Ed Committee agenda, Monday May 11, 2009

Education and Cultural Affairs

Work Sessions

HP 820
Joint Study Order To Study Providing Child Care for Students of the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System
May 11, 2009, 0900AM
Room 202 Cross Building

HP 367, LD 522
Resolve, To Establish the Study Commission Regarding Teachers' Salaries
May 11, 2009, 0900AM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 412, LD 1101
Resolve, To Understand and Assist in Efforts To Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education
May 11, 2009, 0900AM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 417, LD 1126
An Act To Limit the Scope of Miscellaneous Costs within the General Purpose Aid for Local Schools Appropriation
May 11, 2009, 0900AM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 1011, LD 1457
An Act To Limit Membership by School Administrative Units in Certain Interscholastic Organizations
May 11, 2009, 0900AM
Cross Building Room 202

Public Hearings

HP 898, LD 1295
An Act To Establish the Middle School of Science and Mathematics
May 11, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

Work Sessions

HP 898, LD 1295
An Act To Establish the Middle School of Science and Mathematics
May 11, 2009, 0130PM
Cross Building Room 202

Public Hearings

HP 929, LD 1325
An Act Regarding Curriculum Requirements and Standards for Awarding a High School Diploma
May 11, 2009, 0200PM
Cross Building Room 202

Work Sessions

HP 842
Joint Study Order To Study the Administrative Burden within School Districts as a Result of School Administrative Consolidation
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Room 202 Cross Building

HP 752, LD 1090
An Act To Allow Veterans and Active Duty Military Members To Qualify for In-state Tuition
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 761, LD 1106
Resolve, To Establish a Schoolchildren's Well-being Stakeholder Group
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 461, LD 1280
Resolve, To Provide a Program Model for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 928, LD 1324
An Act To Adopt the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

HP 991, LD 1415
Resolve, To Promote Partnerships between the University of Maine System and the Maine Business Community
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

SP 528, LD 1443
An Act To Support the Center of Excellence for At-risk Students
May 12, 2009, 0100PM
Cross Building Room 202

Pownal, the Commissioner and the Ed Committee

House Speaker Pingree was forwarded an email

Sent to Ed Committee Chairs

Shared with Committee

Alfond:
Where did $190,000 come from?
What are the implications?

Gendron:
Correct perception: Pownal’s issue is not directly related to reorganization
More directly related to change in valuation ($340,000)
Walked RSU Board through that issue
$190,000 carry-forward
This year, $100,000
Cost-sharing formula is unique
Most preserve current percentages; this RSU did not.
Only new RSU that looked at cost-sharing this way.
Would Pownal be willing to work with Silvernail, Rier, etc to work on that cost-sharing
Not for tax reduction

Three factors to Pownal study:
1. Cost sharing components
2. Longitudinal study/educational benefits of reorganization
3. ---- [she could not remember] ---

Sutherland:
Will you use MEPRI $$ for this? [reference to Silvernail]

Gendron: Sinclair Act did not have any study

Sutherland: Where would $190,000 come from?

Gendron: Dollars from last year’s reorganization funds.

Sutherland: MEPRI study would be part of what they are already contracted to do?

Gendron: Yes.

Sutherland: Might there be other school units which would get research funds similar to this?

Gendron: Yes. There are ten units which have been identified as part of this study.

Alfond: How much funds are still available?

Gendron: $900,000 remaining in account
Most committed to districts for other things: data merge; legal funds; transportation software (and additional $1,000,000 which in encumbered)

Alfond: Worried that there is that much flexibility for the Commissioner.
If this is unique, why study?

Gendron: Most districts did a 5-year transition plan
RSU 5 did not
Shifted those funds right away
Might find ways to mitigate the impact on other RSUs in the future

Alfond: $25,000 to each school system?

Gendron: Yes.

Alfond: Will there be enough money?

Gendron: Yes. There’s enough for what we know.

Finch: $1,000,000 already for transportation
Another $900,000 still there ($25,000 per district)

Gendron: $25,000 for data conversion
Other for legal

Finch: Half is dedicated?
%450,000 left
$190,000 to Pownal
$260,000 left for other SAUs which could some forward saying “We have an issue, too”

Gendron: Pownal is the only place where this has happened
Not intended to mitigate shifts in enrollment

Finch: Who gets the $190,000?

Gendron: Pownal school department.

Finch: We’re going to pay $190,000 to Pownal?
What are we doing here?

Finch: Does this Committee have any authority over this decision?

Gendron: Always willing to take advice; Listen to what Committee

Finch: I don’t think this should go forward.

Casavant: What expertise does Pownal have to do this study?

Gendron: Need to understand all the components that were put on the table
Four years down the road, what will happen to other districts?

Weston: Pownal gets the money; why not the RSU (3 towns)?

Gendron: The effects of the cost shift were to Pownal only

Weston: This makes no sense in view of reorganization.

Gendron: Can’t give to the RSU: but could way
Weston: You said this was “Based on a decision they made”; others did the same and are being penalized. Why reward them?
Other towns/citizens spent an inordinate amount of time
Bad policy to pick one town which has been complaining and give them $190,000 to “bluntly, keep quiet.

Gendron: Clearly not my intention.
Will not proceed with this plan.

Alfond: Would encourage you and Department to let us know about this sort of issue ahead of time so we are not caught unawares by an email.