MSMA: Budget validation process up for vote this year

Maine School Management Association


March 16, 2010

Budget validation process up for vote this year

This is the third year that the school budget validation process has been in place and under law districts are supposed to vote at the ballot box on whether they want to continue the validation referendum for another three years.

The law states that an article should be placed on the warrant asking voters what they want to do going forward.

The Department of Education has posted a sample article on its website. It reads:


Regarding the vote on continuation of the budget validation referendum process:


ARTICLE _______Do you wish to continue the budget validation referendum process in (name of school administrative unit) for an additional three years?


Informational Note (to be included with the article):


A “YES” vote will require (name of school administrative unit) to continue to conduct a referendum to validate its annual school budget for the next three years.


A “NO” vote will discontinue the budget validation referendum for at least three years and provide instead that the annual school budget shall be finally adopted at a meeting of the (voters, municipal council or other legislative body, as applicable).


Those wishing more information and to view other sample articles for the budget warrant can go to:

At that site, click on “Pending Legislation Regarding Budget Validation Process” for the article on continuing the referendum process. For samples of other budget articles, click on “Statutorily Required Articles.”

There is language in the supplemental state budget, currently being reviewed by the Legislature, that would clarify that all school units, even recently formed Regional School Units and Alternative Organizational Structure, are in their third year when it comes to the budget validation process.

If voters decide to discontinue the process, its reconsideration is prohibited for at least three years. After that time, a majority vote of the regional school unit board or a written petition filed by at least 10 percent of the voters voting in the last gubernatorial election can put it back on the ballot, according to proposed language that also is in the pending state budget.


Contact: Dale Douglass, executive director

Victoria Wallack, communications director

Telephone: 207-622-3473 or 1-800-660-8484