PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE announces alternative rural and low-income federal allocation formula; more districts now eligible for funds

The Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) received notification that its proposed Title V, Part B, Sub Part 2 allocation formula, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) in November 2017, has been approved. The approved alternative formula provides increases funding through the Title V Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) grant to districts that have higher poverty rates.

Contained in their April 5, 2018 approval email the U.S. DOE indicated the following:

“We appreciate your patience as we carefully considered whether Maine’s proposed alternative RLIS funding formula meets the standard under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(C) that an alternative formula better target RLIS funds to LEAs serving the highest concentrations of children from families below the poverty line.  We have determined that your proposed formula meets this standard given that, in general, LEAs with the highest percentages of low-income children will receive higher awards than they would under the current ADA-based formula under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(B).”

The new RLIS formula divides the Title V, Part B, Sub part 2 state allocation between poverty (70%) and Average Daily Attendance ADA (30%). Under the alternative distribution, there are some districts that will receive less funding under Title V, however, overall more districts and students will be served. The alternative formula provides a more equitable distribution of the funds across the State, including:

  • 71 Districts (up from 55) will receive funding from the RLIS grant
  • 67,608 students (up from 64,740) will be served by RLIS grant funds

The Title V RLIS grant will be included in the ESEA Consolidated Application with Title IA, II, III, and IVA for FY19.

Further questions regarding the formula or to better understand the calculation process contact Maine DOE Title V Coordinator, Daniel Weeks, at 207-624-6749 or daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov.

Maine Education Financial System to update identification numbers for uploads

The Maine Education Financial System will be moving from MEDMS IDs to ORG IDs on July 1, 2018. Over the past few years the Maine Department of Education data collection systems have been migrating towards using ORG IDs to identify School Administrative Units, and other organizations, in their data collection systems.

Starting on July 1, 2018 the Maine Education Financial System will also use the new ORG IDs for all uploads from the school accounting systems.

ORG ID can be located at the top of the ED 279, on each page, to the left of the SAU name. ED 279s can be located here: http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/

School units should work with their vendor to update this field for the export that their local accounting system creates. Starting July 1, 2018 if a school administrative unit is still using the MEDMS ID their file will not upload to the Maine Education Financial System.

For further information contact Tyler Backus, School Finance & Compliance Coordinator at 207-624-6635 or Tyler.Backus@maine.gov.

Preparation for April Attending Student Report

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) is in the process of preparing an April Attending Student Report for the purpose of calculating tuition rates. In preparation for this report, it is vital that each school administrative unit (SAU) keeps their attendance data accurate as well as complete.

The April Attending Student Report will be based on the SAUs attending students as of April 1st and will be due by June 30, 2018.

It is expected that the report will be available mid to late April. Once it is ready, the Attending Report will be available in the Maine DOE’s NEO system within the student data link-under the student reports tab with the title “April Attending Student Report”.

Please continue to monitor future DOE updates in the Maine DOE Newsroom about instructions and webinars regarding this reporting requirement.

If you are unable to login to NEO, contact the Helpdesk 624-6896 for assistance.

If you have questions about the report please contact Travis Wood at 624-6742.

MaineCare Seed adjustments to be made, review Q218 reports by April 13, 2018

The recovery of Q218 MaineCare Seed will occur in the April 2018 subsidy payment and the Maine DOE is asking Districts to review their reports to ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy. SAU staff must review student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q218 by April 13, 2018.

To access the MaineCare Seed reports, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into NEO using the link below

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard

Anyone who currently has permissions to the Special Education modular, will automatically have permissions to access MaineCare reports.

As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this modular, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary.

  1. Click on the Student Data tab
  1. Click on the Student Report tab
  1. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  1. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  1. Click view report button
  2. Once the report appears on the screen, choose the export button.

You may export the reports to Excel but, please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree along with the following to Denise.towers@maine.gov.

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

Summer services: Students must be enrolled for the time period they are receiving educational services. This means that students that are receiving extended school year services in district or extended school year services in an out of district placement must have a primary enrollment for that time period in order for the MDOE to have the most accurate enrollment data to determine SAU responsibility for MaineCare Seed.

For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise.towers@maine.gov.

EPS High-Cost Out-of-District Report (EF-S-214) open for reporting on March 1

The EF-S-214 will be open to Maine public schools on March 1 for data entry.  School administrative unit staff responsible for completion of this report should complete the report in NEO as early as possible to allow time for certification by the special service director and the business manager. The Department’s School Finance Team must approve the report by April 15 in order to apply eligible adjustments to the current year subsidy calculation before the end of the fiscal year.

The EF-S-214 report is required to be submitted by all publicly funded school administrative units. Only costs for tuition and board should be included in the report, and only students that have a total cost above $36,229 should be included on the report.  School administrative units should project the costs for the remainder of the fiscal year.  For those school administrative units with no students that will meet that threshold, a “zero” report should be submitted.

Reminder of changes made to the report since the last reporting cycle:

  • The form is to be certified and submitted by the business manger
  • The ability to import out of district placements is now available
  • Students can have multiple lines if they have had more than one placement during the year
  • There is now the option to view a summary sheet which provides a total adjustment amount, if all costs are approved
  • An internal messaging system has been added to communicate questions
  • The form will auto-populate the school administrative unit contact information based on data on file in the Department’s NEO staff module

The EF-S-214 report may be found by logging into NEO at: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login

Please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Review and Compliance Consultant at stephanie.clark@maine.gov