Legislation Impacting MSAD 60
Following are LDs and funding changes that stand to substantially impact MSAD 60. Please consider sharing this information with your boards and asking members to consider writing/contacting local legislators and the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee members in support of our district.
The first L.D. is rather ironic. If a district opts to stay out of the application process, they would not lose the $46 per seat; yet districts who joined an RSC would still see a loss? “L.D. 1689, An Act To Repeal Certain Provisions Regarding the System Administration Allocation Affecting Maine School Districts in the 2018-2019 Biennial Budget, had its public hearing before the Education Committee on Jan. 24, and its first work session on Jan. 31. The bill would repeal a $46-per-student penalty on districts that did not put in preliminary applications to be part of a regional service center. The penalty goes up to $94 per student in 2019-2020, and that also is repealed under the bill. The committee’s vote on the bill has not yet been scheduled.” This L.D. would cost MSAD 60 $139,500 in 2019 and probably an equal amount in 2020.
“L.D. 1509, An Act To Prohibit Retired State Employees and Teachers from Returning to Work While Collecting Retirement Benefits, had its public hearing on Jan. 23. It would not allow retired teachers and superintendents to return to work except as substitutes or independent contractors. MSBA and MSSA testified against the bill and raised the teacher shortage in this state and the fact retired superintendents serve as interims when filling superintendent vacancies. This bill was heard by the Appropriations Committee and a committees vote has not yet been scheduled.” There are several teachers who are retired and work part-time for our district. These employees provide valuable service to our students. Several work in areas of high need in which we were unable to find other qualified candidates: math, science, and Special Education. Further, those employees may only collect 75% pay, so those positions actually save costs for the district. I would encourage legislators to reject this LD.
“L.D. 1666, An Act To Ensure the Successful Implementation of Proficiency-Based Diplomas by Extending the Timeline for Phasing in Their Implementation will have a public hearing before the Education Committee on Feb. 7. Both legislative committee for the Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association are neither for nor against this bill because they don’t want to stop the momentum already gained toward adopting a PBD. This bill would delay by one year the timeline currently in statute requiring proficiency in the Learning Results by 2025. MSBA and MSSA will ask that more flexibility be put in the rules around proficiency-based learning to make sure all students, including those with special needs, can earn a diploma. Testimony also will raise concern about the shortage of foreign language teachers.” MSAD 60 is ready to move forward in terms of PBD, so this particular change would not impact us; however, the MDOE withdrew PBD implementation funds. That costs our district $40,000. I would encourage Legislators to reinstate those funds.
The MDOE elected to move the mil rate for education from $8.19 per thousand dollars property valuation to $8.51. That increase of would mean further shifting of state responsibility to local municipalities. This costs taxpayers an additional $545,000.
Career and Technical Center funding should continue for MSAD 60 through 2020 to cover Culinary and Early Childhood program satellite “lookback” funds the district has already expended; however, the state department is shifting those payments to the regional CTE, costing MSAD 60 approximately $216,000 in 2019, and $85,000 in 2021. I would urge Legislators to reinstate those promised funds.
Lastly, MSAD 60 is losing $29,000 in technology funding, as the MDOE continues to reduce its per seat cost for the longstanding Maine Laptop Technology Initiative (MLTI). I urge the Legislators to reinstate those funds.
As you can see, MSAD 60 communities, like many others, are picking up more funding because the MDOE is shifting so many elements of the funding formula simultaneously that it is hard to see the individual impact of each shift. Overall, our Essential Program Services funding shoes our district will receive an overall increase of $437,000 for 2019; however, as you can see, there are many changes that are negatively impacting us. Your voice can make a difference. Local Legislative contacts are:
Karen Gerrish at Karen.Gerrish@legislature.maine.gov
Ron Collins at Ronald.Collins@legislature.maine.gov
Jennifer Parker at Jennifer.Parker@legislature.maine.gov
Dawn Hill at SenDawn.Hill@Legislature.maine.gov
Beth O’Connor at Beth.O’Connor@legislature.maine.gov
And from the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee
Tori Kornfield at Victoria.Kornfield@legislature.maine.gov
Brian Langley at SenBrian.Langley@legislature.maine.gov
Superintendent of Schools