Maine DOE Monthly Update

For ESEA Coordinators

June-August Update

ESEA Federal Programs:


The ESEA FY20 Application and FY19 Performance Report portal is now open! Currently there is a $100 placeholder in the application. Later this month, when allocations are finalized, the application will be updated with accurate allocation amounts. Please wait to submit your FY20 application until final allocations are available. Also, if you are needing to access reports from previous years, please select “earlier applications and performance reports” in the portal. ESEA Regional Program Managers will be providing in-person support sessions for district leaders statewide over the next six weeks.

For more information regarding the FY20 ESEA Consolidated Application and in-person support sessions, please contact your assigned ESEA Regional Program Manager.

Tydings Amendment Waiver

As required, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comment for a Tydings Amendment Waiver from the US Department of Education. If approved, the waiver would extend the availability of federal funds to support eligible Maine schools. Read more

Preliminary ESEA Allocations and Equitable Services

FY20 preliminary allocations for Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, and Title V are available here. In addition, the preliminary FY20 equitable services percentages are available for Title II and Title IV. Some enrollment data for non-public schools is currently unavailable, but please know equitable services amounts are derived from a per-pupil formula, which considers the district’s total allocation and the percentage of district enrollment in the non-public school. Your help in gathering that missing data is greatly appreciated.     

Title II: Class Size Reduction Project

If a school experiences a large incoming cohort of students, the district may decide to create a Title II class-size reduction project. The goal of the program is to improve student achievement, particularly in reading, by reducing class sizes in grades K-3 to a maximum of 18 students. If a district would like to create a class size reduction project in the FY20 application outside of grades K-3, the district will need to provide a justification based on the needs as evidenced by local assessment data.

ESEA FY20 Application Public Comment Requirement

The ESEA team has issued a reminder to all school districts regarding the requirement to seek public comment on the ESEA application prior to submission of the FY20 application. Please note that FY20 applications will not be reviewed for substantial or final approval until after the window for public comment has concluded. The FY20 application is due August 1, 2019.

You may wish to consider using the following statement (or similar) to inform stakeholders of the opportunity to comment on your application prior to its submission.

{School District} is Accepting ESEA Application Comments

{School District} accepts funding through the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) of 1965. As part of ESEA, {School District} is required to provide reasonable opportunity for public comment on the consolidated application and consider such comment prior to the submission of the application. {School District} is accepting public comment on the ESEA application through July 30, 2019. Click here {insert survey link} to share your thoughts about the application’s goals and priorities.

ESEA Monitoring for SY 2019-20

For some time now, school districts across the state have requested a more streamlined approach to the Department’s process for monitoring the use of federal funding. The ESEA Federal Programs Team has been hard at work looking at ways to make this possible, to lessen the burden program monitoring has on local school districts.  After spending the last year updating our monitoring procedures and tools, we are pleased to announce that the ESEA Federal Programs and Special Services Teams will join in our efforts to monitor districts in 2019-2020. Our intention is that the consolidated monitoring reviews and in-person visits will lighten the burden placed on district staff by coordinating the visits of the Maine DOE staff.  Our staff will continue to review the submission of various ESEA documents by local school districts to ensure various statutory requirements and ultimately the intent and purpose of each program is being met locally.  Please know that these reviews and potential visits will still consist of meaningful discussion around the processes used and progress achieved annually.  Our annual risk assessment process for all ESEA federal programs will also assist in determining the school districts that we will meet with in-person.

The updated ESEA Monitoring Tool will be released in August 2019. School districts within our monitoring cohort for this coming school year will need to submit all requested documentation by December 2019. The list of districts that will be monitored during the 2019-20 school year are available here.

Maine's Leadership Development Program

Are you looking for an AMAZING leadership opportunity, and a chance to become a trained facilitator of other educational leaders? Leaders in various roles across the education spectrum are invited to join the Maine Department of Education and the National Institute of School Leaders for this high impact opportunity. -Learn More!

Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) Requirements

The Department has issued a follow-up about Comprehensive Needs Assessments (CNAs) which includes guidance for 2019-20.  Learn more here. Also, please note that all districts are required to complete an updated CNA prior to completing the ESEA funding application.

For more information regarding CNA requirements, please contact Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at chelsey.a.fortin@maine.gov.

ESEA Coordinators’ Training

The ESEA Federal Programs Team is looking forward to hosting two sessions for “NEW” ESEA Coordinators in July.

July 9, 2019:  Jeff’s Catering - Brewer

July 10, 2019:  Senator Inn – Augusta

The July ESEA training registration link is available here.

The May ESEA Coordinators’ Annual Training materials are available here.


ESEA Training for Business Managers

During the May ESEA Coordinators’ sessions, the ESEA Federal Programs Team received several requests to provide a summer training for business managers. We are delighted to share that the ESEA Management Analyst, Cristy Osier will be co-facilitating a session at the upcoming New & Practiced Business Manager Training sponsored by the Maine DOE.

            June 28, 2019: Cross Office Building - Augusta

The New & Practiced Business Manager Training registration link is available here.

Transfers in the ESEA Application and Performance Report

School districts may have one transfer of each type within the fiscal year (ex: Title II to Title I). School districts may not “daisy chain” transfers of Title II, Part A or Title IV, Part A funds.  Single transfers are to be made and only from one program to another. All transfers of Title II, Part A and Title IV, Part A funds will need to be completed solely within the ESEA Application.  Transfers will not be accepted within the FY19 and FY20 performance report. New alternative use projects will not be allowed in the performance report. ESEA Coordinators will need to make a request to their assigned ESEA Regional Program Manager to re-open the FY19 application and request any transfers. This change is due to additional transfers overwriting previous balances in the Federal Grant Reimbursement System, resulting in inaccurate information and challenges with processing reimbursement payments to school districts.

Before any transfers of Title II, Part A or Title IV, Part A funds can take place, public school district are reminded of their legal obligation to consult with local non-public schools (as applicable) regarding the needs of their students and how those needs can be met through federal programs.

Carryover Extension Report

Districts with FY18 carryover funds remaining after December 31, 2018, must submit the extension carryover report available in the SY 2017-18 performance report portal.  The report is now available. Please submit by June 30, 2019.

For more information regarding the carryover extension report, please contact please contact your assigned ESEA Regional Program Manager. If you need assistance with identifying your assigned contact, please click here.

ESEA Spending Handbook

The ESEA team has released a spending handbook that provides general guidance on how local educational agencies (LEAs) may spend funds under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

This spending guidance addresses the following four formula programs:

• Title I, Part A (Improving Basic Programs),

• Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction),

• Title III, Part A (English Language Acquisition), and

• Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment).

It is important to note that this handbook only provides an overview of each of these programs’ spending rules and options; it does not discuss the many other compliance requirements that apply to each of these programs. The ESEA Spending Handbook is available here.

Commissioner’s Notes

Congratulations on another successful school year. Summer weather is sure to show up sometime (hopefully)! I continue to meet with as many people and groups as I can, while answering the call for information, advocacy, or testimony during the final push of this epic legislative session. The budget process is proving tumultuous – In fact, I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon from the AFA Committee room, where the other commissioners and I have spent our weekend. We started 2019 with a working draft vision, mission, and strategic priorities and are thankful to the many people who have offered their ideas and insights as we honed these to reflect the values and priorities of all stakeholder groups. Please take a moment to scan the final document, which will provide the “True North”, guiding our work and plans going forward. Our teams at the Department of Education are building out their own action steps, based on these strategic priorities, and we look forward to continued feedback from all our constituents as we strive to celebrate and lead the inspirational teaching and learning that is happening in Maine.
• PLEASE take a look and access our professional development calendar! And make sure you are signed up for our Newsroom items and weekly updates. Learn how!
• Please consider joining us and encouraging your staff to also participate in our regional think tanks regarding a number of important topics! We do understand that this is a busy time of year, so please note the July date, too!
I thank you for the continued partnership, and wish you the very best for the summer months.

Legislative Update

Things are slowing down a bit, but we continue to be active with the budget hearings, work sessions and public hearings, as well as providing clarifying information and language to Appropriations and Financial Affairs Office and the Revisor’s Offic. We are compiling the TO DO list that has been created for the Department of Education through the passing of some of the bills. As mentioned previously, whenever possible, the Department has worked to shift the work and timeline to allow us to gather stakeholder input into the rulemaking or work group mandate.
These are some of the bills that have passed into law-
LD 152 (chapter 61) Act to Prohibit Possession and Use of Electronic Smoking Devices on School Grounds was signed into law on April 30. School Administrative Units are encouraged to review and update any policies around possession and use of tobacco on school grounds, in light of this updated language.
LD 930 (chapter 105) Act to Give Maine Schools Additional Options to Make Up Missed School Days: Was signed into law, and permits school administrative units, with a plan approved by the commissioner, to extend the school day by one hour for up to 25 days, only for days missed due to weather or emergency closures. 5 hours may be counted as an additional day. Other plans may be developed and submitted to the commissioner for approval.
LD 283- Science Standards and Social Studies Revision: Social studies standards have been revised to more explicitly identify personal finance as a standard. -Read more. The new science standards, which include the Next Generation Science Standards, were adopted and will be in effect for the 2019-2020 school year. -Read more. To assist teachers as they revisit their curriculum, based on these changes, the Department of Education is providing support through a professional development opportunity in August. Read more and register!
LD 167 (chapter 54) An Act To Prevent Food Shaming in Maine's Public Schools: was signed into law on April 26, and directs the Department of Education to develop guidance on best practices on collecting meal debt. This work is underway, more information forthcoming.
LD 798 (chapter 154) An Act To Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Diseases by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirement: was signed into law on May 24th. the Department of Education, along with Center for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services, is charged with jointly engaging in the rule making process for the implementation of the law Sept. 1, 2021. During this process, there will be multiple opportunities for community input and feedback as the rules are developed and approved.
LD 576 (chapter 25) Resolve, Directing the Department of Education to Study and Develop an Online Learning Platform for Students and Educators: directs the Department of Education to form a working group to study the feasibility and process for the development of an online platform for learning. A report must be given to the Committee for Education and Cultural Affairs in January of 2020. We will be inviting broad input into this conversation.
Others in the works:
LD 1478- Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 115: The Credentialing of Education Personnel, a Late-filed Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education (EMERGENCY): looks to change ranges and certification requirements for teachers. The Department of Education is closely examining and advocating regarding the implications and impact of the proposed changed to Chapter 115.
LD 1715 -Reorganizing Provision of Services for Children with Disabilities from Birth to 5 Years of Age: Known as the CDS bill, remains in flux and is being carried over for discussions into the next session.

Awards and Honors and Opportunities:
• We want to hear and celebrate the great things going on in your schools! To submit a good news story or invite a Department of Education staff member to an event, -Learn how, here.
• Congratulations to the Maine County Teachers of the Year! There was a lovely ceremony for them at the Hall of Flags, and they now embark on the process to become the Maine Teacher of the Year. -Read more.
• We are honored to recognize these two educators, selected for their excellence in math and science education. -Read more.
• We are very proud of the great work being done by our Certification Team, who is very busy this time of year with our new certificates. In addition, they have processed 43.7% of the renewals that are due July 1, 2019. This is great news, BUT this also means that there are still 3,118 certificates that are set to expire next month. Please encourage all staff to check their certification and ensure that they have taken the steps necessary to remain certified.
• Read to Ride: The summer is a time when students may not practice their reading skills, or actively exercise their brains. Students can lose up to three months of reading progress during the summer if they don’t keep reading. When combined across a child’s PK-8 school career, this can result in 1-2 years of lost reading progress. Once again, the Department of Education is partnering with the Freemasons to provide students with an incentive to read this summer. -Learn more!
Data & Reporting:
• If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to bookmark the following link: for the Data and Reporting Calendar. for easy access to dates when data windows are open and due.

• Quarter 4 Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Data is due. Please check out the further information, links to assistance, webinar, etc. . If you are unable to join or missed the webinar, it will be recorded and uploaded to the Helpdesk page.

• August 6th thru August 15th, the Maine Department of Education Data Team will be hosting regional data entry trainings. This annual training is geared toward district and school level staff who are tasked with reporting student/staff data to the Maine DOE.

• FREE Facilitated School Team Problem Solving Opportunity! The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Maine Teacher Leadership Committee (Teach to Lead® Maine), United States Department of Education, and the University of Maine Farmington, will be hosting the second annual Powered By Teach to Lead® Summit on August 16, 2019. This event encourages teams of teachers and administrators to identify a problem of practice or area of need in their school/district and develop a concrete plan to solve the identified problem/issue at their school. -Learn more and apply!

• Join the Maine Department of Education content specialists in July for an interdisciplinary, exciting, and cost effective regional professional development opportunity! We will explore knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are necessary for 21st century careers, and the intentional actions of educators to support students developing the skill and will to fuel their learning- Read more (July 25)