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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:   120

POLICY CODE:   DD

 

TO:                   Superintendents of Schools

FROM:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:              April 29, 2005

RE:                    Reading Recovery Program

            We have previously communicated with many of you and other representatives involved with the Reading Recovery Program, as well as both the Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and the Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, regarding the Reading Recovery Program in Maine.   Reading Recovery is supported by the extensive review and research provided by the University of Maine and represents a real resource for young students and an effective strategy for SAUs.   With the implementation of Essential Programs and Services (EPS), it was necessary for us to be certain that the resources made available to the Department have the statewide impact the Legislature intended.   The Department has therefore agreed to facilitate the development of local fiscal resources for support of the Teacher Leader component of the Reading Recovery network.   The Department has made a commitment to identify $120,000 to support the University of Maine’s provision of professional development and program evaluation.   This letter outlines a method for funding the Teacher Leader sites which provide professional development to local Reading Recovery teachers.

            We are pleased that we have a proposal which is designed to ensure an interim plan for the 2005-2006 school year.    This will ensure the program continues while we identify means of supporting its implementation in those SAUs which wish to implement the Reading Recovery Program.

            Reading Recovery leaders at the State and local levels have developed, with the leadership of participating superintendents, a funding formula which would ensure that critical Teacher Leader capacity be maintained.   The formula includes a $3,460.00 cost per Reading Recovery teacher.     This funding would be provided to Teacher Leader sites that support these positions in a manner consistent with current practice.  

            SAUs can meet their financial commitment through funding options which include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Local Entitlement funds, No Child Left Behind funds, Per Pupil Professional Development funds, and an adjustment to the distribution of State assistance under Essential Programs and Services.   Other local funds may be used and processed through the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development.   It is also possible for SAUs to use a combination of funds.

            With respect to the funding, superintendents will need to specify on the attached form the method by which payment will be made for Reading Recovery teachers.   The form needs to be completed and returned to Tammy Morrill (tammy.morrill@maine.gov) at the Department of Education no later than Friday, May 6, 2005.

Authorization for Financial Support of the Reading Recovery Program Form:

  http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/2005/ilet/attachfile/ilet120readfin.rtf

            For assistance using these funding options, please feel free to contact John Kierstead for IDEA  and Local Entitlement (john.kierstead@maine.gov or 624-6658), Jacqueline Soychak for No Child Left Behind (jacqueline.soychak@maine.gov, or 624-6730), Jim Rier, for the adjustment to General Purpose Aid (jim.rier@maine.gov or 624-6790), and Dianne Avery, for the University of Maine billing (dianne.avery@umit.maine.edu or 581-2430).

            If you have any questions about the plan, please feel free to contact David Noble Stockford (david.stockford@maine.gov or 624-6643).