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Average Daily Attendance for the Rural Education Initiative
ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO: 30
TO: Superintendents of Schools
In preparation for the school year 2009-10, we anticipate that federal rural education funds will once again be available. The Rural Education Initiative is made up of two programs: (1) the Small, Rural School Grant Program under which 120 SAUs (School Administrative Units) were funded this school year; and (2) the Rural and Low-Income School Program under which 54 SAUs were funded. The United States Department of Education will award funds on a formula basis by State, proportionate to the number of students in average daily attendance served by eligible local educational agencies in the State compared to the number of all such students served by eligible local educational agencies in all States. SAUs will still receive their No Child Left Behind (NCLB) funding if they participate in either program.
In addition, the Rural Education Achievement Program’s (REAP) REAP-Flex option will again be available as part of the NCLB application. REAP-Flex allows small rural SAUs to flexibly use most NCLB funds for SAU priorities regardless of the program from which they were allocated. Even if an eligible SAU does not receive supplemental funds under the Small, Rural School Grant Program, they still will have the flexibility to use funds under the REAP-Flex option in their NCLB application. This option is not available for recipients of the Rural and Low-Income School Program.
For Maine to receive funds under this program, we must again collect the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) figure of all the schools in your SAU for the period from the beginning of this school year 2008-09 until December 1, 2008. This number, combined with that of other SAUs, will generate funds for the State of Maine to be used in this program. We need this information by Tuesday January 13, 2009 to meet the federal reporting requirement.
As of last school year, the State of Maine definition of Kindergarten changed and Grade K is defined as a program for children at least 5 years of age. Although pre-K or 4 year-old programs can be supported with Title VI funding, these students will no longer generate funds. The new definition, passed during the 123 rd Legislative Session, is located in Maine Law under Title 20-A Section 1(15). Please do not include pre-K or 4 year-olds in your ADA count.
Your SAU may not have been eligible for funding last year. Since the formula allows the State to use Title IA eligibility data, SAUs that did not qualify last year may be eligible for the 2009-10 school year funds. Several other Maine school SAUs had poverty data just short of the cutoff levels required for funding last year and may be eligible this school year.
Data is collected under the school SAU structure that exists for the 2008-09 school year. The State rural grant director will work with the Federal Rural Education Office to combine ADA and NCLB Grant totals in the late spring for those SAUs that vote to be part of new RSUs. Rural Education Grants awarded after July 1, 2009 will reflect RSU changes for the 2009-2010 school year.
Even if your SAU chooses not to participate in the Rural Education Initiative programs or REAP-Flex, the Secretary of Education will use your attendance data to generate the State’s allotment from which grants will then be awarded to eligible SAUs on a formula basis. Thus, even if your SAU chooses not to participate, we will need the relevant Average Daily Attendance (ADA) data no later than January 13, 2009 to meet the federal reporting requirement.
Attached is a copy of the form called the Rural Education Information Form. It is on our website, http://www.maine.gov/education/nclb/reap/home.htm under Rural Education as a MSWORD document. Please complete this form and return it by January 13, 2009. It can be submitted by mail, email, fax or hand delivered.
If you have any questions please contact the Rural Education Grant Director: Dennis Kunces, Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station Augusta ME 04333-0023, 624-6815 (with voicemail), 624-6791 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
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