EF-S-214 Data Entry Deadline Extended to May 15.

The Department’s School Finance Team needs the EF-S-214 data in order to calculate and apply any adjustments to the ED 279s prior to year-end.

The EF-S-214 was opened to Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs) on March 1st for data entry.  We are providing as much time as we can to SAUs to get this data entry completed, but it MUST be entered no later than May 15th. This timeline will allow us to apply eligible adjustments to the current year High Cost Out-of-District allocation prior to the end of the fiscal year.

Given the uniqueness of the current situation, the School Finance Team is providing SAUs two options when filling out their EF-S-214.

  • If the SAU is continuing to pay for the out of district placement, it would report cost up to the end of the fiscal year, as they would under normal circumstances.
  • If a SAU has stopped paying tuition for out of district placements, they would report what they have spent up to this point in the fiscal year, instead of estimating the cost to the end of the year.

Only students that meet the threshold for being high cost and where the SAU is not reimbursed should be reported on the EF-S-214.

The EF-S-214 report may be found by logging into NEO at:  https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login

Please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Review and Compliance Consultant at: Stephanie.Clark@maine.gov or 207-624-6807.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Urging States to Continue Educating Students with Disabilities, Secretary DeVos Publishes New Resource on Accessibility and Distance Learning Options

New Fact Sheet Provides Additional Information on How Distance Learning Can be Used to Meet Students’ Needs During COVID-19 National Emergency

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the Department has released new information clarifying that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering distance learning opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities. This new resource from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) explains that as a school district takes necessary steps to address the health, safety, and well-being of all its students and staff, educators can use distance learning opportunities to serve all students.

“It was extremely disappointing to hear that some school districts were using information from the Department of Education as an excuse not to educate kids,” said Secretary DeVos. “This is a time for creativity and an opportunity to pursue as much flexibility as possible so that learning continues. It is a time for all of us to pull together to do what’s right for our nation’s students.”

“Nothing issued by this Department should in any way prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction,” she continued. “We need schools to educate all students out of principle, rather than educate no students out of fear. These are challenging times, but we expect schools to rise to the occasion, and the Department stands ready to assist you in your efforts.”

As the fact sheet states, schools “… should not opt to close or decline to provide distance instruction, at the expense of students, to address matters pertaining to services for students with disabilities. Rather, school systems must make local decisions that take into consideration the health, safety, and well-being of all their students and staff. To be clear: ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act should not prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction.”

To help schools provide distance learning in compliance with federal law, this fact sheet explains:

  • The Department recognizes that exceptional circumstances may affect how special education and related services and supports are provided to students with disabilities, and the Department will offer flexibility.
  • School districts must provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities, and the provision of FAPE may include, as appropriate, special education and related services that can be provided via computer, internet, or phone.
  • Although online learning must be accessible to students with disabilities, federal law does not mandate the specific methodologies by which distance education must be provided.
  • In instances where technology is not accessible or where educational materials are not available in an accessible format, educators may still meet their legal obligations by providing equally effective alternate access to the curriculum or services provided to other students.

The Department will continue to work with state and local leaders to identify any additional areas where it can provide resources to support educators in their important work, and both OCR and OSERS are available to provide technical assistance during these uncertain times. The Department continues to update www.ed.gov/coronavirus with information for students, parents, educators, and local leaders about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following website: www.coronavirus.gov.

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Clarification on Proposal of MaineCare Benefits Manual Section 106, School-Based Services 

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, MaineCare filed the proposed Section 106, School-Based Services rule (Chapters II and III) with the Secretary of State’s office. At that time, a version of the proposed rule was shared publicly, although the rulemaking documents will not be available online until January 29, 2020, as per the standard Administrative Procedure Act (APA) process. 

Since that time, the public hearing has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at the Augusta Civic Center. This change, and other formatting changes to the proposed rule, will be posted online on January 29, 2020. At that time, MaineCare Services will send out a e-message notice and email to its Interested Parties, with a link to the proposed rule. 

In the meantime, MaineCare requests that any interested parties who would like to submit public comments, please wait until the public comment period has opened on February 18, 2020.  We apologize for any confusion this has caused.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Trista Collins, State Medicaid Educational Liaison.

MaineCare Seed adjustments to be made, review Q1-20 reports by January 15, 2020

The recovery of Q1-20 MaineCare Seed will occur in the January 2020 subsidy payment, and the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) is asking School Administrative Units (SAUs) to review their reports by January 15, 2020 to ensure accurate adjustments to subsidy. SAU staff must review student by student claims on both the public and private MaineCare reports for Q1-20 by January 15, 2020.

To access the MaineCare Seed reports, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Log into NEO using the link below

https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/neo/Dashboard

Anyone who currently has Special Education Director permissions to the Special Education module will automatically have permissions to access MaineCare reports.

As in the past, if a new staff member needs permission to access this module, a request from the Superintendent to the Maine DOE helpdesk will be necessary. The helpdesk contact information is medms.helpdesk@maine.gov or 207-624-6896.

  1. Click on the Student Data tab
  2. Click on the Student Report tab
  3. Select MaineCare in the Reporting Area drop-down
  4. Choose the quarterly Seed report and the report type (private/public)
  5. Click view report button
  6. Once the report appears on the screen, choose the export button.

You may export the reports to Excel, but please be aware that there may be multiple worksheet tabs within the workbook. Save the file to your computer.

If you disagree that a particular student or time period should be on the report, please provide the reason that you disagree, along with the following, to Denise.towers@maine.gov.

  • Identify the type of report (public or private) and the quarter in which the claims are located.
  • State Student ID
  • Service provided dates (From and To)
  • Total amount of Seed being disputed

Summer services: Students must be enrolled for the time period they are receiving educational services. This means that students that are receiving extended school year services in district, or extended school year services in an out of district placement, must have a primary enrollment for that time period in order for the MDOE to have the most accurate enrollment data to determine SAU responsibility for MaineCare Seed.

For more information or technical assistance related to MaineCare Seed, please contact Denise.towers@maine.gov.