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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:

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html

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 janice.bunnell@maine.gov 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:  

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html

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 janice.bunnell@maine.gov (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.