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 were 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 (updated October 2022 to reflect the shift to WISEdata Finance)
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.
|MOE Eligibility Timeline (reviewing FY 2022-2023 Fund 27 budgets)
|July 1, 2022
|LEA submits FY 2022-2023 IDEA Part B Formula Certification and Assurances which includes an assurance statement that the LEA will remain in compliance with IDEA maintenance of effort requirements.
|Sept 2022 - Dec 2022
|LEA pushes its FY 2022-2023 Fund 27 Budget accounts to DPI’s WISEdata Finance portal.
|LEAs with a 10% or greater decrease in annual October 1 Child Count numbers (based on the December WISEdash snapshot) must provide verification of the count through the WISEgrants MOE Eligibility Report or submit a data errata letter through WISE Admin.
|DPI reviews FY 2022-2023 IDEA MOE Eligibility Reports, provides initial notification to LEAs of failure to meet IDEA MOE eligibility.
|Dec 2022 - Jan 2023
|DPI works with LEAs to meet IDEA MOE eligibility.
|LEAs meet IDEA MOE eligibility or FY 2022-2023 IDEA claims are “shut off.”
|Feb 2022 - June 2023
|LEAs use available MOE scenario calculators to monitor compliance.
|MOE Compliance Timeline (reviewing FY 2021-2022Fund 27 expenditures)
|July 2022 - August 2022
|LEA pushes its FY 2021-2022 Fund 27 actual accounts to DPI’s WISEdata Finance portal.
|Until Sept 30, 2022
|LEAs can amend FY 2021-2022 claims, returning IDEA formula funds and reclassifying the costs to project 011 or 019.
|DPI reviews FY 2021-2022 IDEA MOE Compliance Reports and provides initial notification to LEAs of failure to meet MOE compliance.
|Oct 2022 - Nov 2022
|DPI reviews FY 2021-2022 WISEdata Finance Fund 27 - Project 341 and 347 accounts and reconciles them to WISEgrants. LEAs must be reconciled prior to MOE compliance determinations.
|Oct 2022 - Nov 2022
|DPI reviews FY 2021-2022 WISEdata Finance Fund 27 transfer amounts and reconciles them to WISEgrants. LEAs must be reconciled (or supporting documentation provided) prior to MOE compliance determinations.
|Oct 2022 - Feb 2023
|DPI works with LEAs to meet FY 2021-2022 IDEA MOE compliance.
|Final IDEA MOE compliance for FY 2021-2022 determinations are made. LEAs receive an IDEA non-compliance letter with a penalty amount that must be paid to DPI. LEAs must demonstrate they will meet IDEA MOE compliance for the current year (FY 2022-2023).
|LEAs that failed FY 2021-2022 IDEA MOE compliance implement corrective actions.
|DPI sends FY 2021-2022 IDEA MOE non-compliance penalty amounts to the US Department of Education.
|Sept 2023 - Oct 2023
|DPI sends closing letters to LEAs that failed FY 2021-2022 IDEA MOE compliance if the corrective actions have been completed.
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.