123rd MAINE LEGISLATURE
LD 1932 LR 3324(46)
An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding School Funding
Fiscal Note for Bill as Amended by Committee of Conference
Committee: Education and Cultural Affairs
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
             
Fiscal Note
Potential future biennium cost increase - General Fund
Fiscal Detail and Notes
Providing school administrative units with the option of forming a regional school union that allows for the dispersion of decision making authority to local education units within the regional school union except for certain core functions may increase the total cost of K-12 public education in future biennia due to less savings being achieved versus what was anticipated in Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part XXXX. The amount can not be determined at this time and will depend on the number of regional school unions established and the ability of regional school unions and local education units within the regional school union to implement efficiencies.
Allowing for the dissolution of a regional school unit or a regional school unit member from a regional school unit and for certain school administrative units to serve fewer than 1,200 students if the area it serves has fewer than 50 residents per square mile may also increase the total cost of K-12 public education in future biennia due to less than anticipated savings being achieved. The amount can not be determined at this time and will depend on actual experience.
One area which could impact future General Fund costs is special education. Title 20-A, 15681-A, sub-2(D) requires that school administrative units receive sufficient funds for special education to ensure that the SAUs meet the federal maintenance of effort requirement for receiving federal Individuals with Disabilities Act funds. The maintenance of effort requirement states that the total amount of state and local funds budgeted by the local education agency for expenditures in a current fiscal year for the education of children with disabilities must be at least equal to the total amount of state and local school funds actually expended for the education of children with disabilities in the most recent preceding fiscal year. Less savings being achieved versus what was anticipated in Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part XXXX may require a higher level of state and local funding in order to fulfill the maintenance of effort requirement.
A second area is transportation. Title 20-A, 15681-A, sub-3 requires that school administrative units receive no less than 90% of the most recent year's reported net transportation expenditures. Less savings being achieved versus what was anticipated in Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part XXXX may require a higher level of funding in order to meet the statutory requirement.
Finally, although this legislation will not impact the total state and local cost of funding K-12 public education, beginning in fiscal year 2008-09 it may affect the distribution of subsidy to local school administrative units with some units receiving more subsidy and some units receiving less subsidy. The impact to individual school administrative units can not be determined at this time.