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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO. 20

POLICY CODE: DD

 

TO:                  Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Vocational School Directors, Special Education Directors, Presidents of Maine Professional Educational Associations

 

FROM:             J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE:             March 7, 2002

 

RE:                   Rural Education Initiative

 

On January 8, 2002 President Bush signed the Federal Education Bill called No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).  This historic piece of legislation, which was enacted with strong bipartisan support, will help ensure that all children receive a high-quality education and reach challenging academic achievement standards.  One of the components of this legislation is the Rural Education Initiative which, in a rural state like Maine, offers flexibility and resources beyond the regular federal formula grants. 

 

   The Rural Education Initiative is made up of two programs:  (1) the Small, Rural School Grant Program; and (2) the Rural and Low-Income School Program.  Districts granted funds under the Small, Rural School Grant Program are not eligible to receive funds under the Rural and Low-Income School Program.   The United States Department of Education will award funds on a formula basis, by State, proportionate to the number of students in average daily attendance served by eligible local educational agencies in the State compared to the number of all such students served by eligible local educational agencies in all States.  Districts would still receive their NCLB funding as well if they participate in either program.

 

  In addition, the REAP Alternative Uses of Funds Authority will be available again this year. This option was in place last year and permitted participating districts flexibility in selecting the types of projects in which they would apply to participate and in transferring funds for these activities. Even if an eligible district does not receive supplemental funds under the Rural Education Initiative, the flexibility to use funds under REAP will be available to participating districts, along with the two grant programs.

 

   For Maine to receive funds under this program, we must collect the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure of all the schools in your district from the beginning of this 2001-2002 school year to December 1, 2001.  This number, combined with that of other districts, will generate funds for the State of Maine to be used in this program.  We need this information from you by March 20, 2002 to meet the federal reporting requirement.

 

            Even if your district chooses not to participate in either of the Rural Education Initiative Programs, the Secretary of Education will use your information to generate the State’s allotment from which Maine will then award grants to eligible districts either competitively or on a formula basis.  Thus, even if your district chooses not to participate, we will need the relevant average daily attendance figure described above no later than March 20, 2002 to meet the federal reporting requirement.

 

            We also need to know if you intend to participate in these programs.  Please indicate your preference on the form attached and an application will be sent to those districts wishing to participate when it is made available to us.

 

            The United States Department of Education requests that we inform you that, at the time you apply for funds, you will need to have a D-U-N-S number.   LEAs that do not have a D-U-N-S number may obtain one now by calling 1-800-333-0505 or by completing the D-U-N-S number request form that can be obtained via the Internet at http://www.dnb.com web site.   The United States Department of Education is developing short, simple application forms for these rural education programs and the Maine Department of Education will provide them to you as soon as they are available.

 

            Attached is a copy of the form called the Rural Education Information Form.  It is on the Department’s website as both an MSWORD and an HTML document; the address is www.maine.gov/education/iasa/rural on the web.  Please complete this form and return it by March 20, 2002. It can be submitted by mail, email, fax or hand delivery. 

 

            If you have any questions, please contact the Rural Education Grant Coordinator, Dennis Kunces, at the Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023, 624-6815 (with voicemail), 624-6791 (fax), or dennis.kunces@state.me.us (email)

 

 

 

 

 


 

Rural Education Information Form

 

Please complete the Rural Education Information Form to assist the State in collecting data used to determine the amount of funding that will be made available to us under the two grant programs that are part of the Rural Education Initiative, and to indicate whether or not you plan to participate in any of the rural programs.  Please supply the data whether or not you will participate in either of the two grant programs or the REAP alternative. 

 

To be eligible for either grant, you must: supply the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for your district; check “Yes’ in the “Plans to Participate” box; and have, or have applied for, a D-U-N-S number.

 

 

District Name __________________________________________________________________

            Note:  Each town in a school union is considered a separate school district.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for all schools in your district from the start of the 2001-2002 school year to December 1, 2001 is:  ____________

 

 

My district intends to participate in Rural Education Initiative program(s) or to be able to use the flexibility provision of the REAP Alternative Uses of Funds Provision of the No Child Left Behind legislation.

   [    ]  Yes                 [    ]  No

 

Districts, at the time they apply for funds, must have a D-U-N-S number.   LEAs that do not have a D-U-N-S number may obtain one now by calling 1-800-333-0505 or by completing the D-U-N-S number request form that can be obtained via the Internet at http://www.dnb.com on the web.  The United States Department of Education is developing short, simple application forms for these rural education programs and the Maine Department of Education will provide them to you as soon as they are available.

 

Our nine-digit D-U-N-S number is  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  or [  ] we have applied for a D-U-N-S number.

 

 

            _________________________________________    ___________________________

                        Signature, Superintendent of Schools                                             Date

           

Email address ________________________________________________________________

 

Return by March 20, 2002 to:

 

Dennis Kunces

Rural Education Initiative Program

Maine Department of Education

23 State House Station, Cross State Office Building, 5th Floor

Augusta, ME  04333-0023.

 

Fax to 624-6791, or email to dennis.kunces@state.me.us

 

For more information contact Dennis Kunces at 624-6815, or by email at the above email address.