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 local and state funding remains relatively constant from year to year. Failure to meet MOE requirements may result in the LEA losing eligibility to receive IDEA formula funding and requiring an LEA to repay funds, using a non-federal source, to the SEA, who is required to send the penalty funds to the US Department of Education. At the local level, IDEA requires that LEAs expend the same amount of local and state funding for special education and related services as it expended in the previous fiscal year (34 CFR §300.203). There are a limited number of provisions in IDEA to allow for decreases in an LEA’s MOE from one fiscal year to the next. The Department of Public Instruction monitors every LEA in Wisconsin every year regarding IDEA MOE compliance.
IDEA Maintenance of Effort Announcements
No additional flexibility or waivers have been granted concerning an LEA's obligation to meet the IDEA maintenance of effort requirements (investment of local funds into its special education programming). For additional information, please see our memo that was published on April 30, 2020.
Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Technical Assistance
IDEA MOE Guide Technical Assistance Document
This guide provides an overview of the IDEA MOE regulations, covers how DPI tests an LEA's compliance with the MOE regulations, and walks the reader through the web-based Eligibility and Compliance reports.
Exception Checklist Technical Assistance Document
This includes a list of possible exceptions a district should review if MOE compliance has not been met. This list will be udpated as additional situations are determined.
MOE Local Cost Reductions - COVID 19
This is a list of circumstances that have been brought to our attention regarding cost reductions due to an LEA's response to COVID-19. Several situations meet the standards of the existing IDEA MOE exceptions while others fall under the category of cost savings (not an allowed exception).
Options for Maintaining IDEA Maintenance of Effort Technical Assistance Document
The Special Education Team has determined several options an LEA may wish to consider when planning for maintenance of effort compliance in future fiscal years. These options are described at length in this document.
LEA MOE Organizer
The Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR) designed the LEA MOE Organizer to provide users with a comprehensive overview of LEA MOE federal regulations and resources to support understanding and implementation. Users can easily navigate the graphical interface for information and relevant tools and resources from technical centers and OSEP.
Information from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
- In an April 4, 2012 response to Kathleen Boundy from the Center for Law and Education(CLE), OSEP rescinded a policy interpretation originally issued on June 16, 2011 to Bill East, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), regarding an LEA's level of effort in the case where MOE compliance has not been met. OSEP is withdrawing their interpretation as expressed in the letter to Dr. East and now believes that the level of effort that an LEA must meet in the year after it fails to maintain effort is the level of effort that it should have met in the prior year, and not the LEA’s actual expenditures.
All letters may be viewed below:
Coding Medicaid revenue and the impact on IDEA's MOE compliance
Since DPI’s standardization of monitoring IDEA’s maintenance of effort compliance requirement, past Medicaid cost settlements have resulted in a number of complicated issues for districts. The IDEA regulations state that revenue received through Medicaid should offset a district’s special education expenditures to reflect true local costs (34 CFR §300.154(g)(2); however, in the case of MAC and cost settlements, the revenue received is often years after the expenditures were made.
Maintenance of Effort compliance is based on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year comparison. Once the fiscal year is closed (we use the date September 30), any opportunities to “amend” the prior year expenditures by moving costs between funding sources is no longer permitted. Using the same concept with Medicaid MAC and cost settlements, we believe that revenue received after the close of a fiscal year (September 30) should be excluded from the MOE calculation. For example, a cost settlement for the 2011-12 fiscal year received in June of 2015 would be excluded from the MOE calculation.
Beginning with fiscal year 2013-14, all MAC or Cost Settlement payments or recoupments must be booked to fund 10. All interim SBS payments or recoupments (current and immediate prior) will continue to be booked in fund 27.
For additional information and examples, please view the Medicaid Coding technical assistance document. This information was also made available as a webinar with a companion handout
Questions on IDEA Maintenance of Effort may be directed to Rachel Zellmer.
To schedule a conference call with Rachel Zellmer, please visit our Bookings page.