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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  84

 

POLICY CODE:  LF

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools, School Board Chairs, and Members of the

                        State Board of Education

 

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:             June 3, 2003

 

RE:                  State Ward/State Agency Client Program

 

On December 24, 2002, you were notified by Commissioner Albanese of a plan for managing the above accounts, due to the difficult financial circumstances of the state.  This plan called for delaying until June any payments to school administrative units for special education and related services billed after March 31, 2003.  Additionally, the plan included the potential for pro-rating payments if the appropriation would not cover the total costs for the fiscal/school year July1, 2002 – June 30, 2003.

 

The Department of Education has been tracking monthly the actual expenditures in these accounts and developing projections for the remainder of the year based on known and anticipated costs.  At this point I am comfortable that, even with the curtailment which occurred in December, the appropriation for these accounts is adequate to pay for all services provided by both school administrative units and private special purpose schools.  Therefore, I have requested our finance staff to process for payment all bills currently being held.  Starting with this month, we will return to our former process of paying all bills on a monthly basis.   It is important that bills be sent to us in a timely fashion and that, to the extent possible, bills for June are received in time to pay them out of this year’s appropriation.

 

For those units who have Advanced Payment grants under the State Agency Client program, you should have received a letter from the Special Services Team.  This will provide directions and forms you will need to complete to receive your final payment for this program for this year.  For next year, this method for providing authorized payments for special education and related services for State Agency Clients will again be called the State Agency Client grant.  Units applying for funding through this mechanism will still be expected to include in their grant request only those items that are difficult to calculate on a monthly basis or that are unusual or unexpected, such as start up of a new residential facility within the unit.  Costs for items such as transportation, construction or renovations generally must be approved and funded through the normal mechanisms for such costs.

 

Thank you for your careful stewardship of these expenditures.  In these times of increasing scrutiny and accountability, it is good to know that we can accurately back up our expenditures in these accounts and provide extensive detail to support our use of these funds.

 

If you have any questions regarding this, please contact either Christine Bartlett or Tom Coulombe on the Special Services Team.  They can be reached at 624-6650 or by e-mail at Chris.Bartlett@maine.gov or Tom.Coulombe@maine.gov.

 

cc:       Special Education Administrators