Category Archives: Funding

PRIORITY NOTICE: Deadline for Small, Rural School Achievement funding is June 30th

This is an urgent reminder for those districts that are eligible to receive Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) funding.  Please note that June 30, 2017 is the final date to submit your grant application.  Your FY 2017 Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) grant application must be completely entered in Grants.gov by 4:30 p.m. in order to receive funding for 2017-18. In past years this money had been automatically set aside for you and because of the changes with ESSA, now you must complete the application annually.

To complete the application, your district must have a DUNS number that is active and registered in the System for Award Management, and you must register in https://www.grants.gov as an “Organization Applicant.” Additional details about the application process and requirements are available on the USDOE SRSA website’s Applicant Information page.

If you have not yet submitted your application, please do so as soon as possible before June 30. If you need assistance completing the application, consider attending one of the ongoing SRSA application walk-through web seminars sponsored by USDOE on the following dates:

For additional information, please contact Dan Weeks at Daniel.R.Weeks@maine.gov or 207-624-6749.

DC&R Financial and Compliance Forms incorrectly shown as overdue

The Data Collection and Reporting (DC&R) System went live earlier this year as a replacement for the Missing Reports system the Department previously used to inform school systems, and the public, when reports are coming due, or had not been received. During the transition to DC&R, historical information for the financial reports was used to determine if reports were received. These reports include actual expenditures, actual revenue, actual balance sheet, budget expenditure, budget revenue, EF-S-07, EF-S-214, and audits. Unfortunately, as Missing Reports did not include some of the reports, reports that are currently showing as not received, have in fact been received by the Department.

The School Finance and Compliance Team is working to update DC&R to correctly display which reports have not been received. All current forms are being checked in manually until an automated process is established. Please contact Maine DOE School Finance and Compliance Coordinator Tyler Backus at tyler.backus@maine.gov with any questions.

 

Important Title VI Small Rural Schools Achievement (SRSA) program update

The US Department of Education will be sponsoring a series of webinars now through June 28 to assist eligible Title VI SRSA districts with the online application process. The webinars will provide a walk-through designed to take applicants from the start to the finish. An information sheet, including dates, times and links for registration can be found here. Register early as space is limited to 350 seats for each webinar session. For questions, please contact Maine DOE’s Title VI Director Daniel Weeks at Daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov or 624-6749.

 

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