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Grant Selection and Performance

January 14, 2019

Task force members convened by teleconference at 8:00 am. 

PRESENT: Ed Barrett, Joe Schmidt, Jonathan Barczyk, Maryalice Crofton  

Discussion  
The task force members reviewed the final reports from panels that rated new grant proposals and their considerations of continuation grants.  

Recommendations to the Commission on Friday are summarized below and the corresponding report is available through the link.  

CONTINUATIONS. The AmeriCorps State Competitive continuation proposals from Maine Conservation Corps, Healthy Acadia, and USM/Maine Campus Compact are recommended at the requested levels for funding and allocation of Member Service Years and slots. If the recommendations are supported, the proposals will be submitted to CNCS with that endorsement; however, the decision on funding levels and allocations of AmeriCorps positions is made by CNCS under this funding stream.

Report links:  Maine Conservation Corps,      Healthy Acadia,      USM/Maine Campus Compact

NEW-COMPETITIVE. The new AmeriCorps State Competitive proposal from LearningWorks is recommended for forwarding to the CNCS national competition. The task force supports the requested levels for funding and allocation of Member Service Years and slots. It was noted that this is one of the highest scoring proposals in recent years.

Report link: LearningWorks

NEW-FORMULA. The Maine Rural AmeriCorps competition involves decisions by the Commission on award of funds from the formula allotment. There were four applications considered and all have the common flaws of inexperienced applicants, mostly related to budget development and calculations. There is an additional one across the set that is a function of the 10-month operating period for the first “year” of the award. Each miscalculated the relationship between hours members need to serve and the time left between the potential award and 12/31/2019 when the funds expire. All the applicants are very small organizations and serve rural areas. Except for the school system, all have underdeveloped administrative systems and will need some immediate, strong support from MCCS staff. 

Taking into consideration these factors, the task force decided to recommend awarding the levels of funds and Member Service Years and slots to the applicants: Seeds of Hope, MSAD #70, Maine Youth Alliance, and Maine Street Skowhegan.

 Report links: Seeds of Hope,      MSAD #70,      Maine Youth Alliance,      Maine Street Skowhegan

Jonathan agreed to present the recommendation for LearningWorks since he and Joe reviewed it. Ed will present continuations and the new rural grants. Luke Shorty is out of the country but he did review the rural grants.

OTHER DISCUSSION   
Commission staff did put out guidelines to existing formula grantees regarding one-time supplemental allocations of funds or funds plus service slots. Their requests are due to the staff on January 21 and can be reviewed by the task force at its February 1, 2019 meeting.   

Brunswick School District notified the Commission that it is declining its AmeriCorps award. The program director, Pender Makin, has left the district to become the Commissioner of Education and there isn’t a staff member able to step into the program director role. Their award was $73,798 and no expenses were incurred.   

Maryalice will explore with state procurement the options for directly developing programs in the areas of need that have not seen proposals. If the rules still apply, it may be possible to develop and award programs for summer. Doing so would set the stage for further engagement in rural areas.  

There being no other business, the task force closed its meeting at 8:44 am.