Maintenance of Effort Provisions

An Instrument of Federalism in Education

by Aaron S. Gurwitz, Linda Darling-Hammond, Sara R. Pease


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Most federal intergovernmental aid programs are accompanied by maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions. This study has three main purposes: (1) to analyze the structure and evolution of the legislative and regulatory requirements in order to determine the specific intentions that motivated the design of these provisions; (2) to assess the incidence and etiology of noncompliance; and (3) to analyze alternative policy responses in the event it was found that a substantial number of districts were not complying with the requirements whose enforcement might have inequitable and/or inefficient consequences. Chapter II describes current MOE regulations for four major federal education programs. Chapter III summarizes and organizes findings from the states visited. Chapter IV is an analysis of the findings. In the course of visits to the state capitals, each official interviewed was asked to suggest desirable changes in MOE provisions. Their views are summarized in Appendix A.

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