This 2009 letter provides a response to questions about IDEA Part B and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) guidance around LEA MOE reduction. The letter clarifies that if an LEA is identified as having significant disproportionality, the LEA will not be able to reduce local MOE. See 34 CFR §300.646.
Part B – Local Educational Agency (LEA) Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
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.
These LEA MOE regulations, effective July 1, 2015, consist of an analysis of comments to the proposed regulations, changes to and clarifications regarding requirements of LEA MOE, and an appendix of 10 tables of examples for calculating LEA MOE.
This 2014 letter clarifies that the level of effort an LEA must meet under IDEA regulations—in the year after it fails to maintain effort—is the level that would have been required in the absence of that failure and not the LEA’s reduced level of expenditures. It also provides examples of LEAs that meet and those that do not meet the MOE compliance and eligibility requirements. See §613(a)(2)(A)(iii).
This OSEP letter clarifies that district use of CEIS funds must be used to supplement state, local, and other federal funds, not to supplant those funds. It also answers a question about the allowance for reduction in MOE due to improved efficiencies of transportation costs with no reduction in special education and related services. The only exceptions and adjustments that apply to LEA MOE requirements are described in the regulations. See 34 CFR §300.202(a)(3) and 34 CFR §§300.204 and 300.205.
This letter provides clarification and examples of permissible ways in which an LEA may use the voluntary departure exception when determining the amount it can reduce its level of effort (MOE). See 34 CFR §300.204(a).
This letter clarifies that the level of effort that an LEA must meet in the year after it fails to maintain effort is the level that it should have met in the prior year, and not the LEA’s actual expenditures. NOTE: This clarification also withdraws the 6/16/11 MOE letter to Bill East, NASDSE, not to be confused with any other letter to East.
This 2011 letter clarifies that the regulation stating that for any fiscal year for which the allocation by an LEA under IDEA exceeds the amount that the LEA received for the previous fiscal year, the LEA may reduce the level of expenditures otherwise required by IDEA by not more than 50 percent of the amount of that excess does not restrict the MOE reductions that may be made because of the five exceptions. See 34 CFR §300.205(a) and 34 CFR §300.204.
This letter to the Michigan Department of Education addresses three IDEA fiscal topics, two of which are MOE and CEIS. The MOE question relates to the relationship of MOE to significantly reduced property tax revenues and the lack of MOE waiver opportunities for LEAs. OSEP responded that although there are no MOE waivers, there are circumstances in which LEAs may reduce MOE.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a 50-state survey of local and state special education directors about LEA MOE requirements. Their report examines the challenges districts face with meeting the requirements as well as unintended consequences such as discouraging innovation and efficiencies and reducing general education spending.