2013 Legislation: IN COMMITTEE

LD 6 "An Act To Prohibit a Requirement That a Superintendent Reside in the School Administrative Unit"
, Representative Alan Casavant

    ...prohibits school boards from requiring that a superintendent reside in a municipality that is included within the school administrative unit.

LD 18 (HP 22) "An Act To Fund Public Education for Kindergarten to Grade 12 at 55%", Representative James Campbell

    ...provides additional funding totaling $83,718,198 in fiscal year 2013-14 and $99,525,393 in fiscal year 2014-15 necessary for the State to achieve the statutory commitment to fund 55% of the total cost of kindergarten to grade 12 public education as calculated by the essential programs and services funding model.

LD 25 "An Act To Exclude Certain State-funded Costs from the State Share of the Total Cost of Funding Public Education", Representative Andrew Mason

    ...provides that, beginning in fiscal year 2013-14, the state contributions to teacher retirement, retired teachers' health insurance and retired teachers' life insurance may not be included in the calculation of the state share percentage of the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 as required by the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act.

LD 34: "An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee and the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability Regarding Child Development Services", Rep. MacDonald

    ...implements recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee stemming from the report on child development services issued by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability in July 2012. The purpose of this bill is to require improved reporting to the Legislature on key financial and performance aspects of the Child Development Services System and the programs it administers, in order to enhance transparency, accountability and legislative oversight. The system is an entity established in statute with responsibility for administering federal programs for eligible children from birth to under 6 years of age under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The system and its programs receive some federal funding but are primarily supported by the General Fund.

LD 39 "An Act To Expand the Number of Qualified Educators", Representative JOHNSON

    ...changes the law regarding the restoration of retired teachers to service by removing the provision that a retired teacher may be paid only 75% of the posted salary for the position and replaces the provision that a retired teacher may be restored to service for only up to 5 years with a provision that allows the retired teacher to be restored to service through one-year contracts.

LD 56 "An Act To Ensure Equity in School Costs Borne by Municipalities within Consolidated School Units", Representative BEAVERS

    ... proposes to amend the funding distribution method required under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act to ensure parity and taxpayer equity among towns that are members of consolidated school units. (concept draft)

LD 61 "An Act To Amend Standards for Participation in Certain Public School Services by Students Who Are Homeschooled", Representative Eleanor Espling

    ...provides that a student receiving homeschool instruction is eligible for a state tuition subsidy for certain postsecondary courses as long as the criteria for participation are met. This bill also provides that a student receiving homeschool instruction is eligible for special education services in the same manner that students enrolled in a private school are eligible for these services.

LD 91: "An Act To Raise the School Construction Bond Cap", Representative Andrew Mason

    ...increases the major capital maximum debt service limit for school
    41 construction projects for fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15 to $126,000,000.

LD 92: "An Act Relating to Private School Student Participation in Public School Cocurricular, Interscholastic and Extracurricular Activities", Representative MAKER

    ...changes the standards for making public school resources and services available to students enrolled in certain equivalent instruction programs by eliminating the requirement that resources and services be made available to students in a private school recognized by the Department of Education as providing equivalent instruction and by limiting the ability of the public school principal or the principal's designee to deny participation to situations where the school cannot reasonably accommodate the student's participation.

LD 93: "An Act To Require Public Secondary Schools To Offer a Course in Gun Safety and Handling", Representative DAVIS

    ...requires public secondary schools to offer a firearm safety and handling course that is optional for students.

LD 112: An Act To Make Changes to the Educators for Maine Program, Representative Mary Nelson

    ...changes the Educators for Maine Program by including certain participants in the Jobs for Maine's Graduates program as eligible for loan forgiveness.

LD 113: "An Act To Make Changes to the Maine College Savings Program", Representative MacDonald

    ...makes changes to the Maine College Savings Program, also known as NextGen or the NextGen College Investing Plan, by adding financial education to the list of permissible program fund uses.

LD 130: "An Act To Stabilize Education Funding by Reducing the Impact of Changes in Property Valuation", Senator Millett

    ...proposes to stabilize state funding for education by requiring the property fiscal capacity component of the essential programs and services funding formula to be based on a rolling 5-year average of the property values of a municipality included in a school administrative unit.

LD 160: An Act To Amend the Laws Pertaining to Archaeological Sites, Rep Jorgensen

    ...amends the laws governing the excavation of archaeological sites. This bill amends the law to distinguish between sites and protected sites, and clarifies that any information concerning protected sites in the possession of certain state agencies may be deemed confidential.

LD 178: Resolve, To Provide Consistency in Rules of the Department of Education Regarding Visual and Performing Arts Requirements for High School Graduation, Rep. Nelson

    ...requires the Department of Education to amend its rules relating to high school graduation requirements to permit the visual and performing arts requirement to be met by completion of a credit in dance, music, theater or visual arts. This change is intended to resolve confusion resulting from different descriptions of the standard for visual and performing arts requirements in the rules of the department.

LD 193: "An Act To Authorize InterCoast Career Institute To Grant the Degree of Associate Degree in Applied Science", Rep. Chase

    ... authorizes InterCoast Colleges to grant the degree of Associate Degree in Applied Science.

LD 194 An Act To Ensure That a Curtailment in School Funding Is Shared by All Institutions, Rep Kusiak

    ... proposes to ensure that if the Governor curtails funding for the state share of the costs of education the reduction in state funding must be shared equally by all entities receiving public funds for education purposes, including public schools, private schools and charter schools.

LD 195: An Act To Fund Education by Providing Equal State Funding for Each Student, Rep. Malaby

    ...proposes to amend the school funding formula to require equal funding for each kindergarten to grade 12 student attending Maine public schools based on the pupil counts for April 1st and October 1st for the most recent calendar year.

LD 233: An Act To Require the Department of Education To Report on the Costs and Sources of Funding of Charter Schools, Senator Millett

    ...directs an authorizer of public charter schools to report yearly to the Commissioner of Education the total amount of funds expended by each public charter school authorized by that authorizer and the source of those funds and directs the Department of Education to report by July 1st of each year to the Governor, the Legislature and the public the overall cost and source of funds for all public charter schools in the State and the overall cost and source of funds for each public charter school.

LD 243: Resolve, To Direct the Department of Education To Amend Its Rules Regarding Restraint of Students, Senator Saviello

    ...directs the Department of Education to amend its Rule Chapter 33: Rule Governing Physical Restraint and Seclusion, which limits the use of restraint and seclusion. The current rule allows the use of those interventions only to prevent an imminent risk of injury or harm to a student or others. This resolve requires the rule to be changed to allow the use of restraint or seclusion to prevent significant property damage, to prevent disruption of the educational environment and when authorized in writing by a student's parent. The resolve also requires the rule to exclude some specific, limited techniques from the definition of "physical restraint," and to amend the definition of "physical escort" to include picking up younger students. The resolve requires the department to make the required changes in the rule within 7 business days of the effective date of the resolve.

LD 244: An Act To Amend the Student Membership Criteria of the State Board of Education, Senator Millett

    ... changes the criteria for the student members of the State Board of Education. Current law requires a student to reside in the congressional district that the student represents at the time of appointment. This bill requires the student to attend school in the congressional district the student represents at the time of appointment.

LD 299: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require the State Share of Education Funding To Be at Least Fifty-five Percent of the Total Cost and One Hundred Percent of the Cost of Special Education, Representative Jones

    ...proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to require the Legislature to appropriate sufficient state funds to cover at least 55% of the total state and local cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 and 100% of the state and local costs of special education as approved pursuant to citizen-initiated legislation in 2004.

LD 300: An Act To Protect School Administrative Units and Taxpayers, Representative Beck

    ...provides that an insurer providing health insurance covering employees of a school administrative unit is not required to provide loss information concerning those employees if requested by the school administrative unit.

LD 301: An Act To Remove Unnecessary Agenda from the School Day, Representative McLellan

    ... proposes to require a review by the Commissioner of Education of items required by law or policy to be taught or recognized in the public schools in kindergarten to grade 12 that are in addition to the curriculum implementing the statewide system of learning results under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 6209. The review must be conducted in consultation with representatives of school superintendents, teachers and parents. The review must categorize the additional items required to be taught or recognized, identify items that may have become obsolete or duplicative and recommend the most efficient and effective way to teach or recognize the required items without interfering with the time needed during the school day to provide effective teaching of knowledge required under the system of learning results. The commissioner would be authorized to report the results of the review to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters, which would be authorized to report out a bill, if necessary.

LD 322: Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 61: State Board of Education Rules for Major Capital School Construction Projects, a Major Substantive Rule of the State Board of Education, Rep. MacDonald

    ... provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 61: State Board of Education Rules for Major Capital School Construction Projects, a major substantive rule of the State Board of Education.

LD 323: Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education, Rep MacDonald

    ...provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulation Birth to Age Twenty, a major substantive rule of the Department of Education.

LD 351: An Act To Authorize the Provision of Insurance on Student Loans, Senator Emily Cain

    ...modifies the Finance Authority of Maine's Higher Education Loan Program to specify that the Finance Authority of Maine may provide loan insurance on supplemental student loans and renames it the Higher Education Loan and Loan Insurance Program.

LD 367: An Act To Repeal the Repeal Provision in the Law That Limits the Reduction of State Subsidy for Education
, Senator James Hamper

    ...repeals the repeal provision in the law that exempts a school administrative unit from a reduction in its state subsidy for failure to raise its required local contribution to the total cost of funding public education if the unit raises the same percentage of the local contribution as the State raises of the state contribution.

LD 369: An Act To Redesign Maine's School Funding Model, Senator Christopher Johnson

    ...concept draft. ...proposes a redesign of Maine's school funding formula to achieve equal educational opportunity for Maine students and statewide equity in property tax burden.

LD 370: An Act To Increase Elementary School Applied Learning Opportunities, Senator Langley

    ... concept draft. ...proposes to assemble a working group to identify opportunities for and best practices of applied learning opportunities in kindergarten to grade 8. These opportunities and practices will then be posted on the Department of Education's website so that all schools may access them and benefit from them.

LD 383: An Act To Increase Public Awareness Regarding School Budget Elections, Rep McClellan

    ...changes the form of the question required in a budget validation referendum for a regional school unit to include the total dollar amount of the school budget and the percentage increase or decrease in the school budget compared to the budget in the previous year.

LD 384: An Act To Allow Spouses and Children of Veterans Killed in the Line of Duty To Receive the State Tuition Waiver, Rep. Villa

    ...provides tuition waivers to state postsecondary educational institutions for spouses and children of members of the United States Armed Forces who have been killed or injured while on duty. This tuition waiver is currently available for spouses and children of firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical services persons who have been killed or injured while on duty.

LD 417: An Act To Ensure That All Voters Are Able To Vote in Regional School Unit Budget Elections, Senator Thomas

    ...makes several changes to the annual budget approval process for regional school units. The bill: 1. Changes the annual budget meeting at which the regional school unit’s budget is initially adopted by registered district voters to an annual public hearing on the budget at which residents of the regional school unit have an opportunity to offer public comments but do not vote on the proposed budget; 2. Authorizes the regional school unit’s board to make changes to the budget presented at the public hearing and to propose the amended budget for approval by voters at a referendum in the municipalities comprising the regional school unit; 3. Changes the current budget adoption process from a validation vote to an annual referendum vote asking voters to accept or reject the budget presented by the board of the regional school unit; and 4. Amends the process that regional school units must follow when voters reject a proposed school budget at referendum.

LD 439: An Act To Improve Maine's Charter School Laws, Senator Mason

    ... makes changes to the public charter school approval and funding processes. It provides that the 90-day deadline for an authorizer to make decisions on public charter school applications runs from the deadline for submission of all applications, not from the date that each application is submitted. It requires an authorizer to make its expectations of the applicant clear when requesting resubmission of an application. It allows the public charter school application to be incorporated by reference into the charter contract. With regard to funding of public charter schools, the bill changes the manner of adjusting payments from noncharter public schools to public charter schools when students move into or out of public charter schools after the beginning of the school year. Under current law, only the last payment from the noncharter public school in June is adjusted. This bill requires adjustment of the March and June payments to avoid potential overpayments to a public charter school when students leave the public charter school in the first half of the school year.

LD 442: Resolve, To Ensure the Continued Accessibility and Affordability of a High School Equivalency Exam for Maine Residents, Senator Langley

    ...requires the Department of Education to examine the options for the administration of a high school equivalency examination and to develop a plan for the continued availability of a high school equivalency examination. The department shall submit its report and plan to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by April 1, 2013.

LD 462: An Act To Dedicate Funds for Emergency Back-up Power for Schools, Representative Gillway

    ...provides that if a school administrative unit participates in the Percent for Art Program it must use at least 1/2 of the amount identified for this purpose to provide back-up electrical power to the school, building or facility being constructed.

LD 481: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Virtual Public Charter Schools, Representative MacDonald

    ...amends the laws governing virtual public charter schools to: 1. Require the authorizer of a virtual public charter school to review and approve the courses and curricula for the virtual public charter school prior to the beginning of each school year; 2. Require that education personnel operating a virtual public charter school hold valid teacher certification in the State; 3. Require that each virtual public charter school student receive at least 2 personal visits from a teacher during each school year; and 4. Provide that only 20% of the per-pupil allocation of state and local operating funds follows the student to a virtual public charter school.

LD 485: An Act To Amend and Clarify Certain Education Laws, Representative Peter Johnson

    ...amends and clarifies certain education laws. Part A amends and clarifies requirements for the withdrawal of a municipality from a regional school unit and provides that annual audits must include a schedule of expenditures of federal funds. Part B: 1. Amends and clarifies allowable debt service costs for state-funded school construction projects and repeals obsolete language; 2. Clarifies when design and funding approval by the State Board of Education is granted; 3. Clarifies that a local school unit will be notified by the Commissioner of Education only after any approved vote has been considered by the State Board of Education; and 4. Clarifies statutory language requiring the compliance review of state-funded school construction projects. Part C: 1. Revises the definition of "adult education" to provide that adult education programs must be provided through a career pathways and service system and to include adult workforce training and retraining and adult career and technical education in the list of adult education courses; 2. Provides that career and technical education regions may offer only adult career and technical education and adult workforce training and retraining courses and must perform intake and data management functions; 3. Removes career pathways learners from the list of learners served by adult workforce training and retraining; 4. Repeals the definition of "career pathways services" as a separate service as it has now been integrated as part of the overall definition of "adult education"; and 5. Includes college transition courses and adult workforce training and retraining among other administrative costs for the purpose of reimbursement. Part D authorizes the Commissioner of Education to issue subpoenas for education records relevant to an investigation regarding the certification of educational personnel.

LD 530: An Act To Apply the Standard of Best Educational Interest to Superintendent Agreements for Transfer Students, Rep. Nelson

    ...clarifies the standard to be applied by superintendents when considering the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another by incorporating the standard set forth in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 2, which is that a student must be provided an opportunity to receive the benefits of a free public education.

LD 609: An Act To Increase Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools, Rep. Gilbert

    ...requires the Department of Education to adopt rules on standards for schools and school administrative units for suicide prevention education and training. The training and education will include suicide prevention awareness education for all personnel and more advanced suicide prevention and intervention training for at least 2 persons per school district.

LD 615: An Act To Protect School Administrative Units from a Sudden Decrease in Funding due to Reduced Enrollments", Rep. McCabe

    ...allows a school administrative unit to request reimbursement from the State when the unit has experienced a sudden and severe loss of funding due to the enrollment of students from that unit in public charter schools. The bill establishes criteria that a school administrative unit must meet to qualify for reimbursement. It also establishes a process by which school administrative units may petition the Commissioner of Education for reimbursement of a portion of the lost funds. The bill also establishes a reimbursement formula that the commissioner must use to calculate reimbursement amounts for qualifying school administrative units.