Category Archives: Funding

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.

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.