127th MAINE LEGISLATURE
LD 131 LR 282(01)
An Act To Amend the Laws Related to Public Funding of Charter Schools
Preliminary Fiscal Impact Statement for Original Bill
Sponsor: Rep. Hubbell of Bar Harbor
Committee: Education and Cultural Affairs
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
             
Preliminary Fiscal Impact Statement
FY 2015-16 FY 2016-17 Projections FY 2017-18 Projections FY 2018-19
Net Cost (Savings)
General Fund $32,000 $0 $0 $0
Appropriations/Allocations
General Fund $32,000 $0 $0 $0
Fiscal Detail and Notes
The Maine Charter School Commission will require a one-time General Fund appropriations of $32,000 in fiscal year 2015-16 to contract for outside services to review models of virtual public charter schools that have been implemented in other states and to develop a model for virtual public schools in Maine.
This bill changes the way funding for students who attend authorized public charter schools is provided beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. Current law requires the school administrative unit in which the student resides to forward the per-pupil allocation to the public charter school that the student is attending pursuant to Title 20-A, 2413. This legislation proposes to include the cost for authorized public charter schools in the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 with the State providing payments for the public charter schools total allocation directly to the charter school. This change in methodology will increase the total cost of K-12 public education by $12.0 million in fiscal year 2015-16 and $12.9 million in fiscal year 2016-17.
The Governor's proposed budget for the 2016 and 2017 biennium includes additional General Fund appropriations of $17.9 million in fiscal year 2015-16 and $19.9 million in fiscal year 2016-17 and additional Other Special Revenue Funds allocations of $2.4 million and $2.6 million in fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17, respectively for the General Purpose Aid for Local Schools program. Of these amounts, approximately $14.5 million in fiscal year 2015-16 and $15.8 million in fiscal year 2016-17 are targeted for specific initiatives, leaving approximately $5.7 million in fiscal year 2015-16 and $6.7 million in fiscal year 2016-17 to be distributed as subsidy to local school administrative units. According to the Department of Education, these funds will be used to support the State's share of the cost of including authorized public charter schools in the total cost of funding K-12 public education.
All MaineCare school-based costs are reimbursed by Department of Education, based on an agreed upon schedule. This bill changes who may be submitting some of the claims, but does not change the basics of this arrangement.