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TO:                  Superintendents


FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

     In preparation for the school year 2004-05, we anticipate that federal rural education funds will once again be available.  The Rural Education Initiative is made up of two programs: (1) the Small, Rural School Grant Program of which 116 districts were funded this school year; and (2) the Rural and Low-Income School Program of which 48 districts were funded.   The United States Education Department 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 will still receive their No Child Left Behind (NCLB) funding if they participate in either program. 

     In addition, the Rural Education Achievement Program’s (REAP) REAP-Flex option will again be available as part of the NCLB application.  REAP-Flex allows small rural districts to flexibly use most NCLB funds for district priorities regardless of the program from which they were allocated.  Even if an eligible district does not receive supplemental funds under the Small, Rural School Grant Program, they still will have the flexibility to use funds under the REAP-Flex option in their NCLB application.  This option is not available for recipients of the Rural and Low-Income School Program.

     For Maine to receive funds under this program, we must again collect the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure of all the schools in your district for the period from the beginning of this school year 2003-04 until December 1, 2003.  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 by Friday January 9, 2004 to meet the federal reporting requirement.


       Your district may not have been eligible for funding last year.   Since the formula now allows the State to use Title IA eligibility data, districts that did not qualify last year may be eligible for the 2004-05 school year funds.  Last school year, the list of eligible districts for the Rural and Low-Income Grant Program increased from eight to forty-eight.   Several other Maine school districts had poverty data just short of the cutoff levels required for funding and may be eligible this school year.


     Even if your district chooses not to participate in the Rural Education Initiative programs or REAP-Flex, the Secretary of Education will use your attendance data to generate the State’s allotment from which grants will then be awarded to eligible districts on a formula basis.  Thus, even if your district chooses not to participate, we will need the relevant Average Daily Attendance (ADA) data no later than January 9, 2004 to meet the federal reporting requirement.



     Attached is a copy of the form called the Rural Education Information Form.  It is on our website, under Rural Education as a MSWORD and HTML document. Please complete this form and return it by January 9, 2004.   It can be submitted by mail, email, fax or hand delivered.


If you have any questions please contact the Rural Education Grant Director:  Dennis Kunces, Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station Augusta ME  04333-0023, 624-6815  (with voicemail), 624-6791 (fax) or   (email).
Rural Education Information Form School Year 2003-04

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-Flex 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.  All Rural, Small School grantees must have a D-U-N-S number * (all participating districts obtained one last year).

 District Name __________________________________________________________________

             Note: Each town with a school 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 2003-2004 school year to December 1, 2003 is: ____________ (Round to the nearest whole number of students)

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

[  ] Yes               [  ] No 

_________________________________________             ___________________________

Signature, Superintendent of Schools                                                                  Date

Email address ________________________________________________________________

Return by January 9, 2004 to:

Rural Education Initiative Director

Maine Department of Education

23 State House Station, Cross State Office Building

Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Fax to 624-6791 or email


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



* If you have never obtained a D-U-N-S number.  LEAs that do not have a D-U-N-S number may obtain one 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 <> on the web.