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.

Priority Notice: Report Card Release to be Delayed

The Maine Department of Education will be delaying the public release of the Report Cards. It was originally anticipated that the Report Cards would be released to the public on January 7, 2019. After receiving feedback following a soft release to superintendents on December 28, 2018, the Department has decided to delay the public release in order to continue working with school and district administrators to ensure the information in the Report Cards is both accurate and clear.

The Department would like to thank the field for their critical feedback during the Report Card preview. Your prompt and thorough responses have been extremely beneficial. We would like to assure you that the Department will continue working through your questions and inquires prior to the public release.

Thank you for your patience.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Information for Schools About National Day of Mourning

As part of the National Day of Mourning that has been declared for Wednesday, December 5, 2018 in honor of President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday, November 30, Governor Paul R. LePage has directed that all executive branch State of Maine offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Please be aware that public schools are not covered by this directive.

In a public statement released yesterday, Governor LePage stated, “I encourage our schools to use the National Day of Mourning as an important opportunity to learn about the life and legacy of President Bush, including such potential topics as the American Presidency, World War II and the Cold War. Schools should exercise their judgement as to age-appropriateness regarding watching the State Funeral.”

If schools opt to recognize the National Day of Mourning by closing school, they may use extra days built into their school calendar, the same as for a storm closure or other unexpected closures. A closure on the December 5, 2018 National Day of Mourning will not reduce the minimum requirement of 180 school days and 175 instructional days, pursuant to Title 20-A, Chapter 209.