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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  56

 

POLICY CODE:  IHBA

 

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools

 

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:             March 26, 2003

 

RE:                  Collocation of Child Development Services Regional Offices

 

 

In an effort to support, and limit the reduction to, General Purpose Aid (GPA) in your FY ‘04 and FY ‘05 budgets, the Department carefully examined various accounts and programs for possible efficiencies and/or consolidation.  In light of statewide efforts to consolidate and achieve administration efficiencies, we pared the Preschool Handicapped Program (CDS) appropriation in FY ‘04 by $700,000 and by $1.2 million in FY ‘05.  These amounts have been reallocated to GPA.

 

In order to realize these reductions to CDS the Department proposes to relocate the regional CDS site staff into public school buildings in their catchment areas helping to save overhead costs.  The CDS system has always worked toward improving its coordination with the public schools.  This is one further step in that direction.  This direction is consistent with the concept of a unified special education system that we believe Congress will be supporting in its ultimate reauthorization this year of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

 

I am therefore, soliciting input from superintendents who have available space for the regional CDS site staff.  If you are interested in the concept of a seamless delivery of special education services and have available space for regional CDS site staff, I ask that you contact Laurie Bertulli, Director of Child Developmental Services, by phone at 624-6660, via fax at 624-6661, or via e-mail at laurie.bertulli@maine.gov, no later than Friday, April 4, 2003.

 

This collocation would position preschool programs for greater coordination with public schools, especially those programs with “4 year old” programs.  A number of our CDS sites have designed and implemented innovative special purpose programs for children with autism which could provide professional development for both educational technicians and teachers.  The CDS system will maintain the current statutory governance structure, the staffing and the funding formula with distribution of state and federal funds to ensure provision of services to eligible children birth though five.