Public Laws

124th Legislature

Second Regular Session


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Chapter 571

H.P. 1183 - L.D. 1671

PART E

Sec. E-1. 20-A MRSA 1305-A, as amended by PL 2005, c. 12, Pt. WW, 1 and c. 683, Pt. A, 21, is repealed.

Sec. E-2. 20-A MRSA 1305-B, as amended by PL 2005, c. 683, Pt. A, 22, is repealed.

Sec. E-3. 20-A MRSA 1481-A, sub-2-A is enacted to read:

2-A. Reformulated school administrative district cost-sharing. For those school administrative districts recreated as regional school units pursuant to Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part XXXX, section 36, subsection 12 as amended by chapter 668, methods of cost-sharing and amendments of the cost-sharing formula must be in accordance with section 1301.

Sec. E-4. 20-A MRSA 1486, sub-3, as amended by PL 2009, c. 415, Pt. B, 7 and 8, is further amended to read:

3.Budget validation referendum voting. The method of calling and voting at a budget validation referendum is as provided in sections 1502 and 1503 and 1504, except as otherwise provided in this subsection or as is inconsistent with other requirements of this section.
A.A public hearing is not required before the vote.
C.The warrant and absentee ballots must be delivered to the municipal clerk no later than the day after the date of the regional school unit budget meeting.
D.Absentee ballots received by the municipal clerk may not be processed or counted unless received on the day after the conclusion of the regional school unit budget meeting and before the close of the polls.
E.All envelopes containing absentee ballots received before the day after the conclusion of the regional school unit budget meeting or after the close of the polls must be marked "rejected" by the municipal clerk.
F.The article to be voted on must be in the following form:

(1) "Do you favor approving the (name of regional school unit) budget for the upcoming school year that was adopted at the latest (name of regional school unit) budget meeting?

Yes No"

Sec. E-5. 20-A MRSA 1701, sub-11, B, as amended by PL 1999, c. 710, 9, is further amended to read:

B.Unless authorized by the voters or except as provided in section 1701A, subsection 5, the district school committee may not transfer funds between line item categories.

Sec. E-6. 20-A MRSA 1701-A, as amended by PL 2005, c. 12, Pt. WW, 2, is repealed.

Sec. E-7. 20-A MRSA 1701-B, as amended by PL 2005, c. 2, Pt. D, 14 and affected by 72 and 74 and c. 12, Pt. WW, 18, is repealed.

Sec. E-8. 20-A MRSA 5806, sub-2, as amended by PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. C, 2, is further amended to read:

2.Maximum allowable tuition. The maximum allowable tuition charged to a school administrative unit by a private school is the rate established under subsection 1 or the state average per public secondary student cost as adjusted, whichever is lower, plus an insured value factor. For school year 20092010 only, the maximum allowable tuition rate, prior to the addition of the insured value factor, must be reduced by 2%; the insured value factor must be based on this reduced rate. The insured value factor is computed by dividing 5% of the insured value of school buildings and equipment by the average number of pupils enrolled in the school on October 1st and April 1st of the year immediately before the school year for which the tuition charge is computed. For the 2008-09 2008-2009 school year only, a school administrative unit is not required to pay an insured value factor greater than 5% of the school's tuition rate per student, unless the legislative body of the school administrative unit votes to authorize its school board to pay a higher insured value factor that is no greater than 10% of the school's tuition rate per student. Beginning in school year 2009-10 2009-2010, a school administrative unit is not required to pay an insured value factor greater than 5% of the school's tuition rate or $500 per student, whichever is less, unless the legislative body of the school administrative unit votes to authorize its school board to pay a higher insured value factor that is no greater than 10% of the school’s tuition rate per student.

Sec. E-9. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-1, E, as amended by PL 2005, c. 683, Pt. A, 24, is further amended to read:

E.A determination as to whether the school administrative unit has complied with applicable provisions of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act; and

Sec. E-10. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-1, F, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 797, 36, is amended to read:

F.Any other information which that the commissioner may require . ;

Sec. E-11. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-1, G is enacted to read:

G. A determination of whether the school administrative unit has complied with transfer limitations between budget cost centers pursuant to section 1485, subsection 4;

Sec. E-12. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-1, H is enacted to read:

H. A determination of whether the school administrative unit has complied with budget content requirements pursuant to section 15693, subsection 1 and cost center summary budget format requirements pursuant to sections 1305C, 1485, 1701C and 2307; and

Sec. E-13. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-1, I is enacted to read:

I. A determination of whether the school administrative unit has exceeded its authority to expend funds, as provided by the total budget summary article.

Sec. E-14. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-7 is enacted to read:

7. Exception. If a municipal school administrative unit meets all of the following eligibility criteria, then the municipal school administrative unit may file the annual municipal audit or audits in lieu of the annual audit required by this section:
A. The municipal school administrative unit does not operate a school or schools;
B. A school administrative unit audit is not necessary to meet federal audit requirements;
C. The municipal school administrative unit files the municipal audit or audits that include the fiscal year specified in subsection 2; and
D. The municipal school administrative unit is not a member of a school administrative district, community school district, regional school unit or alternative organizational structure.

Sec. E-15. 20-A MRSA 6051, sub-8 is enacted to read:

8. Corrective action plan. The commissioner shall review the audits of the school administrative unit and determine if the school administrative unit should develop a corrective action plan for any audit issues specified in the annual audit. The corrective action plan must address those audit findings and management comments and recommendations that have been identified by the commissioner, and the plan must be filed within the timelines established by the commissioner. The school administrative unit shall provide assurances to the commissioner that the school administrative unit has implemented its corrective action plan within the timelines established by the commissioner. If the school administrative unit has not met the conditions for submitting a corrective action plan or providing assurances that the school administrative unit has implemented the plan, the commissioner may withhold monthly subsidy payments from the school administrative unit in accordance with section 6801A.

Sec. E-16. 20-A MRSA 15005, sub-3, as enacted by PL 1981, c. 693, 5 and 8, is amended to read:

3.Return required. An apportionment provided in this chapter, chapters 109, 205, 505 and 605 606B, and section 13601, and Title 20, section 3457, may not be paid to a school administrative unit by the Treasurer of State until returns required by law have been filed with the commissioner.

Sec. E-17. 20-A MRSA 15671, sub-7, A, as amended by PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. C, 3, is further amended to read:

A.The base total calculated pursuant to section 15683, subsection 2 is subject to the following annual targets.

(1) For fiscal year 200506, the target is 84%.

(2) For fiscal year 200607, the target is 90%.

(3) For fiscal year 200708, the target is 95%.

(4) For fiscal year 200809, the target is 97%.

(5) For fiscal year 200910, the target is 97%.

(6) For fiscal year 201011 and succeeding years, the target is 100% 97%.

(7) For fiscal year 201112 and succeeding years, the target is 100%.

Sec. E-18. 20-A MRSA 15671, sub-7, B, as amended by PL 2009, c. 1, Pt. C, 1 and c. 213, Pt. C, 4, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

B. The annual targets for the state share percentage of the statewide adjusted total cost of the components of essential programs and services are as follows.

(1) For fiscal year 2005-06, the target is 52.6%.

(2) For fiscal year 2006-07, the target is 53.86%.

(3) For fiscal year 2007-08, the target is 53.51%.

(4) For fiscal year 2008-09, the target is 52.52%.

(5) For fiscal year 2009-10, the target is 48.93%.

(6) For fiscal year 2010-11, the target is 46%.

(7) For fiscal year 2011-12 and succeeding years, the target is 55%.

Sec. E-19. 20-A MRSA 15671-A, sub-2, B, as amended by PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. C, 5, is further amended to read:

B.For property tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2005, the commissioner shall calculate the full-value education mill rate that is required to raise the statewide total local share. The full-value education mill rate is calculated for each fiscal year by dividing the applicable statewide total local share by the applicable statewide valuation. The full-value education mill rate must decline over the period from fiscal year 2005-06 to fiscal year 2008-09 and may not exceed 9.0 mills in fiscal year 2005-06 and may not exceed 8.0 mills in fiscal year 2008-09. The full-value education mill rate must be applied according to section 15688, subsection 3A, paragraph A to determine a municipality's local cost share expectation. Full-value education mill rates must be derived according to the following schedule.

(1) For the 2005 property tax year, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 47.4% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2005-06.

(2) For the 2006 property tax year, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 46.14% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2006-07.

(3) For the 2007 property tax year, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 45.56% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2007-08.

(4) For the 2008 property tax year, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 45.99% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2008-09.

(4-A) For the 2009 property tax year, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 49.05% 51.07% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2009-10.

(4-B) For the 2010 property tax year and subsequent tax years, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 45.0% 54.0% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2010-11 and after.

(4-C) For the 2011 property tax year and subsequent tax years, the full-value education mill rate is the amount necessary to result in a 45.0% statewide total local share in fiscal year 2011-12 and after.

Sec. E-20. 20-A MRSA 15683, sub-1, F, as amended by PL 2005, c. 519, Pt. AAAA, 10, is further amended to read:

F.An isolated small unit adjustment. A school administrative unit is eligible for an isolated small school adjustment when the unit meets the size and distance criteria as established by the commissioner. The amount of the adjustment is the result of adjusting the necessary student-to-staff ratios determined in section 15679, subsection 2, the per-pupil amount for operation and maintenance of plant in section 15680, subsection 1, paragraph B or other essential programs and services components in chapter 606B, as recommended by the commissioner. The isolated small school adjustment must be applied to discrete school buildings that meet the criteria for the adjustment. The adjustment is not applicable to sections, wings or other parts of a building that are dedicated to certain grade spans.

Sec. E-21. 20-A MRSA 15689, sub-1, A, as repealed and replaced by PL 2005, c. 2, Pt. D, 58 and affected by 72 and 74 and c. 12, Pt. WW, 18, is amended to read:

A.The sum of the following calculations:

(1) Multiplying 5% of each school administrative unit's essential programs and services per-pupil elementary rate by the average number of resident kindergarten to grade 8 pupils as determined under section 15674, subsection 1, paragraph C, subparagraph (1); and

(2) Multiplying 5% of each school administrative unit's essential programs and services per-pupil secondary rate by the average number of resident grade 9 to grade 12 pupils as determined under section 15674, subsection 1, paragraph C, subparagraph (1) ; and .

The 5% factor in subparagraphs (1) and (2) must be replaced by: 4% for the 2009-10 funding year including funds provided under Title XIV of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; 3% for the 2010-11 funding year including funds provided under Title XIV of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; and 3% for the 2011-12 funding year and subsequent years; and

Sec. E-22. 20-A MRSA 15689, sub-1, B, as amended by PL 2009, c. 1, Pt. C, 2 and c. 213, Pt. C, 8, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:

B. The school administrative unit's special education costs as calculated pursuant to section 15681A, subsection 2 multiplied by the following transition percentages:

(1) In fiscal year 2005-06, 84%;

(2) In fiscal year 2006-07, 84%;

(3) In fiscal year 2007-08, 84%;

(4) In fiscal year 2008-09, 45%;

(5) In fiscal year 2009-10, 40% including funds provided under Title XIV of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009;

(6) In fiscal year 2010-11, 35% including funds provided under Title XIV of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; and

(7) In fiscal year 2011-12 and succeeding years, 30%.

Sec. E-23. 20-A MRSA 15689, sub-2, as amended by PL 2007, c. 466, Pt. B, 16, is further amended to read:

2.Adjustment for debt service. Each school administrative unit may receive an adjustment for a debt service determined as follows.
A.A school administrative unit is eligible for this adjustment under the following conditions.

(1) The school administrative unit's local share results in a full-value education mill rate less than the local cost share expectation as described in section 15671A through the 2009-10 fiscal year. Beginning in fiscal year 2010-11 and in subsequent fiscal years, the school administrative unit's debt service allocation must include principal and interest payments as defined in section 15672, subsection 2A, paragraph A.

(2) The school administrative unit has debt service costs defined under section 15672, subsection 2A that have been placed on the state board's priority list by January 2005.

(3) Beginning in fiscal year 2010-11 and in subsequent years, the school administrative unit's total debt service costs less the local share amount in paragraph B, subparagraph (2), division (b) is greater than the current state share of the total allocation.

B.The amount of the adjustment is the difference, but not less than zero, between the state share of the total allocation under this chapter and the amount computed as follows.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2007, the school administrative unit's state share of the total allocation if the local share was the sum of the following:

(a) The local share amount for the school administrative unit calculated as the lesser of the total allocation excluding debt service costs and the school administrative unit's fiscal capacity multiplied by the mill rate expectation established in section 15671A less the debt service adjustment mill rate defined in section 15672, subsection 2B; and

(b) The local share amount for the school administrative unit calculated as the lesser of the debt service costs and the school administrative unit's fiscal capacity multiplied by the debt service adjustment mill rate defined in section 15672, subsection 2B.

Sec. E-24. 20-A MRSA 15689-B, sub-4, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 2, Pt. D, 61 and affected by 72 and 74 and c. 12, Pt. WW, 18, is amended to read:

4.Appeals. A school board may appeal the computation of state subsidy for the school administrative unit to the state board in writing within 30 days of the date of the initial notification of the computed amount of the component that is the subject of this appeal. The state board shall review the appeal and make an adjustment if in its judgment an adjustment is justified. The state board's decision is final as to facts supported by the record of the appeal.

Sec. E-25. 20-A MRSA 15690, sub-1, D is enacted to read:

D. Beginning in fiscal year 2010-11, in any fiscal year in which the sum of the State's contribution toward the cost of the components of essential programs and services, exclusive of federal funds that are provided and accounted for in the cost of the components of essential programs and services, plus any federal stimulus funds applied to the State's contribution, falls below the State's target of 55% of the cost of the components of essential programs and services, the commissioner shall calculate the percentage of the State's 55% share that is funded by state appropriations and federal stimulus funds and, notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, a school administrative unit that raises at least the same percentage of its required local contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12, including state-funded debt service, as the State's contribution plus federal stimulus funds toward its 55% share of the cost of the components of essential programs and services may not have the amount of its state subsidy limited or reduced under paragraph C.

This paragraph is repealed June 30, 2012.

Sec. E-26. 20-A MRSA 15690, sub-2, as amended by PL 2005, c. 12, Pt. WW, 6 and affected by 18, is further amended to read:

2.Non-state-funded debt service. For a school administrative unit's indebtedness previously approved by its legislative body for non-state-funded major capital school construction projects or non-state-funded portions of major capital school construction projects and minor capital projects, the legislative body of each school administrative unit may vote to raise and appropriate an amount up to the municipality's or district's annual payments for non-state-funded debt service.
A.An article in substantially the following form must be used when a school administrative unit is considering the appropriation for debt service allocation for non-state-funded school construction projects or non-state-funded portions of school construction projects and minor capital projects.

(1) "Article ....: To see what sum the (municipality or district) will raise and appropriate for the annual payments on debt service previously approved by the legislative body for non-state-funded school construction projects , or non-state-funded portions of school construction projects and minor capital projects in addition to the funds appropriated as the local share of the school administrative unit's contribution to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12. (Recommend $......)"

(2) The following statement must accompany the article in subparagraph (1). "Explanation: Non-state-funded debt service is the amount of money needed for the annual payments on the (municipality's or district's) long-term debt for major capital school construction projects and minor capital renovation projects that are not approved for state subsidy. The bonding of this long-term debt was previously approved by the voters or other legislative body."

Sec. E-27. 20-A MRSA 15693, sub-3, B, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 2, Pt. D, 62 and affected by 72 and 74 and c. 12, Pt. WW, 18, is amended to read:

B.The format of the school budget may be determined in accordance with section 1306 1485.

Sec. E-28. 20-A MRSA 15694, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 2, Pt. D, 62 and affected by 72 and 74 and c. 12, Pt. WW, 18, is amended to read:

15694. Actions on budget

The following provisions apply to approving a school budget under this chapter.

1.Checklist required. Prior to a vote on articles dealing with school appropriations, the moderator of a regular or special school budget meeting shall require the clerk or secretary to shall make a checklist of the registered voters present. The number of voters listed on the checklist is conclusive evidence of the number present at participating in the meeting vote.
2.Reconsideration. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, in school administrative units where the school budget is finally approved by the voters, a special budget meeting vote to reconsider action taken on the budget may be called only as follows.
A.The meeting reconsideration vote must be held within 30 days of the regular budget meeting vote at which the budget was finally approved in accordance with section 2307 or chapter 103A.
B.In a regional school unit, school administrative district or community school district, the meeting reconsideration vote must be called by the school board or as follows.

(1) A petition containing a number of signatures of legal voters in the member municipalities of the school administrative unit equalling at least 10% of the number of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election in member municipalities of the school administrative unit, or 100 voters, whichever is less, and specifying the article or articles to be reconsidered must be presented to the school board within 15 days of the regular budget meeting vote at which the budget was finally approved in accordance with chapter 103A.

(2) On receiving the petition, the school board shall call the special budget reconsideration meeting vote, which must be held within 15 days of the date the petition was received.

C.In a municipality, the meeting to reconsider the vote must be called by the municipal officers:

(1) Within 15 days after receipt of a request from the school board, if the request is received within 15 days of the budget meeting vote at which the budget was finally approved in accordance with section 2307 and it specifies the article or articles to be reconsidered; or

(2) Within 15 days after receipt of a written application presented in accordance with Title 30A, section 2532, if the application is received within 15 days of the budget meeting vote at which the budget was finally approved in accordance with section 2307 and it specifies the article or articles to be reconsidered.

3.Invalidation of action of special budget meeting to reconsider the vote. If a special budget meeting vote is called to reconsider action taken at a regular budget meeting vote, the actions of the meeting are vote is invalid if the number of voters at the special budget meeting vote is less than the number of voters present at the regular budget meeting vote.
4.Line-item transfers. Meetings Votes requested by a school board for the purpose of transferring funds from one category or line item to another must be posted for voter or council action within 15 days of the date of the request.

Sec. E-29. PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. C, 17 is amended to read:

Sec. C-17. Mill expectation. The mill expectation pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20A, section 15671A for fiscal year 2009-10 is 6.73 6.99 and must be lowered to 6.37 6.69 as a result of funds provided under Title XIV of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as part of the amount restored to school administrative units in fiscal year 2009-10.

Sec. E-30. PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. C, 19 is amended to read:

Sec. C-19. Local and state contributions to total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12. The local contribution and the state contribution appropriation provided for general purpose aid for local schools for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2010 is calculated as follows:

2009-10 2009-10
LOCAL STATE
Local and State Contributions to the Total Cost of Funding Public Education from Kindergarten to Grade 12
Local and state contributions to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15683 $923,174,744 $961,272,967 $958,971,492 $920,873,269
Portion to be paid from Federal IDEA balance ($11,600,000)
Adjusted state contribution - subject to statewide distributions required by law $947,371,492 $909,273,269

Sec. E-31. Mill expectation. The mill expectation pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20A, section 15671A for fiscal year 201011 is 7.46 and must be lowered to 6.96 as a result of funds provided under Title XIV of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as part of the amount restored to school administrative units in fiscal year 2010-11.

Sec. E-32. Total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12. The total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 for fiscal year 201011 is as follows:

2010-11
TOTAL
Total Operating Allocation
Total operating allocation pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15683 without transitions percentage $1,377,907,552
Total operating allocation pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15683 with 97% transitions percentage $1,336,568,385
Total other subsidizable costs pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15681-A $399,182,922
inline graphic sline.gif
Total Operating Allocation
Total operating allocation pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15683 and total other subsidizable costs pursuant to Title 20-A, section 15681-A $1,735,751,307
Total Debt Service Allocation
Total debt service allocation pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15683-A $99,049,370
Total Adjustments and Miscellaneous Costs
Total adjustments and miscellaneous costs pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, sections 15689 and 15689-A $74,663,270
inline graphic sline.gif
Total Cost of Funding Public Education from Kindergarten to Grade 12
Total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 for fiscal year 2010-11 pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, chapter 606-B $1,909,463,947

Sec. E-33. Local and state contributions to total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12. The local contribution and the state contribution appropriation provided for general purpose aid for local schools for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2011 is calculated as follows:

2010-11 2010-11
LOCAL STATE
Local and State Contributions to the Total Cost of Funding Public Education from Kindergarten to Grade 12
Local and state contributions to the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12 pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15683 - subject to statewide distributions required by law $1,031,138,925 $878,325,022

Sec. E-34. Limit of State's obligation. If the State's continued obligation for any individual component contained in sections 32 and 33 of this Part exceeds the level of funding provided for that component, any unexpended balances occurring in other programs may be applied to avoid proration of payments for any individual component. Any unexpended balances from this Part may not lapse but must be carried forward for the same purpose.

Sec. E-35. Authorization of payments. Sections 32 and 33 of this Part may not be construed to require the State to provide payments that exceed the appropriation of funds for general purpose aid for local schools for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2011.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333