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Superintendents Contact your Congressional Delegation now:  US DOE recommends that Maine School Districts use Title II calculations for the Private Schools Cares Act allocation
Superintendents Contact your Congressional Delegation now: US DOE recommends that Maine School Districts use Title II calculations for the Private Schools Cares Act allocation
Mary Ellen Barrett
Friday, May 15, 2020

For the EESER Funds that you are slated to receive under the Cares Act Law, Section 18005 of the Act specifically states that these funds will be distributed through the Title I calculation normally used to calculate the amount of Title I funds, which are disbursed to the private schools in your district.  

In late April, in non-binding guidance issued by the US DOE, Secretary DeVos, asserts that these funds should be calculated through the Title II calculations for private schools, which would increase the amount of dollars many of you will need to send to your privates. This is why the application from our own DOE has slowed down. 

Click here for a spreadsheet showing the difference in allocating ESSER Funds via Title I funding and the USDOE recommended Title II funding for your review.  As you can see, if the funding for the ESSER Funds is calculated through Title I, Maine school districts would send $248,209 to the private schools.  If school districts are required to use the Title II calculations for private schools, then the amount of money that Maine School districts would be required to send to the private schools would reach nearly 1.8 million dollars. 

Although change in calculation may not impact you directly, we urge every Superintendent in Maine to contact their delegation to encourage the USDOE to follow the Cares Act law, and to align their guidance with section 18005 of the Cares Act that gives crystal clear directions to disperse the funds to private schools as prescribed in section 1117 of ESEA through Title I. 

AASA has created a quick and concise template you can use to let your members of Congress see how the flawed interpretation's failure to calculate the private school share based on poverty results is a significant increase in private school allocations. All you need to complete the template email is your name, district name, and the percentage of your district's FY19 (2019-20 school year) Title I and Title II set-asides for equitable services. To submit your comments to Congress, please reach out to either your state association, eking@msmaweb.com  or Chris Rogers at crogers@aasa.org