Tydings Waiver Request for FFY10 Funds

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September 19, 2012

To: Deb S. Delisle
Assistant Secretary
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Suite 3W315
Washington, DC 20202

RE:  FFY10 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Formula Grant Funds (CFDA # 84.371B, Grant Award #S371B100018)

Dear Ms. Delisle,

At the suggestion of Rosemary Fennell, our liaison to the USDE Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy office, I am writing to request a waiver of the Tydings period (e.g., no cost extension) for the Maine Department of Education for FFY10 to extend the use of these funds through September 30, 2013.  This request for a waiver of the Tydings period for FFY10 funds is being sought to insure that the grant implementation components, described in Maine’s approved award, can be fulfilled. 

Funds from FFY10 are due to expire on September 30, 2012.  The account manager for this program has informed me that we anticipate having approximately $70,000 of unallocated funds that must be used by September 30, 2012.  We anticipate having these unallocated funds due to the following:  1) the development of our comprehensive state literacy plan took longer than anticipated and has resulted in a short window of time to begin the implementation of the plan components with local education agencies, and 2) the decision to develop electronic tools that would support local level implementation efforts prior to introducing local education agencies to the plan components has also shortened the window of time to accomplish implementation efforts prior to September 30, 2012. 

If a waiver for use of these funds is not granted, the Maine Department of Education will not be able to adequately introduce local education agencies and birth-12 community partners to the components of Maine’s comprehensive literacy plan or provide them with adequate technical assistance support to develop and implement their own comprehensive literacy planning efforts.  This will diminish the opportunity to increase effectiveness of instruction for students that would result in raising student achievement.   It is for these reasons that we would like to use the $70,000   remaining in our FFY10 grant for the following purposes:

1). Continue to convene the State Literacy Team on a bi-monthly basis, utilizing both web-based and face to face meetings, to continue to guide the implementation of Maine’s comprehensive literacy plan.

2). Provide another round of regional professional development workshops aimed at supporting community literacy plan development and implementation for Maine LEAs and their birth-12 community teams unable to attend the first round of workshops held during September of 2012. 

3).  Develop a series of webinars to target ongoing community literacy plan development and implementation over the course of the 2012-13 school year to assist LEAs and their birth-12 community teams with professional development related to specific components of plan development and implementation such as conducting needs assessments, engaging in knowledge building and plan development around the six critical components outlined in Maine’s comprehensive plan, data driven decision making, and evaluation of plan implementation. 

4).  Continue to provide ongoing technical assistance to LEAs and their communities as they develop and implement comprehensive literacy plans during the 2012-13 school year.

5). Provide an additional follow up series of workshops in Spring or Summer of 2013 for LEAs and their birth-12 community teams to support local community literacy plan implementation, and  

6). Continue to develop and disseminate tools for LEAs and their birth-12 community teams that address the priority recommendations laid out for the Maine Department of Education to take in our comprehensive literacy plan, including tools focused on implementation of learning standards, curriculum alignment, workplace literacy skills, tiers of intervention, and supporting English learners.

The Maine Department of Education assures that it has provided notice and information regarding this waiver request in accordance with its usual procedure of posting waiver requests on its website.  This notice can be found at:  http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/index.html.

The $70,000 from FFY10 will enable the Maine Department of Education to more successfully implement its comprehensive literacy plan.  Maine’s comprehensive literacy plan, Literacy for ME, can be accessed at :http://www.maine.gov/doe/literacy-for-me/index.html. If additional information is needed, please contact Maine’s Reading First Director, Lee Anne Larsen at LeeAnn.Larsen@maine.gov or 207-624-6628.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Stephen L. Bowen
Commissioner of Education