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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools, Directors of Special Education, Private Special Purpose Schools

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             June 20, 2006

SUBJECT:       New Rate Setting Procedure for Special Purpose Private Schools

The Special Services Team of the Department of Education (DOE) has developed a new rate setting procedure for Private Special Purpose Schools.  A group of private and public educators, parents and program managers met over the spring to develop the new procedure.

Department of Education, Special Services Team, and Department of Health and Human Services, (DHHS), Maine Care Team will work on a joint rate setting for Private Special Purpose Schools that offer Section 41, Day Treatment, or Section 65, Mental Health Services.

The following guidelines will affect the rate setting process:

  1. Timelines are non-negotiable.  The current rate will be maintained for next fiscal year if DOE timelines are not observed.
  2. All costs to the School Administrative Unit (SAU) or DOE State Agency Client Program will be reimbursed at the DOE approved rate.  The rate will be clearly stated prior to the student’s enrollment in the Private Special Purpose School in FY08, and will not change after October 1 for the FY07 school year and beyond.
  3. If requested, DOE will develop two rates for a Private Special Purpose School:
    1. Rate for education program;
    2. Rate for children whose IEP requires a 1:1 aide.
  4. DOE and DHHS will establish a hardship review panel that will consider individual hardship situations that would require a significant rate change.
  5. The prior year’s expense report will include a brief narrative describing:
    1. Population served;
    2. Quality assurance measures;
    3. Challenges and accomplishments of past year.

Rate setting timeline beginning FY07:

For more information, please contact Nancy Connolly or Thomas Coulombe at 624-6650.