LD 1529 LR 2011(01)
An Act To Expand School Choice for Maine Students
Preliminary Fiscal Impact Statement for Original Bill
Sponsor: Sen. Mason of Androscoggin
Committee: Education and Cultural Affairs
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
Preliminary Fiscal Impact Statement
Potential current biennium cost increase - General Fund
Fiscal Detail and Notes
Allowing private sectarian schools to receive public funds may increase the total cost of funding K-12 education and the State's share of that cost as a result of students currently attending sectarian schools that are not publicly funded being added into the student count within the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding model.  Although the impact to the State and to local school administrative units can not be determined at this time, had this provision been in place during the 2010-2011 school year and all private sectarian schools in Maine had been approved to receive public funds for tuition purposes, the number of subsidizable students within the EPS model would have increased by an estimated 4,200 students.  The total State and local cost to fund these additional students would have been approximately $27.0 million.  Assuming a 97% recognition factor and a 45.84% State contribution rate for fiscal year 2010-11, the State's share of the cost would have been approximately $12.0 million.  The local share would have been 54.16%, or approximately $14.2 million.  The actual cost will depend on the number of private sectarian schools that meet the school approval requirements and are approved to receive public funds and the number of students attending those schools.
Removing the 10-school limit on public charter schools authorized by the Maine Charter School Commission may result in a significant redistribution of state and local per-pupil allocation.  The impact to individual school units can not be determined at this time.