in the past, you may disregard this notice.

On April 3, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to local education agencies regarding the Rural Education Assistance Program (REAP) administered under Title VI of the Elementary Secondary Education Act. The U.S. Department of Education Letter outlines new provisions resulting from the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December, 2015 and contains information regarding 2017 eligibility.  Please note the following important notes regarding SRSA grants.

  • Districts eligible for SRSA Funds must submit an application directly to www.grants.gov
  • The application window opens early May and will remain open for 60 days.
  • If no application is received and the district is NOT dually eligible for RLIS then no Title VI funds will be awarded to the district
    • If a district is dually eligible and no application is received then they will be considered for the RLIS grant automatically

For questions regarding the Rural Education Assistance Program and available grants, contact Daniel Weeks at Daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov or 207-624-6749.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, review reports by April 12, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in April 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 2 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 2 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In April, 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 2 and report any issues on these reports no later than April 12, 2017. 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.

EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report (EF-S-214) open for reporting on March 13

The EF-S-214 will be open to Maine public schools on March 13. The report must be approved by the School Finance Team by April 15 to be used in the calculation for an adjustment.  School districts should sign into the report as early as possible, as some aspects of the report have changed.  Starting this year, the business manager will have to certify that the figures reported by the Special Education office are consistent with the data in the school district financial system.

This report is required to be submitted by all publically funded school districts.  School districts need to project the costs for the full fiscal year.  Only costs for tuition and board should be included in the report.  For Fiscal Year 2017 only students that have a total cost above $31,548 should be included on the report.  Those districts that have no students who meet that threshold are still required to submit a report.

We have made some changes for this year:

  • Students can have multiple lines if they have had more than one placement during the year
  • School districts will now have the option to see a summary sheet that will provide them the total adjustment if all costs are approved
  • An internal messaging system has been added if there are any questions
  • The form will auto-populate the school district contact based on information in the staff module and the person filling out the form based on the login information
  • The form will need to be certified by the business manager

The report can be located by logging into NEO at https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login

Questions about the report should be direct to Stephanie Clark at 624-6807.

FAQ on proficiency diplomas and students with disabilities

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has developed responses to various questions from the field about what IEP teams are permitted to do in developing IEPs in Maine’s proficiency based diploma system. The Q&A is placed under the topic heading “Policies, Procedures & Effective Implementation”. The link to the Q&A document is here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/support/policies/index.html

The Special Services webpage also includes a new webinar addressing students with reading difficulties and dyslexia. The webinar can be accessed here: http://maine.gov/doe/dyslexia/training/index.html

Guidelines for Local Entitlement Budget Modifications involving 10 percent or more of the total allocation may be found at http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/support/fiscal/documents/LEBudgetModificationFinal.pdf

Please direct any questions to the Maine DOE’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton at janice.breton@maine.gov.

Preliminary FY 2018 State subsidy printouts available

The Department is pleased to announce that the FY 2018 (2017-18 school year) preliminary State subsidy printouts, known as ED 279s, are now available here on our website:

http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/

These preliminary amounts are based on Governor LePage’s proposed biennial budget. Governor LePage’s FY18 budget proposal includes $991.3 million for general purpose aid for Maine schools and $1,002.4 billion for FY19. The Governor’s budget does propose changes to the current funding law, which include repealing the adjustment for Title I revenues when calculating the per pupil rate, increasing the targeted funds weight for K-2 from 10% to 15%, with a proposal to add grade 3 in FY 2019, and increasing the adjustment for those school units receiving a minimum special education adjustment to 33%.

The subsidy amounts for FY 2018 (2017-18) reflected on these printouts are only preliminary and do not represent final action of the 128th Maine Legislature and should therefore only be used as “initial” guidance for your budget preparations. Some calculations included in these amounts are dependent upon enactment of statutory changes. Please review your ED 279 printouts in order to familiarize yourself with the full scope of changes proposed in the Governor’s budget.

The Department hopes this release of the preliminary ED 279s is informative to your local budgeting preparations. If you have any questions as you review these printouts, please contact our School Finance Team via email:  tyler.backus@maine.gov or paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov or ida.batista@maine.gov or at 624-6790.

PRIORITY NOTICE: MaineCare Seed payment adjustments to be made, report review by March 13, 2017

The 2016-17 subsidy checks for General Purpose Aid for local schools will reflect adjustments in March 2017 for MaineCare Seed payments paid by the Maine DOE on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) for the following:

  • 2017 Quarter 1 MaineCare payment adjustments

Detailed student reports for Quarter 1 are now available in Infinite Campus (State Edition). Instructions for accessing MaineCare Seed Payment Reports in Infinite Campus are available here.

In March, 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 1 and report any issues on these reports no later than March 10, 2017. 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.

Priority Notice: Advance Data Review for FY 2018 ED 279 Subsidy Printouts

The Department’s School Finance Team has created reference documents for Superintendents and Business Managers to review in advance of receiving the preliminary FY 2018 ED 279 report. These documents highlight annual changes in school unit data which have direct impact to state subsidy calculation.

Proposed changes to the FY 2018 EPS funding model are included as part of the Governor’s biennial budget, on which the preliminary FY 2018 ED 279 report will be based.  In order for school units to evaluate the impact of those changes, it is important to understand the annual changes to a school unit’s student population, state valuation, debt service commitment and approved bus payments which will impact state subsidy, regardless of any other change in the EPS model or the funding distribution formula.  The documents at the link below detail the changes in these data points from the FY 2017 ED 279 to the preliminary FY 2018 ED 279:

http://www.maine.gov/education/data/eps/fy18/index.html

Please review these documents in advance of publication of the FY 2018 ED 279 reports to and should you have questions regarding this information, please contact the School Finance Team:  tyler.backus@maine.gov  paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov or ida.batista@maine.gov

Maine Department of Education to hold a Public Information Session in Biddeford on February 6th concerning Regional School Construction

Acting Commissioner Robert G. Hasson will lead a public information session, accompanied by representatives from the Maine Department of Education and the Senior Education Policy Advisor to Governor LePage. The next scheduled session will be held at University of New England in Biddeford on February 6th from 6:00 pm to 8 pm.

The information session will focus on providing answers to public questions concerning the recently announced 2017-2018 rating cycle for an innovative, regional school construction pilot. The “Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 School Construction 2017-2018 Rating Cycle Application” is now available on the Department website.

An additional evening information session will be held February 27th at the Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.

All questions and answers discussed at the session will be posted on the Department’s website.

Maine Department of Education to hold a Public Information Session in Presque Isle on February 1st concerning Regional School Construction

REVISED 1/30/16: A correction in the date of the Biddeford session has been made.

Acting Commissioner Robert G. Hasson will lead a public information session, accompanied by representatives from the Maine Department of Education and the Senior Education Policy Advisor to Governor LePage. The public session will be held from 6:00PM to 8:00PM on February 1st at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Campus Center, 181 Main Street, Presque Isle.

The information session will focus on providing answers to public questions concerning the recently announced 2017-2018 rating cycle for an innovative, regional school construction pilot. The “Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 School Construction 2017-2018 Rating Cycle Application” is now available on the Department website.

Additional evening information sessions will be held across Maine, including February 6th at the University of New England in Biddeford and February 27th at the Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.

All questions and answers discussed at the session will be posted on the Department’s website.

Approval of FY 2017 School Revolving Renovation Fund applications

Maine DOE has awarded $12.2 million in School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF) loans to 21 school districts. The loans will be used to complete 40 health, safety and compliance projects at 28 schools including structural roof repairs, indoor air quality improvements, ADA upgrades, and hazardous material removal. A portion of each loan is considered a grant and is forgiven while the remaining balance of the loan is paid back at a zero percent interest rate.

The complete list of approved projects can be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/doe/facilities/renovation/index.html.

For additional information about the SRRF program please contact Ann Pinnette at 624-6885 or ann.pinnette@maine.gov.