MSMA: Committee backs budget restoring $25 million to GPA

Maine School Management Association


March 23, 2010

Committee backs budget restoring $25 million to GPA

The Appropriations Committee on Monday evening unanimously voted out a proposed budget that restores $25 million to General Purpose Aid next school year and removes just over $1 million in penalties about to be levied against 15 school districts that voted in favor of school consolidation, but their potential partners did not.

The amended budget also restores $500,000 out of $580,000 in proposed cuts to adult education.

Even with the restorations, K-12 is taking a $48 million cut over this year and next -- $38 million in the current school year and $10 million in 2010-2011.

Also of concern is the prediction by some that GPA could drop another $64 million in 2011-2012 when the federal stimulus money that has been propping up the school aid numbers is no longer available.

The overall supplemental budget being recommended by the Appropriations Committee is designed to fill a $310 million hole in the current two-year state budget caused largely by drops in income and sales tax collection due to the recession.

The revenue picture has improved of late and the state also learned it was getting more than $100 million in federal Medicaid money, making it possible to reduce the severity of cuts in education and other areas, including Health and Human Services and municipal revenue sharing.

The budget is expected to go to the full Legislature early next week.

MSMA will issue a second bulletin later this week to talk about proposed language in the budget that affects K-12 education once the document is released in final form.


Contact: Dale Douglass, executive director

Victoria Wallack, communications director

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