Ed_banner_left Ed_banner_right
U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Maintenance of effort (Sec. Sec. 300.202 through 300.205)

Comment: A few commenters stated that the maintenance of effort requirements are complicated and unnecessary and should be eliminated or simplified.

Discussion: Sections 300.202 through 300.205, regarding maintenance of effort and the LEA's use of funds received under Part B of the Act, reflect the specific statutory requirements in section 613(a)(2) of the Act, as well as necessary information regarding the implementation of these requirements. Much of the additional information in Sec. Sec. 300.202 through 300.205 was included in various sections throughout the current regulations. We continue to believe that this information is necessary for the proper implementation of the Act. Section 300.204(e), which has been newly added to the regulations, includes the assumption of costs by the high cost fund as an additional condition under which an LEA may reduce its level of expenditures. We believe this provision is necessary because LEAs should not be required to maintain a level of fiscal effort based on costs that are assumed by the SEA's high cost fund.

In short, we have tried to present the regulations relating to LEA maintenance of effort in a clear manner, while being consistent with the language of the Act (which we do not have the authority to change) and including only as much additional information as is necessary to ensure proper implementation of the Act.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter stated that LEAs should be permitted to use a reasonable amount of their Part B funds to meet the Act's requirements relating to student assessment, outcomes, complaints, compliance monitoring, mediation, and due process hearings.

Discussion: With one exception, nothing in the Act or these regulations would prevent an LEA from using its Part B allotment for the activities noted by the commenter, so long as the expenditures meet the other applicable requirements under the Act and regulations.

LEAs may not use their Part B funds to support the mediation process described in Sec. 300.506. Consistent with section 615(e)(2)(D) of the Act, Sec. 300.506(b)(4) requires the State (not the LEA) to bear the cost of that mediation process. Although LEAs may not use their Part B funds to support the mediation process required under Sec. 300.506(b)(4), they may use their Part B funds to support alternative mediation processes that they offer. Some LEAs (and States) offer alternative mediation processes, in addition to the mediation process required under section 615 of the Act. These alternative mediation processes generally were established prior to the Federal mandate for mediation and some LEAs (and States) continue to offer parents the option of using these alternative mediation processes to resolve disputes. Therefore, if an LEA has an alternative mediation process, it may use its Part B funds for this process, so long as parents are provided access to the required mediation process under section 615 of the Act and are not required to use an alternative mediation process in order to engage in the mediation process provided under section 615 of the Act.

Changes: None.

Comment: Several commenters requested clarifying that "per capita" in Sec. 300.203(b) means the amount per child with a disability in an LEA.

Discussion: We do not believe it is necessary to include a definition of "per capita" in Sec. 300.203(b) because we believe that, in the context of the regulations, it is clear that we are using this term to refer to the amount per child with a disability served by the LEA.

Changes: None.