An Act To Adjust Funding Forwarded from School Districts to Charter Schools
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §2413, sub-§2, ¶A, as amended by PL 2011, c. 679, §2, is further amended to read:
(1) The per-pupil allocation amount is the EPS per-pupil rate for the school administrative unit in which the student resides, as calculated pursuant to section 15676, based on the student’s grade level and adjusted as appropriate for economic disadvantage and limited English proficiency pursuant to section 15675, subsections 1 and 2. Debt service and capital outlays may not be included in the calculation of these per-pupil allocations. The department shall adopt rules governing how to calculate these per-pupil allocations, including those for career and technical education programs, targeted funds for assessment technology and kindergarten to grade 2 programs.
(2) For students attending public charter schools, the school administrative unit of residence shall forward the per-pupil allocations described in subparagraph (1) directly to the public charter school attended. These per-pupil allocations must be forwarded to each public charter school on a quarterly basis, as follows. For each fiscal year, allocations must be made in quarterly payments on September 1st, December 1st, March 1st and June 1st. The September payment must be based on the number of students enrolled or anticipated to be enrolled in the public charter school at the opening of school for that school year, which may not exceed the maximum enrollment approved in the charter contract for that year unless a waiver is obtained from the authorizer. In February of the school year, if the number of students is higher or lower than the number of students at the beginning of the school year, adjustments must be made in the June payment, with 50% 25% of the annual per-pupil allocation added for additional students or subtracted if the total number of students is lower.
(3) For transportation expenses, the average per-pupil expense in each school administrative unit of residence must be calculated and an amount equal to a proportion, up to but not more than 100% 50%, of that per-pupil allocation amount must be forwarded to the public charter school attended on the same basis as the per-pupil allocations for operating funds. The percentage of that per-pupil expense must be determined by the authorizer of the public charter school and must be based on the cost of transportation services provided by the public charter school to the student.
(4) The department shall pay to the public charter school any additional allocation assigned to the public charter school for gifted and talented students pursuant to section 15681-A, subsection 5 in the year in which the allocation is assigned.
A school administrative unit is not required to send funds to a public charter school for a student enrolled in the public charter school's preschool or prekindergarten program if the school administrative unit of the student's residence does not offer that program to its own residents nor is a school administrative unit required to send funds to a public charter school for a student who, in the year prior to first enrolling in the public charter school, was either a homeschooled student or enrolled in a private school and therefore not included in a public school's EPS pupil count in this State.
This bill reduces the amount a school administrative unit in which a student who attends a public charter school resides must forward to that public charter school from 100% of the per-pupil allocation to 50% of the per-pupil allocation. It also provides that a school administrative unit is not required to send funds to a public charter school for certain students who were not enrolled in a public school before enrolling in a public charter school.