School laws enacted in 2009 legislative session

  • LD 285: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Consolidation of School Administrative Units To Delay All Penalties for 2 Years, Rep. Schatz; co-sponsors: Reps Clark, Gifford, Senator Sherman
      ...delays any financial penalties imposed on a school administrative unit for nonconformance with the laws governing the reorganization of school administrative units until the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2010.

      ENACTED 6/09/2009

  • LD 467: An Act To Exempt School Administrative District 12, School Union 37 and School Union 60 from the Laws Requiring School Administration Consolidation, Senator Mills; co-sponsors: Reps. Crockett, Johnson, Pinkham; Senators Gooley, Smith
      ...exempts the towns of Jackman and Moose River, Union 60 and Union 37 from minimum student enrollments established in statute for regional school units. The Commissioner of Education is required to treat the towns in a manner similar to the treatment of coastal islands.

      ENACTED 5/28/2009

  • LD 522: Resolve, To Establish the Study Commission Regarding Teachers' Salaries, Rep. Sutherland; co-sponsors: Reps. Cain, Martin, Rotundo, Schatz, Wagner
      ...establishes the Study Commission Regarding Teachers' Salaries to investigate conditions affecting teachers' salaries in this State, which despite the enactment of a minimum teachers' salary law and substantial increases in general purpose aid for local schools in recent years have not kept pace with inflation and have declined in rank relative to other states in the nation. The resolve authorizes the commission to make findings and recommendations and to submit suggested legislation to ensure that all teachers are paid at rates that are commensurate with their experience, education, professional responsibilities and essential role in the development of the State's economy and human capital.
      [Committee amendment] ...makes several revisions to the resolve pertaining to the membership of the proposed study commission. The amendment clarifies that the scope of the study commission review is teacher compensation, including teachers' salaries and benefits. The amendment also revises the duties of the study commission to reflect the broadened focus on teacher compensation systems and also includes an examination of the following items in the duties of the study commission:
        1. Alternatives to the existing method of recognizing the costs of teachers' salaries based on education and experience;
        2. Collective bargaining alternatives in determining salaries and benefits at the school administrative unit level; and
        3. Any other factors that the commission members consider relevant to the examination of teachers' compensation.
      [Senate amendment]: ...increases the number of members on the commission from 7 to 8 by increasing the number of Senators from one to 2. The amendment also requires that 2 members from the Senate and the House of Representatives represent the 2 political parties that have the greatest number of members in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    PASSED 6/12/2009

  • LD 698: An Act To Allow School Budget Validation Referenda To Be Held on a Saturday, Rep. Weaver; co-sponsors: Reps. Cushing, Edgecomb, Hayes, Hill, Knight, Langley, Pinkham, Russell
      ...allows school budget validation referendum votes for regional school units to be held on Saturday

        ENACTED 5/05/2009

  • LD 1049: An Act To Encourage Cooperation among School Administrative Units, Rep. Sutherland; Co-sponsors: Reps. Dill, Duchesne, Johnson, O'Brien, Percy, Pieh, Trinward; Senator Weston
      ... provides for the formation of 20 regional education cooperatives. School administrative units established as of July 1, 2009 may join a regional education cooperative of their choice, and each participating school administrative unit has a single representative to the cooperative board. Participation in regional education cooperatives is voluntary and the participation of participating school administrative units in any of the specified educational functions or support services carried out by the regional education cooperative is voluntary.

      ...Participating school administrative units voluntarily choose which educational functions or support services they purchase from the regional education cooperative and contribute only for the costs of those educational functions or support services that they use. Savings achieved through the regional education cooperative accrue to the participating school administrative units, with a portion reserved for administrative costs of the regional education cooperative.
      [amendment] ...removes the provisions in the bill that establish a limit of 20 cooperative agreements that may be in operation at any time. The amendment also provides that, if the Commissioner of Education finds that an application for a cooperative agreement contains the information required to be included in the application, the commissioner shall notify the school administrative units participating in the cooperative agreement that the application is approved, pending a ratification vote by each of the school boards of the participating school administrative units. The amendment further provides that, instead of requiring reapplication to the commissioner in addition to the vote as proposed in the bill, a cooperative agreement may be renewed upon a ratification vote to renew the cooperative agreement by each of the school boards of the participating school administrative units.

      ENACTED 5/12/2009

  • LD 1126: An Act To Limit the Scope of Miscellaneous Costs within the General Purpose Aid for Local Schools Appropriation, Senator Trahan; Co-sponsors: Reps. Finch, McKane, Pendleton, Pieh, Richardson, Schatz; Senators Nutting, Raye, Weston
      ...amends the law concerning the various elements of the "miscellaneous costs" component of the general purpose aid for local schools appropriation, or GPA appropriation. The premise of the bill is that the GPA appropriation should be either a general purpose subsidy to local schools or a state expenditure that provides direct educational services to students who would otherwise be served by the State's public elementary or secondary schools. The bill eliminates the Commissioner of Education's authority to use GPA funds to pay the personnel costs for a range of state employees who work for the Department of Education and provide only indirect support to the public education system. The bill eliminates a similar authority to use GPA funds to pay for the personnel costs of 3 teachers employed by the Department of Corrections. The bill also eliminates the authority to use GPA funds to pay for general education research conducted by the University of Maine, but it retains the authority to use GPA funds to cover a contract with the university to monitor and update the essential programs and services school funding model.

      [Amendment]:This amendment replaces the bill to incorporate changes in the law concerning the Commissioner of Education's funding level recommendations and the Governor’s recommendations for the annual appropriation to the General Purpose Aid for Local Schools program in the state budget. The amendment requires that the amounts appropriated for certain components of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act that are proposed in any state budget must be shown in a sufficiently detailed and transparent form and manner to permit the Legislature and the citizens of the State to identify the changes in proposed funding for the components of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act from the proposed budget without need for reference to other documents or explanations.

        ENACTED 6/02/2009

  • LD 1178: Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 131: The Maine Federal, State, and Local Accountability Standards, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education, Rep, Sutherland
      ...provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 131: The Maine Federal, State, and Local Accountability Standards, a major substantive rule of the Department of Education.

      PASSED 6/04/2009

  • LD 1225: An Act To Amend the School Funding Formula Regarding School Administrative Units That Are Eligible for the Minimum State Share of Their Total Allocation, Rep. Johnson; Co-sponsors: Reps. Crockett, Davis, Eaton, MacDonald, McFadden, Schatz
      ...provides that a school administrative unit that is eligible for the minimum state share of its total allocation under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act may also be eligible for an additional adjustment when the school administrative unit meets certain eligibility criteria for an economically disadvantaged school administrative unit:

           1. The local median household income of each municipality in the school administrative unit is less than the statewide median household income; and.

           2. At least 30% of the students in the school administrative unit are economically disadvantaged students as calculated pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15675, subsection 2.

           A school administrative unit that meets these eligibility criteria must receive an additional adjustment to the state share of its total allocation.
      [amendment by Committee] ...replaces the emergency bill with a nonemergency resolve that directs the Education Research Institute to include a targeted research project in the fiscal year 2009-10 work plan. The amendment provides that the project agreement with the Education Research Institute must include a project to address the impact of the adjustments in the school funding formula related to school administrative units that are eligible for the minimum state share of their total allocation. Following receipt of the report from the Maine Education Policy Research Institute, the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs may report out legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.

      PASSED 6/04/2009

  • LD 1277: An Act To Encourage Alternative Compensation Models for Teachers and School Administrators, Senator Weston;
      ...requires the Department of Education to review models for performance-based pay and bonuses for teachers, principals and superintendents and to adopt rules authorizing school administrative units to use a performance-based pay model for the remuneration of teachers beginning in school year 2010. [committee amendment]: ...replaces the bill with a resolve to direct the Department of Education to apply for federal grant funds from the federal Teacher Incentive Fund on behalf of interested school administrative units in the State for the purpose of establishing a state-based alternative compensation grant program.

        PASSED 6/04/2009

  • LD 1297: An Act To Abolish the State Board of Education, Rep. Joy; Co-sponsors; Reps. Browne, Burns, Gifford, Hayes, McLeod, Sirois, Tardy; Senator Trahan
      ...dissolves the State Board of Education on July 1, 2010, and directs the Department of Education to study and recommend legislation to transfer the powers and duties of the board to other agencies in anticipation of the dissolution.

      [amendment]: ...replaces the bill with a resolve to establish a stakeholder group to review the role of the State Board of Education and submit a report and recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 1, 2009. The Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs may introduce legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature. The amendment also changes the bill title and incorporates an emergency preamble and an emergency clause.

      [amendment]: ...adds 2 additional legislative members to the stakeholder group and clarifies that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House are to appoint all members of the stakeholder group and that the first appointed members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are to serve as cochairs of the stakeholder group.

      PASSED 6/12/2009

  • LD 1325: An Act Regarding Curriculum Requirements and Standards for Awarding a High School Diploma, Rep. Sutherland; Co-sponsors: Senators Bowman, Mills, Mitchell; Reps.: Cain, Lovejoy, Strang-Burgess
      ...amends standards for student assessment, basic school approval, the elementary, middle and secondary courses of study, the comprehensive program of study for the high school diploma and the Department of Education diploma in order to more fully implement the parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements.

      [Committee amendment] ...accomplishes the following.

        1. It amends the provision that elementary and secondary schools provide students with opportunities for learning in multiple pathways by removing the requirement that schools may include opportunities to accelerate learning to meet the needs of individual students and by reinstating the provision that instruction for individual students may include instruction for gifted and talented students.

        2. It removes the requirements that secondary schools and junior high schools or middle schools must develop and maintain a personal learning plan for each student.

        3. It amends the provision that secondary school students may demonstrate achievement of the parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements based on evidence documented by course and learning experiences using multiple measures by removing the requirements that student achievement must be based on state-level supported assessments established by the Department of Education or by state-developed rubrics or locally developed rubrics approved by the department.

        4. It removes the requirements for transition to a standards-based diploma, including the provisions that a diploma may only be awarded for credit earned in the 4 content areas of English language arts, mathematics, science and technology and social studies and for selecting one other area of the 3 content areas of health education and physical education, visual and performing arts or world languages. It also removes the application provision that stated that only a standards-based diploma may be awarded for high school students graduating in 2016 and thereafter.

        5. It reinstates the provision in current law that career and technical students may satisfy the 2nd-year math and science, the 2nd-year social studies and the fine arts requirements through separate or integrated study within the career and technical school curriculum, but it removes the provision that all students are deemed to meet the standards in career and education development through integrated learning experiences and activities conducted in other content areas.

        6. It removes the transition provision that directed the Department of Education to convene a representative group of stakeholders to further examine the types of assessments and rubrics that can be developed to measure student achievement in all 8 content areas included in the parameters for essential instruction.

        7. It directs the Commissioner of Education to convene a work group to develop requirements for awarding high school diplomas that permit school administrative units to award a high school diploma based on standards, credits or a combination of standards and credits. The Commissioner of Education shall present a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs no later than January 29, 2010. The Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs may report out legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.

        ENACTED 6/05/2009

  • LD 1356: An Act To Improve the Ability of the Department of Education To Conduct Longitudinal Data Studies, Senator Mills; Co-sponsors: Senators Bartlett, Jackson, Mitchell, Rector, Weston; Reps. Crockett, Lovejoy, Miller, Piotti, Stuckey, Sutherland
      ...requires the Department of Education to develop and maintain the Maine Statewide Longitudinal Data System. The purpose of this system is to improve the ability of the Department of Education to conduct longitudinal data studies by permitting the use of student social security numbers for the tracking of individual student enrollment history and achievement data over time. Data must be collected and used in compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
      [committee amendment] ...replaces the bill. The amendment accomplishes the following.

      1. It reallocates the provisions establishing the Maine Statewide Longitudinal Data System from the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, chapter 606-B to chapter 221, subchapter 1, which pertains to student records.

      2. It provides that if the Commissioner of Education requires a school administrative unit to collect and report individual social security numbers, that the school administrative unit must notify parents in the annual notice required under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, "FERPA," that the data is being collected and used for longitudinal data purposes and that the school administrative unit requests that the parent provides written consent to use the child's social security number for the collection of longitudinal data for the parent's child.

      3. It provides that the parental notification must include an explanation of the parent's right that the child's social security number is not required as a condition of enrollment and that the child's social security number may not be used for longitudinal data purposes unless the parent provides prior written consent. It also provides that when a student attains 18 years of age, the written consent required of the parent, and the rights accorded to the parent, are thereafter required of and accorded to the student.

      4. It clarifies that personally identifiable information contained in an educational record that is not directory information as defined by FERPA may only be released to other state agencies and postsecondary education institutions under a signed memorandum of understanding in compliance with FERPA.

      5. It directs the Commissioner of Education to send an administrative letter to superintendents, principals and school counselors on the establishment of the Maine Statewide Longitudinal Data System, including suggested language to be included in the annual notice to parents required under FERPA that explains a parent's right that the child's social security number is not required as a condition of enrollment and that the child's social security number may not be used for the purposes of the Maine Statewide Longitudinal Data System unless the parent provides prior written consent.

      [Senate amendment] ...provides that the Commissioner of Education may not require school administrative units to collect and report individual student social security numbers unless additional federal funding is received to expand the department's current kindergarten to grade 12 longitudinal data system to a statewide system.

    ENACTED 6/12/2009

  • LD 1493: "An Act To Clarify the Rights of Bondholders and Noteholders in the Event a School Administrative Unit with Outstanding Bonds or Notes Is Dissolved or Is No Longer Authorized by Law", Senator Alfond
      ...provides that the rights of bondholders or noteholders may not be impaired in the event that legislation is enacted that dissolves a school administrative unit with outstanding indebtedness or in the event that the laws pursuant to which a school administrative unit with outstanding indebtedness is organized and exists are repealed.
      ENACTED 6/12/2009