Maintenance of Equity

Update** October 2022

2022-2023

The Arkansas Department of Education has compiled current year data to determine each school district and open enrollment charter LEA’s maintenance of equity requirements for the 2022-2023 school year.  This data and subsequent determinations are displayed here:  FY23 District MOEquity Bldg Identification.

Please refer to Commissioner’s Memo # FIN-23-013 for additional information.

Soon, the federal finance unit of ADE will begin interim analysis of expenditures related to the maintenance of equity requirements for the current year.  These interim calculations will be posted periodically during the year to allow LEAs to monitor their progress and ensure compliance for the 22-23 year before final close-out by the legal deadline of September 10, 2023.

Final maintenance of equity results will be provided by ADE in October 2023.

2021-2022

Final maintenance of equity results for the 2021-2022 school year are displayed here: FY22 Final District MOEquity Results.

July 2022

The Arkansas Department of Education has compiled and analyzed each school district and open enrollment charter school to determine its exemption status for the 2021-2022 year.  LEAs with a "No Exemption" status could potentially qualify for an exemption based on exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances approved by the US Department of Education.

https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/admin/Files/Copy_of_June_2022_MOEquity_(003)_FAS.pdf

Detailed data and analysis for each LEA is compiled by the state agency.  This data includes exemption status information, including the current status of an exceptional circumstance exemption based on total aggregate per-pupil expenditures from the prior year compared to the current year.  This data also provides individual school identification as “high poverty” based on overall district ranking and by grade span ranking method, school level expenditure data, FTE data, and current maintenance of equity analysis for each school within the LEA.

https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/report

The SEA has been providing this type of data since March 2022 on a monthly basis as a means to ensure LEAs maintain equity as required.  This has allowed many districts to identify needs to re-prioritize spending patterns and make necessary adjustments.  This practice will continue through the 2022-2023 year.

Preliminary LEA-level maintenance of equity analysis will be completed by August 1, 2022.  Any LEAs with results that indicate failure will be contacted by the SEA to begin plans for the new school year that will rectify the shortfall.  Any LEAs that qualify for an exceptional circumstance exemption will be contacted to complete the required documentation for SEA records.

Final LEA-level maintenance of equity analysis will be completed by October 10, 2022 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  This date aligns with the state’s legal deadline for LEAs to finally close the prior year in the accounting system of September 10 and allows time for the SEA to complete all analysis.

Once final analysis is complete and all exemptions are determined, either by legal qualifications or by special approved circumstance, the state agency will work with any LEAs that have failed to maintain equity in 2021-2022 individually.  Plans for these LEAs to meet the maintenance of equity requirement for 2022-2023 will be required by November 30, 2022.

Winter 2022

Section 2004 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act) includes new maintenance of equity (MOEquity) provisions that are a condition for a State educational agency (SEA) and local educational agency (LEA) to receive funds under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. These provisions are central to ensuring that essential resources are meeting the needs of students who have been subject to longstanding opportunity gaps in our education system. These student groups have also experienced the greatest impact from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

DESE sought specific guidance from USDE regarding grade span definitions and has been advised to use those grade spans employed in the school reportcard data.  Those grade spans are available here:  https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/public-school-accountability/school-performance/report-card.  For consistency, DESE will be using the same expenditure data that is used in reportcard data as well (state and local expenditures, as defined by federal reportcard guidance).

Bianca Porter, Federal Funding

Phone:  501-683-1287

Amy ThomasFederal Finance Coordinator

Phone:  501-682-3636