Category Archives: News & Views

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.

Maine Seeks Feedback on IDEA Part C Family Cost Participation Policy

The Maine Department of Education is seeking comments from the public on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Family Cost Participation Fee Policy which is used in relation to services for young children birth through age two with disabilities.

Maine is required to submit to the U.S. Department of Education a Family Cost Participation Fee Policy. The General Education Provisions Act requires that the State publish each proposed policy in a manner that will ensure circulation throughout the state at least 60 days prior to the date on which the policy is submitted or on which the policy becomes effective, with an opportunity for public comments to be accepted on the policy for at least 30 days.

The public, including superintendents, special education directors and CDS Regional Site Directors are encouraged to review the policy, which can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/idea/index.html and submit comments.

Written comments will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2017. Please send comments to Roy Fowler at 23 State House Station; Augusta, ME 04333 or via email at roy.fowler@maine.gov .

PRIORITY NOTICE – Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards effective 7/1/17

This Priority Notice is being resent – originally issued Jan. 5, 2017.

All School Districts with Public Preschool Programs Established before 2015-16

As you will recall, the Maine Department of Education Regulation, Chapter 124: Public Preschool Program Standards go into effect July 1, 2017 for all SAUs.  In order to ensure that your local child count in the public preschool program is included in the NEO system for the 2017-18 school year you will need to complete an application located at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ExistingPublicPreK

The Maine DOE is asking all superintendents to complete this application (unless you are submitting an application for a new program or have had an application approved for the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year).  The information included in the application will demonstrate how the district complies with the new standards and will collect data on potential challenges in aligning programs with Chapter 124 regulation.   This information will help the DOE determine the types of support that may be needed in order to assist districts in addressing these issues.

Please make sure you complete the entire application; at the end you will find a list of areas where you can indicate where there are alignment challenges for your preschool program. For more information please contact Sue Reed, Early Childhood Specialist, susan.d.reed@maine.gov  624-6632.

This application is due by March 31, 2017.

Save the date: 2017 Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents

The 106th Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents will be held  June 26 & 27 at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center in Bar Harbor.

Registration information and conference materials will be available in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Georgette Valliere at 624-6605 or georgette.valliere@maine.gov .

Maine seeks feedback on IDEA Part C application

Maine is seeking input on its application for the Part C (birth to three) early intervention program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA. The Part C budget included in the application is for State Fiscal year 2018.

The General Education Provisions Act requires that the State publish each proposed annual application in a manner that will ensure circulation throughout the State at least 60 days prior to the date on which the plan is submitted to the Secretary of Education or on which date the plan is effective.

The public, including superintendents, special education directors and CDS Regional Site Directors are encouraged to review the application, which can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/idea/index.html

Written comments will be accepted through April 19, 2017 and can be submitted to Roy Fowler: 146 State House Station; Augusta, ME 0433 or via email at roy.fowler@maine.gov .

 

Priority Notice: Transportation EFT-21 and EFT-24 annual report due date extension

EFT-21 and Transportation Safety and Training Report and EFT-24 Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report due date extension

The due date for the year-end Transportation Vehicle Mileage and Operations Annual Data Report (EFT-24) and the Transportation Safety and Training Report (EFT-21) have been extended to March 31, 2017 in order to accommodate design updates.  The new updated reports will open March 1, 2016.

Between March 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016 all districts must complete and certify FY16 data for both reports.  Submit your data early.  Districts that reported EFT-21 or EFT-24 FY16 data before March 1, 2016 must log into the NEO data system to answer a few new questions, review data, and complete superintendent certification.  This extension is the last due date extension for transportation annual reports EFT-21 and EFT-24.

Delayed and late reports will lead to withheld subsidy until reports are received per Title 20-A §6801-A §§2.

For policy questions regarding the EFT-21 or EFT-24, contact Pat Hinckley at pat.hinckley@maine.gov.

For assistance with access to NEO data system, contact the Maine DOE helpdesk at medms.helpdesk@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

Priority Notice: Maine DOE and DHHS release joint guidance regarding foster care provisions

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS) has collaborated to release initial joint information regarding provisions under the Every Student Succeeds Act for children in foster care. To ensure compliance with Federal Statute, the DOE has designated ESEA Director – Title I, Janette Kirk, to oversee the implementation of the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and serve as a point of contact for OCFS.  To view the official notice, click here.

The goal of ESSA is for children in foster care to experience minimal disruption in their education as a result of being placed in foster care and that they are given the same opportunities to develop the necessary skills to be successful as children who are not in foster care.

Under ESSA the Maine DOE and OCFS must work together to ensure:

  • A child in foster care will enroll or remain enrolled in the child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to attend that school.
  • If a determination is made that is not in the child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child will immediately be enrolled in a new school, even if the child and/or his or her guardians are unable to produce records normally required for enrollment; and
  • The child’s new school must immediately contact the school of origin to obtain relevant records.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed on Dec. 10, 2015 and amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The ESSA contains provisions related to protections for children in foster care and require the Maine DOE and school districts to collaborate with the OCFS to ensure educational stability for children in foster care.

Further information will be shared during a conference call on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 11am -12:30 pm. To access the presentation please use the following information:

URL:                 http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/r2kkcalf1rf/

Conference Number(s):        (877) 455-0244

Conference Code:               8223978943

 

For further information, please contact Janette Kirk, ESEA Director – Title I at 624-6707 or janette.kirk@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.