ESEA Monthly Newsletter

October 6, 2020

We hope to provide you with helpful information monthly through the newsletter and office hours. Our newsletters will often include:

  • General and Title Specific Updates from the ESEA Federal Programs Team
  • Fun Data Fact(s)
  • Friendly Reminders for Planning and Program Implementation
  • Professional Development
  • Contact Information

Virtual Office Hours: 2nd Tuesday of every month from 10 - 11 am

(Next Virtual Office Hour is Tuesday, October 13: contact or your regional program coordinator for the link)

General & Title Specific Updates from the ESEA Federal Programs Team

English Learner Enrollment Data

As SAUs begin the process of certifying their October 1 student data, it is essential for data coordinators to partner with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) educators to ensure that all English learner data is accurate. English learner data has implications for Title III funding, including the Title III Immigrant Children & Youth Subgrant, Essential Provisions and Services state funding, and Maine’s Model of School Support.

Contact April Perkins, Title III Coordinator, at with any questions.

Title I Teacher/Paraprofessional Requirements Under ESSA

As part of the ESEA Title I assurances, each School Administrative Unit (SAU) ensures that all teachers and paraprofessionals working in a program supported with Title I funds meet applicable State certification and licensure requirements, including any requirements for certification obtained through alternative routes to certification.  What does this mean?

It means that all personnel working in and being paid with Title I funds in a Title I Targeted Assistance Program or all personnel working in a Title I Schoolwide Program must have obtained a Maine Department of Education issued certification and employed for positions following Chapter 115 and Priority Notice dated September 2, 2020.    

The following certificates and certifications could be considered:

  • Professional Teacher Certificate
  • Certificate for An Administrator
  • Certificate for Education Specialist
  • Certificate for Certified Educational Technician:  Educational Technicians must have an ESEA endorsement on their certificate.
  • Conditional Certificate:  Maximum of 3 years to complete.
  • Clearance by DOE refers to the Criminal history record check
  • Visiting International Teacher
  • Long-Term Substitute Personnel: “Substitute personnel holding a certification may serve on a long-term basis (greater than six consecutive weeks) in schools to fill vacancies caused by the absence, resignation, inability to employ, or termination of a certified or cleared employee.” 

NOTE:  Substitute standards for less than 6 weeks are determined by the SAU and require that the substitute have minimally a high school diploma.  Staff hired based on local standards do not meet the federal assurance of hiring staff who meet state certification and licensure requirements.

  • Certification Waiver:  The Commissioner may grant a waiver of certification to a teacher, educational specialist, or an administrator.
  • Emergency Teacher Certification
  • Educator & Administrator Certification Reciprocity

How does this impact the Parents’-Right-To-Know Requirement? A letter must be sent to parents of students in Title I schools if their child has been assigned or has been taught for 4 or more weeks by a person not meeting applicable State certification or licensure requirements for the grade level and subject area in which they have been assigned. This includes staff working under a Commissioner’s waiver, teaching outside of a certificate or license, substitutes hired under local standards, and the two emergency certifications due to COVID-19 and staffing shortages.

Fun Data Fact(s)

For school year 2020-2021, 97% of districts statewide are participating in ESEA Federal Program funding that supports 177,200 students!

Friendly Reminders for Planning and Program Implementation

As you prepare to close out fiscal year (FY) 2019, we want to draw your attention to the resource titled “Carryover Closeout Financial Report” which can be found at the bottom of your 2018-2019 Performance Report. This resource will allow districts to see when the last invoice was submitted for each title, all transfers, and the overall remaining balance in each title. Please note that the period of allowability for FY 2019 funds has been extended until September 30, 2021.

The ESEA Federal Grant Year-at-a-Glance calendar highlights some key practices and due dates to ensure program compliance and quality. For a quick 12-month view of the key practices and due dates, please visit  In our monthly newsletter, we will provide additional information that elaborates on the Year-at-a-Glance and friendly reminders for program implementation.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind as the 2020 -21 school year continues and October begins:

FY20 Performance Report

The ESEA team provided a virtual training focusing on completing the fiscal year (FY) 2020 performance report last week. We hope to have the recorded training posted on the ESEA Federal Programs Resources ( page by the end of this week. Please reach out to your ESEA regional program coordinator if you have any questions about completing the ESEA performance report.

The FY20 Performance Report is available at and is due on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. It should include reporting on all ESEA program expenses from July 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020, (expenses paid during the previous school year, not including FY’19 carryover funds). Please work with your business office to confirm all ESEA expenses through September 30, 2020, have been reimbursed. Transfers from Title II and Title IV may also be initiated in the performance report this year, provided all FY’20 ESEA reimbursements are current (ie. up through the 9/30/20 Billing Period end date).

Parent & Family Engagement

Parents Right to Know:  Annually at the beginning of the school year, parents in Title I schools must be informed of their right to request the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher(s) and the process by which they would make the request.  The LEA should be prepared to provide:

1)  Whether the student’s teacher:

  • (I) has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
  • (II) is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and
  • (III) is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher.

2)  Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Testing Transparency: Annually, at the beginning of each school year, parents in Title I schools must be informed of their right to request information regarding any State or SAU policy regarding student participation in State and SAU assessments and the process by which they would make the request.  The notice could also include direct links to where specific student assessment policies/procedures are located.  The SAU should also be prepared to provide, in a timely manner, any local or state policies or procedures about student participation in assessments including if the SAU has an opt out process.

In addition, each SAU receiving Title I funds is required to make publicly available on the SAUs website and, where practicable, on the website of each school, information on each assessment required by the State and SAU to include grade level, subject matter assessed, purpose for which the assessment is designed and used, source of the requirement of the assessment, the amount of time students will spend taking the assessment, the schedule for the assessment, and the time and format for disseminating the results.  Many SAUs that used the State’s Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) document to find this information (located in Item 6A).

ESEA Data Dashboard: Districts need to annually notify and educate their families about the ESEA Dashboard. Along with posting the link to the state’s ESEA Dashboard, districts need to provide an explanation to their families about the dashboard and the information found on the dashboard.  Tutorials on how to use and navigate the dashboard are provided at the following link: ( We recommend posting this information on a district’s webpage and sharing it with your families.


We encourage Business Managers to submit monthly invoices for all ESEA titles.

Please note that your Business Managers are likely managing multiple funding streams in school year 2020-2021. Clear and detailed information will be extremely helpful in your quarterly check-ins. The funding streams might include: FY’21 ESEA Federal funds, FY’20 ESEA Federal funds available for use until September 30, 2021, FY’19 Federal funds available for use until September 30, 2021, Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSERF), Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), FY’20 Maine's Model of School Support (MMSS) funds available for use until September 30, 2020, and FY’21 MMSS funds available for use until June 30, 2021.

State and Local

Free and Reduced Lunch Percentages

The Free and Reduced Lunch data published in the ED-534 School Nutrition Report for 2021 [October 2020 data] on the NEO Public Portal can be useful in Title I planning for next year.  Please note that the 2021 report currently contains data from the 2020 report.  The updated data should be forthcoming soon.

For very small school administrative units (SAUs), there must be at least 10 FREE lunch students in order to be eligible for Title I funding.  You can review this data now to determine if there will be substantial impact to the SAU’s Title I funding for FY’22.

The ED-534 information could also be useful for SAUs that need to follow the Rank and Distribution guidelines.  If a school in the SAU was grandfathered for FY’21, this data could provide insight on the school’s eligibility for next year.  If the school continues to not be eligible, the SAU must plan now for discontinuing the use of Title I funding next year at that school.  If the new data shows a change in the school poverty rankings, the SAU could begin planning now for a change in the use of Title I funding at the schools.

What makes a school eligible for Title I funding?

  1. All schools are eligible if the SAU has fewer than 1000 students.
  2. In districts that have 1000 or more students, all schools are eligible if there is only one school building at each grade level.
  3. In districts that have 1000 or more students and more than one school building at each grade level, schools with a low-income level of 35% and over are eligible.
  4. In districts that have 1000 or more students and more than one school building at each grade level, schools with a low-income level above the district average low-income level are eligible.
  5. Schools can be grandfathered for one additional year if not eligible AND were eligible and served in the previous year.

Feel free to contact Jackie Godbout [] or Monique Sullivan [] if you have further questions. 

FY19 Title IA Reallocation Projects (Title I Summer School):

End of Year (EOY) Reports for FY’19 Title IA Reallocation (Title I Summer school) projects are due by October 20, 2020, or after the close of the project. All funds must be expensed by September 30, 2020, and invoiced for reimbursement by October 15, 2020.

In addition to project expenses, an evaluation of project goals must be included in the EOY report. All invoicing for reimbursement must be up to date in the federal grant reimbursement system (GEM) before submitting the EOY report to the Department.

A copy of the EOY reporting form was included in the original FY19 Title IA Reallocation Grant Award Notification (GAN) email. To obtain a copy of the EOY reporting form, please contact Monique Sullivan at

Professional Development

Professional Learning offered through the Department of Education is a fantastic resource for supporting leadership development for administrators and educators. The Department’s professional learning calendar is available at This calendar has increased functionality including a search feature.

For more information about professional learning opportunities specific to Tier III identified schools, please contact Teri Peaslee, School Turnaround Professional Development Coordinator at or (207) 624-6706.

Another opportunity for professional learning and networking is the Maine Title I Educators Network (MTEN).  MTEN is a non-profit organization of Title IA educators, administrators, coordinators, teachers, and educational technicians.  The purpose of this organization is to serve as a network that supports effective Title IA programming in Maine schools.  We provide a forum to promote communication, cooperation, and collaboration for Maine Title IA educators to discuss best practices and develop cooperative means of solving problems.  We also cooperate and consult with the State and Federal Departments of Education.

The MTEN website is located at  We will meet virtually four times in the 2020/2021 school year (September 24th, October 22nd, January 28th, and May 27th) to network, engage in professional development, discuss Title IA best practices, and consult with representatives from the Department of Education.  Virtual MTEN meetings will run from 8:45 AM – 12:00 PM.

We welcome all educators and new members! If you would like to attend a meeting as a visitor, please visit the website and use the Contact Us link.   Membership is free for the 2020/2021 school year.Training on the Legal Rights of Students who are English Learners

On October 20th from 3-4:30pm the Maine DOE will be providing a webinar training for all educators. Facilitated by April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III, and Sarah Forster, Assistant Attorney General, the training will provide essential information about the key laws and Supreme Court decisions affecting the rights of students who are English learners. For more details and to register, go to the Maine DOE professional development calendar. Contact with any questions.  

Contact Information

As always, reach out to your ESEA regional program manager with questions. Their contact information can be found at Also, your feedback is encouraged and appreciated. Please contact Cheryl Lang at with feedback and suggestions.