Updates to the reorganization law
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Updates to the Reorganization Law. Per Public Law, 2000, chapter 668, as enacted by L.D. 2323, passed by the Legislature April 18, 2008. Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner Maine Department of Education May 2008. NOT passed by the Legislature:. Waiver for units with fewer than 1,000 students

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Updates to the Reorganization Law

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Updates to the reorganization law

Updates to the Reorganization Law

Per Public Law, 2000, chapter 668, as enacted by L.D. 2323, passed by the Legislature April 18, 2008

Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

Maine Department of Education

May 2008


Not passed by the legislature

NOT passed by the Legislature:

  • Waiver for units with fewer than 1,000 students

  • Charter communities exemption from budget validation referendum requirement

  • Exemption from referendum requirement if budget is less than 5% over EPS

  • Withdrawal from a CSD or SAD

  • Exemption for low population density


Key changes to the reorganization law

Key Changes to the Reorganization Law

  • Removal of financial barriers

  • Isolated, rural communities

  • Alternative organizational structure

  • Transitional powers & duties of initial RSU board


Removal of financial barriers

Removal of Financial Barriers

Minimum special education subsidy

  • Units that receive the minimum special education subsidy will retain their eligibility when they join a regional school unit


Removal of financial barriers1

Removal of Financial Barriers

Allow local cost-sharing agreements

  • Cost-sharing agreements may be based on:

    • Number of resident pupils in each town;

    • Property fiscal capacity of each member municipality;

    • Any combination of these and/or other factors.

  • Reorganization plans must include a process for amending the cost-sharing formula


Removal of financial barriers2

Removal of Financial Barriers

Raising 2 mills for education

  • Requirement removed


Isolated rural communities

Isolated, Rural Communities

  • Allow isolated, rural units to serve 1,200 or fewer students but not less than 1,000, if:

    • Comprised of 3 or more school administrative units; OR

    • Member municipalities of proposed RSU are surrounded by approved RSUs and there are no other SAUs to join; OR

    • Member municipalities of proposed RSU include 2 or more isolated small schools (defined in law)


Alternative organizational structure aos

Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS)

  • An AOS is treated as one unit for the purposes of:

    • Calculating Essential Programs and Services (EPS)

    • State subsidy

    • Required state and federal reporting


Alternative organizational structure aos1

Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS)

  • Consolidation of:

    • system administration

    • special education administration

    • transportation administration

    • administration of business functions

  • Core curriculum

  • Consistent school policies, school calendar, and a plan for consistent collective bargaining agreements


Alternative organizational structure aos2

Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS)

  • Plan may include a collaborative agreement

  • Plan must include an interlocal agreement

  • Plan must include procedures for K-12 budget approval

  • The budget validation referendum for all members of the AOS must be conducted on the same day


Other substantive changes to the law

Other Substantive Changes to the Law

  • Core functions of RSU board

  • Local school committees

  • Budget process

  • Penalties

  • School property

  • Deadlines


Rsu board core functions

RSU Board Core Functions

These responsibilities cannot be delegated

  • Employment of superintendent

  • Performance of business functions

  • Special education administration

  • Transportation

  • Core curriculum

  • Budget

  • Reporting

  • Employment

  • School Calendar

  • Adoption of policies


Local school committees

Local School Committees

  • May be authorized by reorganization plan or RSU board

    • May delegate duties, functions not reserved for RSU board

    • May propose (local voters must approve) raising additional funds for local school(s) over and above RSU approved budget

      • Law now allows for high schools, too


Budget process

Budget Process

  • All RSUs and all other SAUs must:

    • Prepare school budgets showing the 11 cost centers

    • Hold a regional school unit budget meeting

    • Hold a budget validation referendum

  • Retroactivity – SADs and CSDs will be approved for either using 6 or 11 cost centers for 2008-09 budgets


Penalties for non conforming units

Penalties for Non-conforming Units

  • Beginning in 2009-10, the local mill expectation is increased by 2%

    • Other penalties remain unchanged


School property

School Property

Clarification of original law

  • Municipalities may retain ownership of school property

    • The reorganization plan must include the clear allocation of responsibilities for management, maintenance, etc.


Changes to deadlines

Changes to Deadlines

  • SAUs have until January 30, 2009 to hold a referendum on their reorganization plan

    • Was November 4, 2008

  • Commissioner must report on the status of implementation and make recommendations on proposed legislation to the Education Committee by December 15, 2008

    • Was January 31, 2009


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