PRIORITY NOTICE: Updates Regarding ESEA Dashboard, Data Correction, and Federal Accountability under ESSA

This notice provides an update to the original timeline released in the DOE newsroom on March 11, 2019 regarding School Year (SY) 2018/19 data correction requests, the timeline for the release of the ESEA Dashboard, and the implementation of the federal accountability model under ESSA.

Data requests submitted to the Maine DOE by the February 8, 2019 deadline were reviewed, amended if necessary with the updated data sets, and uploaded to the ESEA Dashboard. The original timeline indicated the Data Dashboards would be provided to Superintendents for review on Monday, April 15, 2019.  The Department is currently in the process of conducting Quality Assurance (QA), ensuring the accuracy of presented data sets, and therefore the Dashboards were not available for District and School review on April 15, 2019. Once the QA process has concluded, district and school leaders will be notified and provided two (2) weeks to review the information provided. The ESEA Dashboard will become available prior to the conclusion of SY 2018-19.

As a result of a Maine DOE leadership phone conversation with the US Department of Education (USDE) on December 12, 2018, a subsequent phone call on March 8, 2019, and written feedback provided to the Maine DOE on March 15, 2019 related to Maine’s ESSA amendment, the Maine DOE was directed to resubmit clarifying information on April 8, 2019 to the USDE for review.  USDE has verified receipt of the clarifying information, and the Maine DOE awaits their feedback so that the process can proceed.

During this time of pause, the Maine DOE has secured state funding to support the provision of virtual coaching to schools that the Maine DOE anticipates will be eligible to receive additional support when amendments to Maine’s ESSA State plan are approved.  Participation in the virtual coaching is currently optional, with many eligible schools taking advantage of this support.

Maine DOE has requested an extension, until August 31, 2019, to officially make school identifications, and has requested the period of availability of 1003(a) funds be extended until September 30, 2020. These extensions will allow the Maine DOE to ensure the Department is able to align available federal funds to the identification timeline, therefore ensuring the availability of financial supports to schools.

Please know that the Maine DOE continues to do everything conceivable to ensure Maine has an equitable federal accountability model that honors stakeholder feedback and Maine’s small, rural context.

 

 

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Information Regarding ESEA Dashboard and Implementation of the Federal Accountability Model Under ESSA

Dear District and School Leaders,

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding School Year (SY) 2018-19 data correction requests, the timeline for the release of the ESEA Dashboard, and implementation of the federal accountability model under ESSA.

Data requests submitted to the Maine DOE by the February 8, 2019 deadline will be completed by Friday, March 15, 2019. The updated data sets will be uploaded to the ESEA Dashboard and provided to Superintendents for review on Monday, April 15, 2019. The review period will end on Monday, April 29, 2019. After April 29, 2019, no further data corrections will be possible. The ESEA Dashboard will be publicly  available later in SY 2018-19.

Maine DOE leadership had a phone conversation with the US Department of Education (USDE) on December 12, 2018 to discuss Maine’s ESSA amendment. During this conversation Maine DOE staff members outlined Maine’s proposed amendment. USDE did not indicate required revisions to Maine DOE during the call or provide written follow-up. The Maine DOE submitted the amendment on December 14, 2018.

The Maine DOE leadership emailed USDE leaders several times over the past three months to inquire about the ESSA amendment status. To meet USDE’s required timeline for implementation, the previous administration instructed Maine DOE leaders to move forward with the implementation of the ESEA Dashboard and federal accountability system, without regard to the status of Maine’s amended ESSA Plan.

Under my leadership, Maine DOE leaders expressed concern regarding the implementation of the federal accountability model without federal approval of Maine’s amended model. After gaining a deeper understanding of the concerns expressed by Maine DOE leaders, I called Frank Brogan, Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, to inquire about the status of Maine’s amendment. As a result of that call, a meeting was scheduled with USDE staffers and Maine DOE leadership for Friday, March 8, 2019.  During the call, Maine DOE leadership connected with USDE to discuss Maine’s amended ESSA plan, which had been submitted to them on December 14, 2018. Given the USDE’s recent feedback provided during the March 8, 2019 call, the Maine DOE suspects current anticipated school identifications will likely remain unchanged. However, Maine DOE believes USDE’s proposed revisions will require Maine to identify additional schools. The Maine DOE expects to receive written feedback from USDE by Friday, March 15, 2019.

In light of these developments, Maine DOE will request an extension to make school identifications during SY 2019-20. Please know that the Maine DOE is doing everything conceivable to ensure Maine has an equitable federal accountability model that honors stakeholder feedback and Maine’s small, rural context.

Pender Makin
Commissioner
Maine Department of Education

PRIORITY NOTICE: Reminder to Review and Report any District Data Errors in 2019/20 Subsidy Printouts (ED 279s) by March 15, 2019

The Maine Department of Education would like to acknowledge the hard work of school districts in ensuring that the data they submit to the Department is as accurate as possible. Each year there are a handful of data errors that districts notice after the release of the ED 279 printouts and these can have a significant impact on subsidy.

The Department encourages school districts to examine their ED 279 printouts as closely as possible to identify any possible data errors. Any districts who have found an error in their data are encouraged to report this as soon as possible to the Department of Education’s School Finance Team. Errors must be identified and reported within 30 days of the posting of the preliminary ED 279s.

While we cannot guarantee a complete financial correction for errors that have been made because of inaccurate data submitted by school districts, we will work hard to mitigate the impact on your district to the greatest extent possible. (The Department will always make fiscal corrections in the event that an error is made on our end – this notice pertains to inaccurate data submitted by school districts). As corrections are submitted, they will be placed on a list for review in the order received. As a reminder, any financial corrections in subsidy are made after the state budget has passed the legislature.

To better understand where and why errors might occur, here is a list of reports that impact the ED 279 subsidy calculation and a list of deadlines. We send out reminders around these reports, and encourage superintendents and business office staff members to carefully examine the data before submitting and certifying it; this will help to avoid issues that emerge after the release of the ED 279 printouts.

Should you have questions regarding subsidy printouts or to report an error, please contact our friendly, smart, and helpful school finance team: Tyler Backus at tyler.backus@maine.gov; Paula Gravelle at paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov; or Ida Batista at ida.batista@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Data Submission Correction Process Now Available; February 8 Deadline

Recognizing the collection of attendance data remains relatively new to Maine schools and districts and in response to school and district feedback, the Maine Department of Education is pleased to provide an opportunity for schools to correct errors related to data in the following three (3) areas:

  • Chronic Absenteeism
  • Student Group Indicators (misidentification, students not identified, etc.)
  • Full Academic Year Status

Revised data sets will update elements related to federal reporting for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) including schools’ eligibility to receive support under ESSA and the ESSA Data Dashboards (formerly called Report Cards).

For data related to the 2018 school year, requests to correct data from Superintendents must be submitted to MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov by Friday, February 8, 2019 at 4 p.m. The following information must be included with the correction request:

  • A description of why the data is thought to be in error and why the correction is warranted
  • Contact name and email of the person responsible for resubmitting the data (if applicable)

Below is the proposed timeline for review and amendment of data:

February 11 -22, 2019:
Maine DOE will send a survey to the identified contact to solicit questions to help with the review of the request and validate data to be corrected.

March 1, 2019:
Survey and revised data set is due back to Maine DOE by 4 pm.
Please note: If the data is incorrect due to district error, the request should include if the district requires additional support from the Maine DOE and district next steps to correct the error for 2018-2019 data. A Data Correction Template is available here.

March 4-15, 2019:
Maine DOE will retrieve data sets and recalculate appropriate data sets.

The Department is working on to refine this process for each school year going forward, and will provide further information on the DOE website.

Also, as a reminder, upon completion of data revisions, districts and schools will be provided the opportunity to review the ESSA Data Dashboards prior their public release.

Further questions should be directed to Charlotte Ellis, Education Data Manager at Charlotte.Ellis@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Update Regarding the Release if the ED 279 Subsidy Printouts

The Maine Department of Education has been working as quickly and efficiently as possible to calculate and prepare the ED 279 Subsidy Printouts as we know that school districts rely on this information to set their local budget.

The Department is pleased to report that the technology issues that were identified earlier on in the process have been completely cleared up. The only remaining element needed to complete the printouts is the General Purpose Aid (GPA) amount. That amount will come from the Governor’s budget which is scheduled for release on February 8th.

Once we receive this amount, we will be able to load it into the formula to complete the process. The anticipated release of the ED 279 Subsidy Printouts is February 15, 2019 at the very latest. We sincerely hope to complete them even sooner.

Further information will be available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.