MSMA: Governor to release proposed budget cuts Dec. 18

Maine School Management Association

Bulletin

Dec. 14, 2009

Governor to release proposed budget cuts Dec. 18

Gov. John Baldacci will release his proposed supplemental budget on Friday, Dec. 18, to address a $400-million revenue shortfall, and it is expected to include a $38-million cut in General Purpose Aid in this school year and additional cuts in 2010-2011.

The $38 million cut for the current year was part of the governor’s emergency curtailment order issued last month to deal with a rapidly deteriorating revenue picture.

If approved as part of the supplemental budget, it will bring down aid to education – including both state GPA and federal stimulus funds – to $964 million in the current school year.

Schools already have been warned they will be cut another $36 million in 2010-2011 bringing total aid down to $911 million – or $53 million less than the revised 2009-2010 total.

The impact of those proposed cuts will be felt statewide and represent a dramatic drop off from where schools thought they would be when the original biennial budget was passed earlier this year.

Schools had been told that state GPA and federal stimulus funds would add up to a package of $1.057 billion in the current year and had planned their local budgets accordingly. They are now looking at school funding that will be $150 million less than that next school year.

The cuts are being driven by a drop in state revenue, largely due to declines in sales and income tax collections.