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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 24
POLICY CODE: IMD
TO: Superintendents of Schools and School Principals
FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner
DATE: August 30, 2005
RE: Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
** Time Sensitive ** Please read immediately. A response is required on or before September 23, 2005. IN ACCORDANCE WITH NCLB, THIS IS A YEARLY REQUIREMENT. RESPONSES MUST BE IN BY SEPTEMBER 23, 2005.
Section 9524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ("ESEA") of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires that, as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, a local educational agency ("LEA") must certify, in writing to its State educational agency ("SEA"), that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in the USDOE guidance which may be found on the Department of Education's website at:
In order for the Maine Department of Education to be in compliance with this requirement for 2005, we must receive a written statement from each LEA by September 23, 2005, documenting that it does not have any policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools. To do this, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Jacqueline Soychak, Federal Program Services Team Leader and Policy Director, 23 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0023 containing the following information:
Name of LEA ________________________________________ Date _______________
____does ____does not have any policy that prevents or otherwise denies participation in constitutionally protected prayer in public schools.
Signature of person authorized to provide this assurance ____________________________
Again, the Guidance provided by the USDOE can be found at:
We realize that many of you may have questions. Those questions can be submitted in writing to Jacqueline Soychak for response.
Please return this form to email@example.com (if sending electronically) or mail to: Jacqueline Soychak, Federal Program Services Team Leader & Policy Director, Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0023.