Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Comparing 2020-21 to 2021-22 Maintenance of Effort

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
ESSA Section 8521
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; General Business Managers; Bookkeepers

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Text

Maintenance of effort requires local educational agencies (LEA) to maintain their state and local expenditures at a specified level from one fiscal year to the next. Under the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Section 8521, grantees must maintain at least 90 percent of the state and local expenditures from the previous fiscal year. The LEA’s allocation must be reduced if the LEA fails to maintain effort in a given fiscal year and also failed to maintain effort in one or more of the five immediately preceding fiscal years. 

If an LEA is found to have not met the maintenance of effort threshold, the LEA may apply for a waiver. Waiver approval is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on evidence of qualifying circumstances. If an LEA receives a waiver of the maintenance of effort requirement from the department for a given fiscal year, the LEA has effectively maintained effort for that fiscal year. Accordingly, in determining whether the LEA had failed to maintain effort for one or more of the five immediately preceding fiscal years, the State Education Agency (SEA) would count the year in which the LEA received a waiver as a year of maintaining effort.

District information can be viewed on the ADE website by clicking this link:

NOTE:  Maintenance of effort requirements and calculations under ESEA/ESSA differs from that under IDEA for special education grants.

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