Teacher Shortage Areas For 2023-2024 School Year 

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) annually designates teacher shortage areas for the purposes of deferment of loan repayments or reductions of teaching obligation. The Maine Department of Education (DOE) recently requested input regarding designated teacher shortage areas for federal reporting and would like to thank all those who submitted information during the comment period. The comments related to teacher shortage enabled the DOE to add additional teaching endorsements to the USDOE proposal. The following are PreK-12 teacher shortage areas for the 2023-2024 school year:

  • General Elementary
  • Early Childhood
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • English/Language Arts (Middle and Secondary Level)
  • Mathematics (Middle and Secondary Level)
  • Science-Physical (Secondary Level)
  • Science-Life (Secondary Level)
  • Science (Middle Level)
  • Physical Education
  • World Languages
  • Visual Arts
  • Teacher of Students with Disabilities (See note below.)

In Maine, the annual teacher shortage list is utilized by the DOE to determine which endorsements are eligible for an emergency certificate.  It should be noted, however, that on October 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a memorandum to clarify the requirements of IDEA Part B, which outlines the expectations for the preparation and training of all special education teachers nationwide. Noted in the memo, special education certification or licensure requirements may not be waived.

For federal purposes, the benefits to student financial aid recipients, such as loan cancellations, are indicated in the following regulatory provisions:

  • 34 CFR 682.210(b)(5)(ii), (b)(7), (q), and (s) enable a borrower who had no outstanding Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan on July 1, 1987,  but who had an outstanding FFEL Program loan on July 1, 1993, to qualify for deferment of loan repayment under the Stafford Loan Program anytime within the life of the borrower’s loan(s) for up to three years of service as a full-time teacher in a private elementary or secondary school in a teacher shortage area designated by the Department, and as certified by the chief administrative officer of the particular school in which the borrower is teaching;
  • 34 CFR 674.53(c) enables Federal Perkins Loan borrowers who are full-time teachers of mathematics, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any other field of expertise where the State educational agency determined there is a shortage of qualified teachers to qualify for cancellation of up to 100 percent of the outstanding balance on the borrower’s Federal Perkins loans; and
  • 34 CFR 686.12(d) enables grant recipients to fulfill their teaching obligation under the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program (regarding the requirement to serve at least four academic years, within eight years of graduation) by teaching in a “high-need field,” which includes academic disciplines/subject areas identified as teacher shortage areas at the time the grant recipient begins teaching in that field.

Stafford Loan and Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS) borrowers who have questions concerning their loans, including the teacher shortage area deferment, can contact the Federal Student Aid Hotline at 1-800-4FED-AID.

Federal Perkins Loan borrowers should contact the school where they received the loan.

For questions related to the 2023-2024 shortage areas, please contact Michael Perry, Acting Director, Office of Higher Education and Educator Support Services, at michael.t.perry@maine.gov.

Registration Details for the DOE’s 2023 Educator Summit 

The countdown is on for the start of the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) 2023 Educator Summit, which is being held August 7-10 at the Augusta Civic Center. Last year’s inaugural Summit attracted more than 600 educators from across the state. This year’s theme is Inspiration, Innovation, and Inclusion and participants will have access to more than 140 sessions and professional learning opportunities.

Registration is open through July 19 and can be accessed here.

Here’s a full rundown of the exciting opportunities happening during the Summit:

  • View the full Summit schedule and presentation descriptions here.  
  • School Safety Summit. The second annual School Safety Summit will be held in conjunction with the Educator Summit over all four days. All educators, administrators, school personnel, school transportation providers, school nurses and counselors, school social workers, school resource officers, local law enforcement working with schools, juvenile community corrections officers, local emergency management providers, first responders, and all stakeholders involved in school safety are welcome to participate. The safety presentations are listed within the larger Summit, but are also offered in a separate list identified by the own “button” on the Summit landing page.
  • Community Schools. Is a School-Based Health Center a Community School? What do First Ten Schools and Communities have in common with the community school model? Should Maine invest energy in the community school model for the whole student/whole educator to be realized? Whether you have never heard of community schools, are currently in a pilot plan, or are fully immersed in any form of community school, join us and have your voice become part of the vision of Maine’s community school approach. This professionally facilitated day will be interactive and highly engaging. Make sure your community is represented!
  • The Transformational Leadership Network (TLN) will be holding their 2023-2024 “kick-off” for building principals during the Summit and is an all-day event.  To have a better understanding of what the TLN is and how it can enhance your success as a building principal please click here.
  • EASE Maine Collaboration. RSU 12, RSU 24, RSU 54, RSU 73, RSU 79, AND RSU 85, Eastport School Department, Jefferson School Department, and Lewiston School Department are invited to attend this session. This session is for EASE Maine SAUs and building leadership, mental health providers, and teacher leaders who can take the knowledge gained and replicate it for your own district staff! EASE Maine SAU should have AT LEAST TWO PARTICIPANTS IN ATTENDANCE. Please select one of 2 three-hour sessions, either morning or afternoon, on Wednesday, August 9. Sessions will guide the best support possible for your mental health providers to begin the year supporting trauma-informed practices for students and school personnel. Further opportunities to connect with Advisory and Core Team EASE members will be provided.
  • Teach in Maine. The 2023 Educator Summit is also initiating an opportunity for those interested in entering the world of public education to come to the Augusta Civic Center on Thursday, August 10th from noon to 4 p.m. to receive immediate help and information regarding the certification process.
  • Poster Contest. The DOE is excited to offer an opportunity for each school and/or SAU to showcase what they have to offer to a new teacher in terms of location, activities, professional development opportunities, etc.  The theme of the contest is “Why I love living and teaching in my community.”

    To participate in this friendly competition, you must: Submit on a laminated standard poster board with pictures/art that features the best of your community. The poster must be laminated and have the following information on the back of the poster: name, number, contact information, and location of your SAU. We will be hanging these posters on the hall walls of the Civic Center to add to the experience for attendees. An award will be given to the entry that receives the most votes from attendees. The award will be announced during lunch on August 10. You can bring the poster with you to the registration table upon arrival.  DO NOT MAIL TO THE DOE.

For more information contact teri.peaslee@maine.gov.

Comprehensive Electronic Health Record Pilot Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA #202305111)

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications from school administrative units (SAUs), publicly supported secondary schools, and Education in the Unorganized Territory (EUT) who meet eligibility requirements stated in RFA# 202305111. Using American Rescue Plan, state reservation funds, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) will cover costs of implementing a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system of up to $6000, which includes a nominal stipend for a school-designated EHR champion. This widespread pilot aims to show that maintaining an electronic health record is beneficial to both local schools and the State of Maine as it will increase the efficiency of services provided, decrease the burden of reporting health data, allow for data-informed decisions and policy, and increase revenue possibilities with MaineCare.

Eligible schools that are interested in the Comprehensive Electronic Health Record Pilot Grant Program opportunity may access the application through the Grant RFPs and RFAs webpage.

A timeline for the application process is provided below.

  • May 24, 2023 – Request for Applications (RFA) Released
  • June 15, 2023 – RFA Question submission deadline
  • July 12, 2023 – RFA Submission deadline

All questions about the Comprehensive Electronic Health Record Pilot RFA should be submitted to the Grant Coordinator: Emily Poland, Office of School and Student Supports, at Emily.Poland@Maine.gov. 

Third Round of Grant Funds Available to Support the Expansion of Public Pre-Ks 

As part of the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, Governor Mills allocated $10 million of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds appropriated for Maine for public pre-k infrastructure to increase the number of 4-year-olds enrolled in public pre-k across the state. For 2022-24 school years, 28 School Administrative Units (SAUs) were awarded funding to expand or start new Pre-K programs.

The Maine DOE is excited to add an additional round of public pre-k expansion funding for school year 2023-24.

Currently, public Pre-K in Maine is not universally available for all 4-year-olds. While the cognitive and social-emotional benefits of high-quality pre-k are well documented, there are a variety of factors that contribute to the ability of SAUs to offer public pre-k and the extent to which they can enroll all eligible 4-year-olds from interested families. This funding will help expand pre-k opportunities across Maine.

Maine SAUs interested in starting or expanding public pre-k are encouraged to apply for funding through the Pre-K Expansion Request for Applications (RFA). SAUs will be able to use the funding, in combination with Essential Programs and Services allocations, to start new pre-k programs, add additional pre-k classrooms to already existing programming, and/or expand existing programs from part-day/part-week to full-day/full-week programs. Funding may also support public pre-k programming through partnerships between SAUs and community providers.

A timeline for the RFA process is provided below.

  • January 5, 2023–RFA released
  • January 20, 2023—RFA submission deadline

All questions about the Pre-K Expansion RFA should be submitted to the Pre-K Expansion Grant Coordinator identified on the Grant RFPs and RFAs webpage.

Additional questions regarding this announcement should be directed to:
Pre-K RFA Coordinator, jane.kirsling@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Filing of New Proposed Chapter 117: Rules Regarding the Duties of School Counselors and School Social Workers

Through analysis of feedback from state professional organizations and education professionals and under the authority of state statute 20-A MRSA §4008-A, the Maine Department of Education is proposing a new Chapter 117 Rule. The proposed rule will positively impact professional school staff by defining the scope and duties of these dynamic positions and creating a foundation for continued guidance. This new rule highlights how the important, and complimentary roles of school counselors and school social workers, fit into an overall school structure of support for students.

As required by law, a period of public comment opens today, October 5, 2022 through November 14, 2022. Written comments may be submitted to DOE Legislative Team member Laura Cyr, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine 04333; 207-446-8791 or laura.cyr@maine.gov until 5:00 pm November 14, 2022.

In addition, a public hearing for the proposed new rule will be held in person and virtually on October 24, 2022, 9:00-11:00 am at Burton Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine 04333, Room 500. As space will be limited, participants are encouraged to attend virtually through Zoom, using this link:

Topic: Chapter 117 Public Hearing

Time: Oct 24, 2022 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 857 5543 8271

One tap mobile

+16469313860,,85755438271# US

+13017158592,,85755438271# US (Washington DC)

Meeting ID: 857 5543 8271

Find your local number: https://mainestate.zoom.us/u/kfMAsmdll


Timeline for Rulemaking for Chapter 117 – New, Major Substantive

File: September 27, 2022

Post: October 5, 2022

Comment Period End: November 14, 2022

The proposed new rule Chapter 117 can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/doe/about/laws/rulechanges

You may also submit comments to the following location: https://forms.office.com/g/4Me8XEPkgf

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING (include name, mailing address, telephone, fax, TTY, email):

Laura Cyr, laura.cyr@maine.gov, 446-8791