Local Educational Agency (LEA) Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Organizer
Meeting the Eligibility (Budget) Standard
The regulations for the MOE eligibility standard are at 34 CFR §§300.203(a), 300.204, and 300.205. Other IDEA requirements that may apply include §§300.12, 300.28, 300.209, 300.221, 300.227, 300.228, and 300.608.
34 CFR 300.203(a)(1) provides an overview of the eligibility standard:
“For purposes of establishing the LEA’s eligibility for an award for a fiscal year, the SEA must determine that the LEA budgets, for the education of children with disabilities, at least the same amount, from at least one of the following sources, as the LEA spent for that purpose from the same source for the most recent fiscal year for which information is available: (i) Local funds only; (ii) The combination of State and local funds; (iii) Local funds only on a per capita basis; or (iv) The combination of State and local funds on a per capita basis.”
34 CFR §300.12 Educational service agency (ESA). Defines an ESA. May help an SEA determine if some of its state structures must meet the LEA MOE eligibility standard under 34 CFR §300.203 (e.g., cooperatives, regional TA centers, etc.).
34 CFR §300.28 Local educational agency. Defines an LEA, including ESA and other public institutions and agencies, and Bureau of Indian Affairs funded schools. Will help an SEA determine which education providers must meet the LEA MOE eligibility standard under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.200 Condition of assistance. Describes the conditions under which an LEA is eligible to receive its IDEA funding. An LEA that receives IDEA funding must maintain effort under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.203 (a) Maintenance of effort. Eligibility standard. Describes the MOE requirements and intervening years for the eligibility standard so that the SEA can determine how to provide TA to LEAs that must maintain effort under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.203 (c) Maintenance of effort. Subsequent years. Describes the Subsequent Years rule as it relates to LEA MOE so that the SEA can determine how to provide TA to LEAs that must maintain effort under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.204 Exception to maintenance of effort. Describes the five allowable exceptions to the MOE requirements so that the SEA can determine how to provide TA to LEAs that must maintain effort under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.205 Adjustment to local fiscal efforts in certain fiscal years. Describes the circumstances under which LEA may adjust MOE amount downward in fiscal years when federal allocations increase so that the SEA can determine how to provide TA to LEAs that must maintain effort under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.209 Treatment of charter schools and their students. Clarifies that children with disabilities retain all rights under IDEA and outlines regulations for charter schools that are public schools of the LEA. This regulation also clarifies the position of public charter schools that are LEAs and public charter schools that are neither an LEA nor part of an LEA relevant to these regulations. Will help an SEA determine what education providers must meet the LEA MOE eligibility standard under 34 CFR §300.203 so the SEA can determine how to provide TA to LEAs that must maintain effort under 34 CFR §300.203.
34 CFR §300.221 Notification of LEA or State agency in case of ineligibility. Notes that the LEA or state agency is entitled to a hearing in the case of ineligibility, including for failing to meet the LEA MOE eligibility standard. If the LEA or state agency is ineligible for federal IDEA funds, the SEA and LEAs need to be aware of the implication of the LEA MOE eligibility standard as it relates to this process.
34 CFR §300.227 Direct services by the SEA. Describes circumstances, including ineligibility for IDEA Part B funds, under which an SEA must use the payment that would otherwise have been available to an LEA or to a state agency to provide special education and related services directly to children with disabilities residing in the area served by that LEA, or for whom that state agency is responsible.
34 CFR §300.228 State agency eligibility. Describes condition of eligibility for any state agency that desires to receive a subgrant under §300.705. Eligibility for a subgrant includes, among the other requirements that apply to an LEA, the MOE provisions at 34 CFR §§300.203-300.205. It is important that both the SEA and any state agency that applies to receive an IDEA subgrant be aware of all the provisions, including the LEA MOE requirements.
34 CFR §300.608 State enforcement. Requires that if the LEA is not meeting the requirements for Part B of the IDEA, including the targets in the State’s Performance Plan, the SEA must prohibit the LEA from reducing the LEA’s MOE for any fiscal year. This provision clearly delineates the relationship between the SEA’s State Performance Plan (and its Annual Performance Report), along with any outstanding monitoring findings from the SEA, due process or state complaint findings, or any other actions that demonstrate noncompliance with Part B of the IDEA and the LEA’s potential to reduce LEA MOE pursuant to 34 CFR §300.205.
34 CFR §76.401 Disapproval of an application – opportunity for a hearing. Provides SEAs and LEAs with specific information regarding process and timelines for a hearing in the event that the LEA does not meet the LEA MOE eligibility requirement.
OSEP Guidance – Sections B & C. This question and answer document explains: (1) the eligibility standard; (2) the compliance standard; (3) the subsequent years rule; and (4) the consequences for an LEA’s failure to maintain effort. The document also describes the actions that SEAs and LEAs must take to meet the MOE eligibility and compliance standards, answers frequently asked questions about LEA MOE, and shares examples to facilitate and enhance SEA and LEA understanding of LEA MOE.
TA Center Resources
CIFR. LEA MOE Quick Reference Guide. Provides an overview of the LEA MOE requirements stipulated by IDEA.
CIFR. Key Differences between IDEA Local Educational Agency Maintenance of Effort and Excess Cost Requirements. Describes key differences between the LEA MOE and excess cost requirements and methods for calculating them.