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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  140
POLICY CODE:  FJ 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools, Business Officers, and Facilities Managers

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             May 12, 2006

RE:                  Qualified Zone Academy Bonds

The Department coordinates the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) loan program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and for 2004 and 2005 received $1.8 million in loan capacity.  The QZAB loan program has to date not been reauthorized for 2006.  However, QZAB monies, totaling $1,856,830, are still available from past allocations to Maine.

The QZAB loan program provides low cost loans through local lending institutions to school administrative units that meet certain rural and poverty characteristics.  A school administrative district receiving such a loan is required to obtain a 10% matching grant from its community. To be eligible, the funds must be used in a school that has at least 35% Free or Reduced Lunch and must be used for an eligible project.

The QZAB loan application is available on the Department’s website at:  http://www.maine.gov/education/const/ffgrants.htm.  More information on QZAB loans is also available at the U.S. Department of Education website at www.ed.gov/programs/qualifiedzone/index.html.

The Department is still accepting applications for projects to be funded with QZAB loans.  The deadline for the 2004 and 2005 QZAB loan applications has been extended to June 30, 2006.  Districts that have applied for QZAB loans in the past must fill out a new application for each project.

If you have questions about the QZAB application, please contact Ann Pinnette at ann.pinnette@maine.gov .