Maintenance of effort (MOE) requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to maintain the level of state and local funds they spend to support federal programs from one fiscal year to the next. If your organization receives a federal grant awarded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA-B), the MOE requirement specifies that you must spend at least the same amount of state and local funds to provide services to students with disabilities that you spent in the previous fiscal year. You must comply with the MOE requirement to receive IDEA-B funding each fiscal year (34 CFR §300.203).
There are other fiscal requirements related to MOE that you should consider before you budget funds for services to students with disabilities. These requirements include coordinated early intervening services (CEIS), excess cost, and voluntary reduction (when available). Information on these requirements is available in the resources listed below.
The following resources provide guidance to assist LEAs with IDEA-B and MOE.
IDEA-B LEA MOE Handbook
Refer to the IDEA-B LEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Guidance Handbook (PDF 755 KB) for information related to compliance for fiscal year 2014 and beyond.
The handbook is updated on an ongoing basis, as guidance is received and clarified.
IDEA-B LEA MOE Budgeting Resources
The following links lead to other resources that may help your organization budget funds for services to students with disabilities:
IDEA-B LEA MOE Calculation Tool
This is an Excel workbook to help your organization test its compliance with the MOE requirement. The calculation provides an estimate only and does not duplicate TEA's exact calculation process. The results of TEA's calculation will be the basis for the final MOE determination.
IDEA-B LEA Maintenance of Effort Compliance Review Process
Under federal law, local educational agencies (LEAs) that receive Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA-B) funds must maintain local or combined local and state expenditures in each subsequent year of funding. This requirement is called "maintenance of effort" (MOE). (34 CFR) 300.203
The Four Test Methods
To ensure that LEAs are meeting the MOE requirement, and in accordance with Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR) 300.203(b), TEA conducts an annual compliance review. The purpose of the review is for TEA to determine if the LEA met the compliance standard by passing at least one of the four following test methods:
- The total amount the LEA expended in local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended from that source for special education during the preceding fiscal year.
- The total amount the LEA expended in state and local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended from those sources for special education during the preceding fiscal year.
- The per-capita amount the LEA expended in local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended per-capita from that source for special education during the preceding fiscal year.
- The per-capita amount the LEA expended in state and local funds must equal or exceed the amount it expended per-capita from those sources for special education during the preceding fiscal year.
As defined in the "subsequent years rule" (34 CFR 300.203(c)), the "preceding fiscal year" means the last fiscal year in which the LEA met MOE for that test method.
In its compliance review of IDEA-B LEA MOE, TEA applies the following federal statutory authority:
- 34 CFR 300.154(g)(2)
- 34 CFR 300.203(b)
- 34 CFR 300.203(c)
- 34 CFR 300.204
- 34 CFR 300.205
- IDEA-B Supplemental Regulations, Non Regulatory Guidance (34 CFR 300.203(b), question C-4,p. 14-15, July 2015)
- New EDGAR Title 2, CFR 200.303(c) Internal Controls: Evaluate and monitor the non-federal entity's compliance with statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of federal awards.
Compliance Review Process
TEA uses data from PEIMS, SHARS Reimbursement Form, Summary of Finance (SOF), and special education student count to determine if the LEA met the compliance standard. The review consists of three main steps:
Preliminary results: Data analysis determines a preliminary compliance result. The LEAs are notified of the preliminary result and have the opportunity to submit federal exceptions, voluntary MOE reduction, state reconsideration, or submit local methodology and supporting documentation for the final calculation.
TEA review and evaluation of LEA responses: Staff review the federal exceptions, voluntary MOE reduction, state reconsideration, or the LEA's local methodology and supporting documentation for the final calculation.
Final results: TEA notifies the LEAs of final compliance results, which includes the refund amount due (for noncompliant LEAs), if applicable.
The compliance review process is outlined in this flow chart.
TEA uses the IDEA-B LEA MOE calculation tool to calculate MOE and encourages LEAs to use the tool as well to determine their MOE compliance.
The calculation tool gives an LEA local documentation for independent auditors and other external monitors. Use of the calculation tool demonstrates that the LEA is monitoring its own MOE compliance standard requirement, as regulations require. Using the tool also enables the LEA to plan, budget, monitor, forecast, and adjust expenditures to meet the compliance standard, forecast the result of TEA's compliance review, and determine the budget amounts for the MOE eligibility standard.
In July 2015, USDE issued guidance on final IDEA-B LEA MOE regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
USDE July 2015 IDEA-B LEA MOE Non-Regulatory Guidance
In April 2015, final regulations related to IDEA-B LEA MOE were published in the Federal Register.
April 28, 2015 Final Rule to IDEA-B Regulations (PDF)
In April 2014, the US Department of Education (USDE) issued a letter describing the level of effort LEAs should meet the year following a noncompliance determination from TEA.
April 4, 2014 Letter from the US Department of Education (PDF)
In September 2013, USDE issued proposed amendments to MOE. The purpose was to clarify existing policy and compliance and eligibility standards. The amendments also clarified the level of effort required of an LEA in the year after it fails to maintain effort, and the consequence of a failure to maintain effort.
September 18, 2013 Proposed Amendments to IDEA-B Regulations (PDF)
Additional guidance will be posted on this page as it becomes available. If you would like to be notified when updates occur, please subscribe to the Grants Administration and Federal Program Compliance email bulletin.