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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 25

 

POLICY CODE: DB

 

 

                                                           

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools and School Board Chairs

 

FROM:            J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE:             May 29, 2002

 

RE:                   Essential Programs and Services and Reporting Requirements

 

 

This letter is to inform you that the Legislature enacted Public Law Chapter 660 (L.D. 2103) “An Act Regarding Essential Programs & Services” and Governor King signed the bill into law on April 10, 2002. 

 

This legislation requires the Department of Education and the State Board of Education to continue with the development of a school funding formula based on Essential Programs & Services.  One requirement of this legislation is that I present the State Board of Education with two recommended funding levels for 2003-04 in December of this year.  One funding level will be based on current statute and the second alternative funding level will be based on the Essential Programs & Services model. 

 

By January 15, 2003, the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education shall report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs with recommendations and proposed statutory language for full implementation of a system of school funding and accountability for resources based on Essential Programs & Services, including comprehensive revisions to the current school finance laws.

 

As you can see, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education have been charged with a significant number of tasks prior to the next Legislative session.  In order to be successful in completing these tasks by the statutory deadlines and to have the information needed to gain support for additional State funding for education, I must request your cooperation in obtaining accurate data in a timely manner.  Key data needs for the development of both funding levels are financial data and enrollment data.  Specifically, there must be an improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of several important annual financial and enrollment reports.  These key reports are as follows:

 

 

Report Name

 

Report Number

 

Date due

 

Contact Person

April 1st Resident Enrollment Report (Public Schools)

 

EF-M-12

 

April 15, 2002

 

Patrick Dow

Financial Report of Public Schools 

 

EF-M-45

 

July 31, 2002

 

Joanne Allen or Suzan Cameron

Special Education Program Report

 

EF-S-02

 

July 31, 2002

 

Tom Coulombe

Request for Subsidy Allocation of Tuition & Board for Students with Disabilities

 

EF-S-07

 

July 31, 2002

 

Pam Ouellette

October 1st Resident Enrollment Report (Public Schools)

 

EF-M-11

 

October 15, 2002

 

Patrick Dow

These forms are available at: http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/forms.htm

 

 

I am requesting that all superintendents make the completion of these reports a high priority and that you allow your staff the necessary time to complete these reports by the required due dates and allow sufficient opportunity for review to ensure accuracy prior to their submission.  Also, be advised that DOE staff will be implementing new procedures in the review of these reports.  Hopefully, together we can ensure both timely and accurate reporting of important data.

 

In the past year, the reporting of inaccurate data by several school administrative units adversely affected their subsidy for 2002-03, and we are striving to avoid having any recurrence of these errors for 2003-04 funding.

 

For those school administrative units that fail to meet the required deadlines of these reports, as well as others containing required educational statistics, I must remind you of the statutory requirements and several possible actions should you fail to meet those requirements.  These requirements and possible actions are prescribed in 20-A M.R.S.A. §6151 and §6801-A.

 

Your cooperation in providing the Department with timely and accurate data will allow us to produce the two funding levels as required by Chapter 660.  In January 2003, the comparison of the two funding levels will be a vital component of information that the 121st Legislature will utilize when considering the available amount of State education aid for local schools.

 

 

JDA: SCC