Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

 

Earlier today we sent the following Informational Letter (#99) to each of you around extending one-to-one computing to the high school level.  This message is to serve as both an update and as a correction to that letter.  

 

    The UPDATE is to let you know that the Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing and work session on one-to-one computing for Monday, April 5, 2004 at 1:00pm (Cross State Office Building, Room #214).

 

    The CORRECTION is in regards to the following bullet which was listed under FUNDING SOLUTIONS.  Please note that Title VI should NOT have been listed.  The appropriate sources are Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, and Title V.  Please be sure to make note of this correction and to discard any earlier copies of this letter you may have.

  • Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, and Title V :  These federal funding sources could also be used in support of the local share.  Increased flexibility under NCLB permits local districts to transfer up to 50% of allocated funds across NCLB programs (Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA, and Title V).  Technology purchases are permitted under each of these categories, but the transfer provision could also be employed to concentrate available funds in one category.

*************************************************

 

INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  99

 

POLICY CODE:  IHAJ

 

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools

 

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:             March 31, 2004

 

RE:                   UPDATE - Extending One-To-One Computing, Maine Learning Technology Initiative, to the High School Level

 

 

            In Informational Letter # 70, I shared with you the intention of Governor John Elias Baldacci to extend Maine’s successful middle school laptop program to Maine’s high schools.  On February 12, 2004 at the Maine School Superintendent’s Association Forum on Critical Issues, I discussed in greater detail the plan for implementation.  Your support for the plan was, and is, a source of great satisfaction to me. 

 

            Since that time we have successfully negotiated with Apple to finalize the components of the contract.  I am pleased to report that the resulting contract provisions will permit the MLTI program to proceed in a very cost-effective manner.  Initially I shared with you a plan that would provide computers to one class per year beginning with the 2004-2005 school year.  A recent review by the State Office of Purchasing has caused us to alter that plan to one that will generate approximately a $9 million dollar savings over the previous proposed contract, and complete the implementation in two years rather than four.

 

IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE:

 

  • June 2004 – All high school and vocational teachers, principals, and technical coordinators will receive laptops to use over the summer.
  • Summer 2004 – Installation of wireless infrastructures in all high schools and vocational technical centers.  Professional development begins for teachers, technical coordinators, and principals.
  • Fall 2004 – All freshmen and one additional class will receive laptops.
  • Fall 2005 – The two remaining classes receive laptops.

FUNDING SOLUTION:

 

            I am pursuing a funding solution that will not impact the General Fund or compete with other State budget priorities in the next fiscal year and minimize costs to local budgets.   First-year costs will be drawn from the Revolving Renovation Fund to pay for the installation of the wireless infrastructure in all schools.  In years two, three, and four of the contract, I have modified my earlier proposal to include a minimum 55% of the total cost of the program or your State percentage which ever is greater.  If your district receives 90% of educational costs from the State, 90% of the costs of the high school laptop program will be paid by the State.  This revised plan will enable us to approach this phase of implementation with greater equity.  The estimated annual statewide local share will be approximately $9.6 million. 

 

            We have carefully analyzed possible additional funding sources to mitigate the local share.  Resources that local districts can draw upon to meet their obligation should they elect to participate in this program include:

 

  • Federal Local Entitlement:  Annually local districts carry forward approximately 3.5 million dollars in Local Entitlement funds that they have held in reserve for unforeseen special education needs.  In addition, Local Entitlement Funds for FY ‘05 and FY ‘06 are projected to increase by $5 million and $4.5 million respectively.  Technology is an approved category for these funds, and our research clearly indicates that special education students have made significant gains with the use of laptops in the middle schools.  School administrative units might want to consider allocating these carryover funds and others to meet their local commitment. 

 

  •   Title IIA,  Title IID,  Title IVA,  and Title V :  These federal funding sources could also be used in support of the local share.  Increased flexibility under NCLB permits local districts to transfer up to 50% of allocated funds across NCLB programs ( Title IIA, Title IID, Title IVA ,  and Title V).  Technology purchases are permitted under each of these categories, but the transfer provision could also be employed to concentrate available funds in one category.  Title IID funds can also be utilized.

 

  • Statewide Impact of Tapping Federal Funds:  The chart below provides a statewide picture of how the possible use of federal funds could help meet the local obligation:

                        Total Estimated Annual Local Obligation           $9,663,619  

 

                        Total Maine Local Entitlement

                        (12,050 Students, 500 Teachers)                      $5,100,000     

 

                        Total Maine Title IID                                        $2,464,231

 

                        Total Maine Title V                                           $1,614,609

                                                                                                __________

                        Possible Net Local Obligation

                        Statewide                                                         $   484,779

 

            These are possibilities that local districts can consider.  As noted in Informational Letter #70, the TAGLIT survey revealed that current annual local spending on instructional hardware exceeds $15 million.  Between these existing funds, and the possible allocation of federal funds, we hope that all local districts will be able to participate in the high school MLTI program.  Our abiding belief is that the MLTI program is a source of powerful leverage for achieving Maine’s Learning Results for all students.  However, the decision would be entirely up to local boards as to whether they wish to participate in the program and how to garner the necessary resources. 

 

            What remains is the requirement that the Legislature grant its approval for the State to enter into the agreement with Apple.  The Education Committee has spent many hours debating all aspects of both substance and process regarding the MLTI high school program, and decided earlier this week to introduce a bill to allow for public input and a formal legislative vote.  Last week, during a work session on the MLTI program, middle school teachers and students from each county presented the merits of the program to the Committee.  Though the presentations were very compelling (it was truly inspiring to have the students and teachers on hand to passionately advocate for the program), the Education Committee believes it is important to hold a formal hearing to allow legislators to speak with additional constituents and superintendents regarding this proposal.  I would encourage you to speak with your legislators and attend the hearing if your schedule permits.  I anticipate that the hearing date will be set for later this week and will provide an update on the details as soon as we know. 

 

            Bette Manchester and Tony Sprague will be meeting with the Maine School Superintendent’s Association on Friday, April 2, 2004 to brief the Executive Committee and will then schedule subsequent regional superintendent meetings to discuss the details of the implementation.  Please feel free to contact Bette Manchester by phone at 624-6769 or via e-mail at bette.manchester@maine.gov if you have further questions.