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TO:                 Superintendents of Schools

                        Business Managers

                        All School Finance Personnel


FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:            May 10, 2004


RE:                 Update to Accounting Handbook IIR



            In November, the National Center for Education Statistics released their revised version of the Financial Accounting Handbook for Local and State School Systems.  As a result, the Maine Department of Education now must revise its version of this publication.  In addition to bringing Maine into compliance with the Federal changes, this also provides an opportunity to improve data collection at both the local and state level by providing an updated account coding structure to give policy makers at all levels the data necessary to make sound decisions surrounding school funding and resource allocation as we move toward implementation of the Essential Programs and Services model for school funding.


            A draft copy of the new handbook is included in this packet.  The hope is that school finance personnel will begin to review these changes and implement as many of them as possible in the upcoming 2004-2005 fiscal year.  This will be considered the “transition” year, providing an opportunity for staff to make comments about the changes and identify potential problems before the Maine Department of Education begins data collection on the new structure, currently slated for fiscal year 2005-2006.


            Questions, concerns and other comments regarding the draft accounting handbook should be sent via email to so that a file may be maintained to identify potential problems, develop solutions and enable the Department to provide a final copy of the handbook at the end of the transition year.



(Note:  The draft copy of the new handbook is not posted on the website)