The term “Maintenance of Effort,” often shortened to “MOE,” refers to the requirement placed upon many federally funded grant programs that the State Education Agency (SEA) and Local Education Agencies (LEA) demonstrate that the level of state and local funding remains relatively constant from year to year. Failure to meet MOE requirements may result in the LEA losing eligibility to receive IDEA entitlement funding and requiring an LEA to repay funds, using a non-federal source, to the SEA, who is required to send funds to the US Department of Education.
At the local level, IDEA requires that LEAs expend the same amount of local / state funding for special education and related services as it expended in the previous fiscal year (34 CFR §300.203). There are provisions in IDEA to allow for decreases in an LEA’s MOE from one fiscal year to the next.
|Important FY 2012 MOE Compliance Information
Open Enrollment Coded to Fund 10
Prior to fiscal year 2012, LEAs coded the flat-rate open enrollment (OE) amount tied to students with disabilities in fund 27. Because this amount is not considered an excess cost of providing special education, LEAs have been asked to code the flat-rate OE costs for all students in fund 10. It was optional for LEAs to begin doing this in FY 2012 and will be required coding in FY 2013.
For most, this will not cause an LEA to fail all four tests when analyzing compliance with IDEA’s maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement. MOE Test #1 is based on total expenditures and revenue whereas Test #2 is based on local costs only (the fund 10 transfer). When source 347 OE revenue is removed from Test #1, the amount transferred from fund 10 will increase. This, in turn, causes the LEA to pass Test #2.
The MOE – Open Enrollment Coding technical assistance document describes the process DPI will use to determine if the new OE coding instructions have caused an LEA to fail MOE. These steps should be completed by the LEA prior to requesting an administrative MOE exception based on open enrollment coding.
Open Enrollment Flat-Rate Tuition Amounts
Late Medicaid Payments
If an LEA received Medicaid payments from expenditures that were incurred PRIOR to FY 2010-11, and the LEA believes this is why the LEA failed MOE compliance, then an administrative exception for MOE may be possible.
The LEA will need to e-mail Rachel Zellmer with the Medicaid revenue information, including the amounts tied to the year the expenditures were incurred. For example, District A would e-mail the following information: $8,647 2009-10 MAC; $34,809 2009-10 Cost Settlement. DPI will create an MOE scenario calculator to determine if MOE would have been met the year the revenue should have been received. If MOE would have been met, the new amounts are carried forward into FY 2011-12. An administrative exception will be entered for the amount the LEA fails to maintain effort.
Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Technical Assistance
Online Modules: Introduction to IDEA's Maintenance of Effort RequirementThis module looks at the LEA's obligations under IDEA's MOE requirement. It reviews how MOE compliance is tested in Wisconsin as well as the exceptions under the regulations that allows a district to lower their local special education costs from one year to the next.
GuidanceIDEA MOE Guide(this is a complete version with all chapters; for individual chapters, click on the links below)
Information from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
Excel CalculatorsFY 2013: MOE Planning Calculator for FY 2013 (excel spreadsheet)
FY 2011: No calculator was created for FY 2011 because there was no increase in the IDEA grant from FY 2010, thus no 50% rule amount to apply
FY 2010: MOE-50%-CEIS Calculator for FY 2010
WebinarsPlanning for MOE FY 2012 Compliance:
The Governor’s 2011-2013 biennial budget has given way to numerous questions about IDEA's MOE requirement, including questions about the impact of reductions in staff benefit costs and layoffs. IDEA does not allow savings from reduced staff salaries/benefits as exceptions. For LEAs this may mean putting savings from reduced staff salaries and benefits back into special education, even though the actual level of special education services is not reduced by the benefit reduction. This webinar reviews the requirements in light of the mandated cost savings and provides LEAs with tips and tools when planning for compliance in FY 2012.
MOE Compliance Report and Exception Software:
The MOE Compliance Report and Exception software was designed so LEAs would be able to easily submit MOE exception supporting documentation to gain MOE compliance. This webinar is broken into two parts - an overview of MOE compliance and a demonstration on using the software.
Questions on IDEA Maintenance of Effort may be directed to Rachel Zellmer.
Further questions regarding IDEA Flow-through and Preschool Entitlement budgets should be directed to the DPI special education consultant assigned to the district. A listing of consultant assignments can be located at http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_contact.