appreciate the opportunity to address questions and concerns regarding your ABLE
programs. Below I have summarized the current funding and the funding process
for ABLE dollars.
FUNDING FOR ABLE LOCAL PROGRAMS:
have been level funded for years; since the original RFP's in 2002.
July 1, 2008, the estimated ABLE Grant state awards for all states were
grant was reduced by $20,028.
for 2008 is $1,369,057/yr.
in previous years was $1,429,057/yr.
EL/Civics Award remains the same at $60,000/yr.
be a 1.6% decrease in federal dollars for all Montana programs. Examples:
program received $9,814 in 2007, the program will receive $9,657 in 2008.
program received $153,800 in 2007, the program will receive $151,340 in
WHAT IS THE
PROCESS FOR FEDERAL ALLOCATION?
revisits the law each year. It has been extended since the passage of the
Adult Family and Literacy Act of 1998, which means that programs have not had
to reapply for a grant award since 2002.
have submitted extension applications based on the amount of money that was
Reauthorization is expected after the new administration.
FUNDING FOR ABLE LOCAL PROGRAMS:
the federal law, all states must meet a required match 25% in order to be
eligible for the ABLE funds.
$275,000/year was allocated for Montana ABLE programs by the state
did not meet the required federal match.
remainder of the required match came from reported in-kind dollars.
dollars are local monies that go to the maintenance of a local ABLE
program. Local monies can come from a variety of sources such as school
districts, businesses, or even individuals.
dollars must meet maintenance of effort, which means they can be increased
each year, but they cannot be decreased.
Montana legislature increased their required match for ABLE programs by
This was a
47%/yr. increase, and the state required match was met.
ABLE programs now receive $525,000 per year, $1,050,000/biennium.
monies must still meet maintenance of effort. The local money cannot be
decreased as state dollars increase.
HOW IS STATE
AND FEDERAL MONEY AWARDED TO A LOCAL PROGRAM?
applications are submitted from existing programs. Programs submit a budget
based on previous awards.
award did not change until this year. (1.6% decrease)
award did not change until last year. ($250,000 increase)
money that was allocated last year was awarded according to a funding formula
that was developed by a task force of state directors.
original federal and state awards remained the same (hold harmless).
for the $500,000 in new state includes the following components:
the money is base funding based on the number of students enrolled, with
120% of the base going to rural programs to account for the costs of
maintaining a smaller program.
on need according to the census data.
on the number of students with 12 or more hours.
on the number of students making an education gain.
on the number of students attaining a core goal.
There are 20
ABLE programs, of these 14 have received increased state dollars based on the
state statute, 6 ABLE programs currently do not receive state funding. There
is a proposed language change for the next legislative session to allow all
ABLE programs to receive state funding.
WHAT IS THE
PROCESS FOR THE STATE ALLOCATION?
state ABLE director submits Legislation and Budget Request Form, or the
Executive Planning Process Request Form (EPP) to the assistant superintendent.
The EPP describes the proposal and the intended positive impact.
February/March: The state director and assistant superintendent meet to review
approved the assistant superintendent takes the EPP to the Superintendent of
Public Instruction and the Cabinet for consideration.
Superintendent of Public Instruction and Cabinet make the final decision on
all EPP proposals in order to finalize the Superintendent's budget for the
next legislative session.
budget is submitted to the Governor.
WHAT WAS THE
FISCAL EPP PROPOSAL FOR THE 2009 LEGISLATIVE SESSION?
2008: EPP proposal for $275,000/yr. submitted. Extensive background
information accompanied the proposal validating the need for increase funds.
2008: Assistant superintendent requested that the state directors supply
the following information: 1) what specifically did your program do with
the increased funds? 2) What services were increased 3) what measurable
outcomes can you relate to increased funding? 4) Can you share specific
projects or programs that you have implemented that have had a positive
economic impact on your community? Share data on the project, numbers served,
2008: State director compiled the responses from directors to submit to the
Superintendent and the Cabinet.
March 21, 2008: The
Cabinet did not recommend moving forward with the EPP for Adult Basic and
Literacy Education Budget Request. It was explained that the size of the
increase that was provided in the last biennium, the exceptionally tight
fiscal limits that the Governor's budget office is requesting of state
agencies and the numerous other requests from programs, some of which had not
received increases for quite some time, all contributed to this decision.
March 25, 2008: State
director submitted an inflationary adjustment for the next biennium. This
would increase ABLE state dollars by $21,630/2010 and $43,260/2011.
April, 2008: Inflationary
adjustment for ABLE was approved by the Superintendent and Cabinet. Adjust was
incorporated into the Superintendent's proposed budget.
The Office of Public Instruction's proposed budget submitted to the Governor.
If you have
further questions regarding the funding process, please contact me or TJ Eyer at
Margaret Bowles, Adult
Literacy and Basic Education Specialist
of Public Instruction