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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Informational Letters > Letter 82

INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  82

POLICY CODE:  FJ 

 

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

 

FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE: March 5, 2007

 

RE:   Qualified Zone Academy Bond Program

 

The Federal Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program was recently extended for calendar years 2006 and 2007.  This program provides low cost loans through financial institutions to school districts that meet certain rural and poverty characteristics.

 

A Qualified Zone Academy is any public school, or academic program within a public school, designed in cooperation with business to enhance curriculum, increase graduation and employment rates, and better prepare students for college and the workforce.  In order to be eligible, schools must have at least a 35% free or reduced lunch rate or be located in an empowerment zone or enterprise community. 

 

Funds obtained through the QZAB program must be used for qualified purposes which include rehabilitation or repair of a facility, equipment purchases, developing course materials, and training teachers and other personnel. A school district issuing a QZAB is required to obtain a 10% matching grant from a private entity.  Additional information is available at the U.S. Department of Education website at www.ed.gov/programs/qualifiedzone/index.html.

 

  Maine has been allocated $1,704,000 of issuing capacity for each of the calendar years 2006 and 2007 to be awarded to qualifying school districts. In order to take advantage of this financing mechanism, please complete the QZAB loan application which is available on the Department’s website at:  http://www.maine.gov/education/const/ffgrants.htm.   The deadline for submitting QZAB applications is June 1, 2007.  If an allocation balance remains after the current application cycle, a second round of applications will be accepted.

If you have questions about the QZAB program or application, please contact Ann Pinnette at 624-6885 or ann.pinnette@maine.gov.