Education Committee: Monday, April 13

Education and Cultural Affairs Committee
Monday, April 13:

Public Hearings - 1:00 p.m.

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.

LD 1221: An Act To Remove the Local Requirement for Education Funding, Senator Courtney

...provides that if a school administrative unit adopts a credible budget that is below the maximum state and local spending target under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act the school administrative unit's required contribution must be reduced by the amount of the savings.

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.

LD 1227: An Act To Equalize the Regional Salary Cost Index under the School Funding Formula, Rep Johnson; Co-sponsors: Clark, Crockett, Eaton, Knight, MacDonald, McFadden, Schatz, Thomas

...requires that, beginning in fiscal year 2010-11, the regional adjustment to the salary and benefits costs of teachers and other school personnel that is based on labor market areas in the State must be 1.0 for all labor market areas in the State.

LD 1298: An Act To Adjust the Special Education Funding for Minimum Subsidy Receivers, Rep. Dostie; Co-sponsors: Reps. Clarke: Finch, Fitts, Fletcher, Gilbert, McFadden; Senator Nutting

...adjusts the subsidy for special education for those school administrative units that are minimum receivers of state subsidy by reducing the transition percentage for special education costs to 25%.

LD 1414: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Spending by School Administrative Units, Rep. Pingree

...allows a school administrative unit to exceed its maximum state and local spending target under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act by the higher of 5% over the state and local spending target or an amount equal to the unit's previous year's budget multiplied by the rate of growth of the current year's maximum state and local spending target over the previous year's maximum state and local spending target without having to have the amount approved by referendum. This bill creates new referendum language for a school administrative unit that exceeds its maximum state and local spending target.

 

Work Sessions

3:30 p.m. –

 

MEPRI Report on EPS Road Map

LD 190: Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Convene a Stakeholders Group To Analyze the School Funding Formula, Rep. Johnson; co-sponsors: Reps. Browne, Cray, Gifford, Lewin, Pinkham, Sarty, Schatz, Tilton, Senator Smith

…directs the Department of Education to convene a stakeholders group to analyze the school funding formula. The department must present a plan and timeline to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by May 1, 2009 and a report with its recommendations by November 1, 2009. The Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs may submit legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.

LD 551: An Act To Improve the Essential Programs and Services Funding Formula, Rep. Finch

...a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to improve the essential programs and services funding formula.