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Home > Advocacy > Bills

Bills


L.D. 965 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/21/19
An Act To Restrict Cell Phone Use by Students While in School
This bill requires the Department of Education to adopt major substantive rules restricting the use of cellular telephones by students.

L.D. 944 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/21/19
An Act To Ban Native American Mascots in All Public Schools
This bill prohibits a public school from having or adopting a name, symbol or image that depicts or refers to a Native American tribe, individual, custom or tradition and that is used as a mascot, nickname, logo, letterhead or team name of the school.

L.D. 930 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/21/19
An Act To Give Maine Schools Additional Options To Make Up Missed School Days
This bill includes in the statutes Department of Education rules governing how school administrative units may make up school days missed due to weather or emergency closures, including rescheduling or shortening scheduled vacation periods, postponing the scheduled closing date of school and conducting classes during the weekend. It also allows school administrative units to make up school days by providing students with packets of homework the completion of which counts as completion of a regular day of school and to develop ways to make up school days not included in law as long as they are incorporated into a plan approved by the Commissioner of Education.

L.D. 900 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/19/19
An Act To Expand the Rights of Public Employees under the Maine Labor Laws
This bill allows public employees, including municipal and county employees, state and legislative employees, university, academy and community college employees and judicial employees, but not including employees whose duties include protecting public safety, to strike pursuant to the official procedures of the employees' employee organization or under a process in which an affirmative vote to strike is held. The bill requires that notice be given to the public employer stating the dates upon which the strike will begin and end. The bill also provides that the employee organization or public employer may call for emergency bargaining within 3 days prior to the intended start of the strike.

L.D. 898 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/19/19
An Act To Provide for a Professional Wage and Support for New Educators
This bill proposes to improve teacher quality in the State by amending the current statutes related to programs involving teacher preparation, support systems for conditionally certified teachers and educational specialists, teacher certification and teacher salaries and funding college loans for students enrolled in a program of study leading to certification as a teacher. The bill expands the student teaching experience and academic achievement requirements for candidates for a professional teacher certificate. It specifies the number of hours of practicum an applicant must complete and clarifies the time frame during which the student teaching experience must occur. The bill enacts a grade point average requirement with respect to applicants recommended by educational institutions offering teacher preparation programs. The bill strengthens the support and mentoring systems required to provide assistance for teachers, including teachers certified for less than 5 years, and requires the Commissioner of Education to pay salary supplements to teachers who are involved in the operation of such systems. The bill provides that a school administrative unit may not employ a conditionally certified teacher or educational specialist unless it has an approved, locally designed support and mentoring system or has received specific authorization from the commissioner. The bill increases the minimum salary for certified teachers to $40,000 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year and provides that a certified teacher's salary may not remain at the minimum level for longer than 2 years. The bill includes in the school funding formula state funding for the incremental costs of meeting this minimum in fiscal year 2020-21, state funding for 66% of these incremental costs in fiscal year 2021-22 and state funding for 33% of these incremental costs in fiscal year 2022-23. The bill requires the State Board of Education to amend its rule Chapter 114: Purpose, Standards and Procedures for the Review and Approval of Preparation Programs for Education Personnel to articulate and outline clear standards for a memorandum of understanding between student teachers, teacher preparation programs and participating school administrative units. The bill directs the Governor to appoint members to vacant positions on the Professional Standards Board by November 1, 2019 and directs the board to convene a meeting by December 1, 2019. The bill provides additional appropriations for the Educators for Maine Program within the Finance Authority of Maine in order to double the annual investment of state loan funds awarded to eligible students.

L.D. 894 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/19/19
An Act To Expressly Allow Nonprofit Corporations To Conduct Electronic Voting
This bill specifically permits a nonprofit corporation to authorize in its bylaws the conduct of elections or voting, or both, through electronic transmission.

L.D. 882 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/19/19
Resolve, To Require the Examination of the System of Learning Results
This resolve directs the Department of Education to convene a working group to study the system of learning results and to submit a report by December 4, 2019 to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, which may submit legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

L.D. 859 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Equipment for Career and Technical Education Centers and Regions
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $40,000,000, will be used to provide funds to make capital improvements to and purchase equipment for career and technical education centers and regions for high school students.

L.D. 858 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/19
Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Study and Make Recommendations for the Establishment of a Maine School Safety Center
This resolve directs the Department of Education to study and make recommendations for the establishment of a Maine School Safety Center based on a report created by Safe Havens International, the top recommendation of which was the establishment of such a center. The department is directed to issue a report, including its recommendations for the establishment of a center and any suggested legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by October 15, 2019. The joint standing committee is authorized to submit a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

L.D. 852 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/19
An Act To Enhance the Coordination of Benefits, Assessments and Expansion of Continuing Education Programs for Young Adults with Disabilities after High School
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to establish a task force to study the benefits, assessments and expansion of continuing education programs for young adults with disabilities after high school. The members of the task force would include a variety of experts, providers and parents, and the task force would be charged with developing recommendations to enhance the coordination of programs and recommend targeted reforms to ensure the most efficient and effective provision of services. This bill would also implement targeted reforms that have been recommended by existing or previous task forces.

L.D. 847 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/19
An Act To Ensure Persons with Disabilities Have Access to Public Rest Rooms
This bill provides that single-occupancy bathrooms in existing buildings for use by the general public may not be designated as gender specific. It also requires that new construction of buildings for use by the general public include the construction of single-occupancy bathrooms that meet the standards of construction for new buildings and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The bathrooms may not be designated as gender specific; the purpose of this provision is to ensure that a person with a disability using the bathroom may be assisted by an attendant of a different gender.

L.D. 843 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/19
An Act To Clarify Parental Consent Regarding the Release of Student Information
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to clarify the laws governing parental consent regarding the release of student information.

L.D. 836 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/14/19
An Act To Expand Maine's School-based Health Centers
This bill provides ongoing funding to the school-based health centers within the Fund for a Healthy Maine program within the Department of Health and Human Services to add an additional 15 school-based health center sites.

L.D. 798 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/12/19
An Act To Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Diseases by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements
Current law allows exemptions from immunization requirements based on religious or philosophical beliefs for students in elementary and secondary schools and postsecondary schools and employees of nursery schools and health care facilities. This bill removes those exemptions. The bill also directs the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to remove any immunization exemptions based on religious or philosophical beliefs from their rules and requires the Department of Education to adopt rules allowing a student who is covered by an individualized education plan and has elected a philosophical or religious exemption from immunization requirements to continue to attend school under the existing exemption as long as an appropriate medical professional provides a statement that the medical professional has provided information on the risks and benefits associated with the choice to immunize.

L.D. 791 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/12/19
An Act To Provide School Districts with Full State Funding for Students with High-cost Special Education Needs
This bill requires the State, beginning July 1, 2020, to provide a school administrative unit 100% of the funding needed for high-cost special education students.

L.D. 773 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/12/19
An Act Regarding Secondary School Education Concerning Sexual Activity and Sexual Assault
This bill requires the Commissioner of Education to review the content standards and performance indicators for the content area of health, physical education and wellness, including instruction on affirmative consent, communication and decision making regarding sexual activity and the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants and narcotics on the ability to give affirmative consent, communicate and make appropriate decisions, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year as part of the commissioner's 5-year review cycle of the content standards and performance indicators required under the system of learning results.

L.D. 770 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/12/19
An Act To Provide for a Later Starting Time for High Schools
This bill requires that, by September 1, 2020, each school administrative unit ensure that its secondary schools' school days start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

L.D. 750 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Allow Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Instructors To Instruct without State Certification
This bill exempts from teacher certification requirements a federal Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps instructor certified by the United States Department of Defense providing Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps instruction to students in grade 9 to grade 12.

L.D. 736 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Protect Students during Elections Held at Their Schools
This bill requires that when an election is held with a school as a voting place, the school must either be closed or secured according to a plan approved by the municipal law enforcement agency responsible for protecting that school.

L.D. 732 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Provide a Sales Tax Exemption for Nonprofit Career and Technical Student Organizations
This bill provides a sales tax exemption to nonprofit career and technical education student organizations recognized by the Department of Education.

L.D. 729 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act Regarding the Probationary Period for Teachers
This bill provides that if a teacher completed a 3-year probationary period in a school administrative unit and later teaches in another school administrative unit, that teacher will only have a one-year probationary period in the new school administrative unit.

L.D. 727 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act Concerning Funding of Alternative Organizational Structures
This bill requires alternative organizational structures, a type of school administrative unit, to be funded at the same level as school management and leadership centers.

L.D. 721 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Encourage Public Participation in School Board Meetings
This bill requires school boards to hold public comment periods at the beginning of each school board meeting.

L.D. 718 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Increase Funding for Adult Basic Literacy, Workplace Education and College Preparedness
This bill provides an increase in funding for the adult education subsidy to local school units that operate adult education programs. It also provides targeted funds to improve the capacity of local adult education programs to meet students' academic and work readiness and training needs.

L.D. 714 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Prohibit Public Charter Schools from Expending Funds for Advertising
This bill prohibits a public charter school from paying for advertising in print media or on television, radio, yard signs or digital or electronic media.

L.D. 712 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Fully Fund After-school and Preschool Programs in the School Funding Formula, Increase the Economically Disadvantaged Student Factor in the School Funding Formula and Increase the School Construction Debt Service Limit
This bill amends the school funding formula to fund after-school programs based on the state share percentage and to fund public preschool programs at 50% of the cost of the programs, or if a school administrative unit's state share percentage is greater than 50%, to fund the unit's public preschool program at the state share percentage. The bill also increases the additional weight for economically disadvantaged students from 0.15 to 1.5. The bill also raises the maximum debt service limit for school construction projects from $126,000,000 to $150,000,000 beginning in 2020.

L.D. 711 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
Resolve, To Establish a Commission To Study and Recommend a Minimum Age for Participation in Tackle Football
This resolve establishes the Commission To Study and Recommend a Minimum Age for Participation in Tackle Football. The commission is required to submit a report, including suggested legislation, for presentation to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

L.D. 701 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/11/19
An Act To Modernize the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program
Current law requires the Department of Education to make information available to public schools regarding Internet-based applications for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program. This bill requires the department to develop and make available to public schools a specific Internet-based application for the National School Lunch Program as well as for the School Breakfast Program. A public school that implements the Internet-based application process is required to continue to distribute paper applications for school meals to all students.

L.D. 672 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Allow Local Flexibility in Teacher Assignment To Enhance Student Achievement
This bill allows a holder of a professional teacher certificate to teach no more than 20% of the teacher's teaching assignment outside the teacher's area of endorsement. It also requires a superintendent to notify and provide certain details to the Commissioner of Education when a teacher is assigned to teach outside the teacher's area of endorsement.

L.D. 670 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Increase the Minimum Wage for Large Employers
This bill increases the minimum wage of the employees of employers employing 50 or more full-time employees to $13.00 on January 1, 2021, to $14.00 on January 1, 2022 and to $15.00 on January 1, 2023.

L.D. 664 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Organize Biannual County Meetings for Local School Boards
This bill requires the State Board of Education to organize a biannual meeting in each county for the school boards in each county to engage in peer-to-peer discussions, develop new ideas and review proposed rule changes by the Department of Education and other policies and issues impacting school administrative units. Each school board may send up to 3 representatives, and the state board shall send at least one representative to the biannual county meeting. Costs for a biannual county meeting must be split between the state board and the school administrative units in that county.

L.D. 662 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Count Study Abroad toward Secondary School Credit
This bill requires school administrative units to award course credit to students who have studied abroad by awarding the student elective credit based on hours of instruction received abroad or by awarding credit hours in the relevant content area if the student receives 3rd-party certification or if the student passes a summative assessment.

L.D. 660 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Exempt Sales to Parent-Teacher Organizations from the Sales Tax
This bill provides a sales tax exemption to a parent-teacher organization organized as a public benefit corporation.

L.D. 656 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Increase the Penalty for Passing a School Bus with Its Red Lights Flashing
This bill increases the penalties for passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. The new penalties are:
  1. The assessment of 6 demerit points on a driver's license;
  2. A fine of $2,000; and
  3. A term of imprisonment of 90 days.

L.D. 655 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Allow Municipalities To Send Separate Tax Bills for Municipal and County and School Taxes
This bill permits municipalities to issue separate bills for the portion of their tax commitments attributable to education funding and the portion attributable to county taxes and all other municipal costs.

L.D. 654 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act Regarding Instruction in Civics in Secondary Schools
This bill clarifies that instruction in civics is part of the comprehensive program of instruction in secondary schools and also adds civics to the parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements in the system of learning results.

L.D. 651 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Facilitate School Access to Federal Title I Funds and Improve the Delivery of Special Education Services
This bill makes the following changes to the laws governing special education.
  1. It adds 4 provisions to the laws regarding nontraditional limited purpose schools that were part of Department of Education rule Chapter 250 which has been repealed.
  2. It adds response to intervention systems to the minimum requirements for basic school approval to ensure an all-encompassing, tiered system of support for general and special education students. It also clarifies that rules regarding those requirements are major substantive rules.
  3. It facilitates collaboration between general education and special education, including a clarification that the Department of Education is required to facilitate a process to help schools apply for schoolwide status with respect to federal Title I funds.
  4. It promotes dual certification programs by the Department of Education and the State Board of Education.
  5. It requires recodification of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, Part 4, subpart 1, concerning special education, by the Office of Policy and Legal Analysis and the Office of the Revisor of Statutes.
  6. It requires a review of the purpose of the maintenance of effort funding component of the essential programs and services funding formula and whether it is accomplishing this purpose and how to increase equity among all school administrative units.
  7. It requires a review and improvement of MaineCare billing systems and procedures through a pilot program through the Department of Education in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services.

L.D. 647 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Attract, Educate and Retain New State Residents To Strengthen the Workforce
This bill creates various programs to provide education, services and training for the State's workforce immigrant populations in the following ways:
  1. It establishes the Welcome Center Initiative to operate welcome centers in adult education programs to provide education, services and training for foreign-trained workers in municipalities or regions of the State that have immigrant populations or that have industries that are experiencing a shortage of trained workers, patterned after the New Mainers Resource Center operated by the City of Portland adult education program through a pilot program created by the 126th Legislature. The bill provides funds for grants for proposed welcome centers;
  2. It directs the Department of Education's office of adult education and family literacy to:
  3. Administer a vocation-specific English language acquisition and workforce training program for immigrants in the State and establish a statewide competitive grant process to carry out the purposes of the program;
  4. Establish and implement a local community planning support program to provide a planning process for communities to provide English language acquisition and training in vocational skills, identify employers or areas that would benefit from immigrant residency or employment and cultivate community support to integrate immigrants into the communities and local workforce. The office must establish a grant process to carry out the purposes of the program; and
  5. Develop and implement a grant process to award grants to adult education programs to increase English language acquisition instruction.
The bill provides funding for the vocation-specific English language acquisition and workforce training program, the local community planning support program and grants to increase English language acquisition instruction; and
  1. It directs the Department of Education to establish a welcome center under the Welcome Center Initiative within the City of Lewiston's adult education program to attract, educate and retain in employment foreign-trained workers, patterned after the New Mainers Resource Center in Portland, and provides funding for that purpose. It also provides ongoing funding for the New Mainers Resource Center in Portland.

L.D. 642 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act Regarding Kindergarten Readiness for Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
This bill requires the Commissioner of Education, beginning July 31, 2020 and annually thereafter, to submit a report to the joint standing committee having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs of the data specific to language and literacy development of children who are deaf and hard of hearing from birth to 5 years of age, including children who are deaf or hard of hearing and have other disabilities, that demonstrate the children's language and literacy development relative to their peers who are not deaf or hard of hearing to include any language developmental milestones or parent resources used or disseminated by the department for use in tracking or assessing the expressive and receptive language acquisition of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and to make this report publicly available. This bill also directs the Commissioner of Education, no later than October 1, 2019, to establish a departmental task force to recommend language developmental milestones from existing resources and current standards and to develop a parent resource portfolio to monitor and track the expressive and receptive language acquisition and developmental stages toward literacy in American Sign Language and English of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and sets criteria for the task force membership. The bill also directs the Department of Education to select tools and assessments for educators that can be used to assess the language and literacy development of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and to report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs, by December 15, 2020, on the parent resource portfolio developed by the task force and a procedure to disseminate the parent resource portfolio to parents, a procedure to disseminate the selected tools and assessments to educators and a procedure for educators to use when a child is not progressing in expressive and receptive language skills. The report must include suggested legislation to implement its findings and recommendations, and the joint standing committing of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs is authorized to report out legislation to the First Regular Session of the 130th Legislature to implement those findings and recommendations.

L.D. 639 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Protect Student Privacy
This bill provides that video and audio recordings made by security or surveillance cameras on school grounds or in school vehicles are not public records for purposes of the Freedom of Access Act.

L.D. 632 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/07/19
An Act To Promote Free, Appropriate Public Education
This bill eliminates the provision that requires the Child Development Services System to provide free, appropriate public education to a preschool child with disabilities who reaches 5 years of age between July 1st and October 15th if the child's individualized education program team determines that it is in the best interest of the child to delay enrollment in kindergarten for one year.

L.D. 621 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Prohibit Extruded Polystyrene Food Service Containers
This bill prohibits food establishments from processing, preparing, selling or providing food in or on an extruded polystyrene foam food service container with certain exceptions.

L.D. 605 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Improve Antihunger Programs in Maine Schools
This bill requires the Department of Education on an annual basis to provide information to public schools regarding Internet-based applications for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.

L.D. 600 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Achieve Mental Health Parity in Workers' Compensation
This bill changes the standard of proof required to demonstrate entitlement to compensation for a mental injury caused by stress so that it is the same standard as is required with respect to physical injuries. In addition, this bill specifies that a work-related injury that aggravates a preexisting mental condition may result in a compensable disability, just as aggravating a preexisting physical condition may.

L.D. 594 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Promote Individual Savings Accounts through a Public-Private Partnership
This bill establishes the Maine Retirement Savings Board and authorizes the board to develop a program to offer individual defined contribution retirement accounts for persons employed in the State who do not have access to a qualified retirement plan through their employers or who are self-employed.

L.D. 589 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
Resolve, Directing the State Board of Education To Adopt Rules Prohibiting Teachers in Public Schools from Engaging in Political, Ideological or Religious Advocacy in the Classroom
This resolve directs the State Board of Education to adopt major substantive rules prohibiting teachers in public schools from engaging in political, religious or ideological advocacy in the classroom or from introducing any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course being taught, with penalties for violations up to and including termination of the teacher. This resolve requires the State Board of Education to provide written notice of the rules to all affected teachers, parents and students and for teachers to receive annually at least 3 hours of continuing teacher education to instruct the teachers on the rules. Finally, this resolve requests professional teacher organizations and unions to voluntarily adopt an educator's code of ethics and professional responsibility that incorporates the rules and that specifically prohibits teachers in kindergarten to grade 12 instruction from using the classroom for political indoctrination.

L.D. 587 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Require Career Options Education for High School Students
This bill makes career and education development a required one-semester course to receive a high school diploma.

L.D. 577 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Increase Access to Nutritious Foods in Schools by Implementing an After-school Food Program for At-risk Students
This bill provides for the participation in the federal child and adult care food program to serve at-risk students who attend after-school programming by school administrative units that choose to operate the program and have at least one public school in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year.

L.D. 576 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/01/70
Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Develop and Implement an Online Learning Platform for Students and Educators
This resolve directs the Department of Education to develop and implement an online platform to facilitate the provision of online, virtual instruction by state-certified teachers to students in every public school in the State and the provision of a variety of high-quality professional development opportunities to educators across the State. It directs the department to report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by January 1, 2020 on the progress toward and obstacles to the development and implementation of the online platform. The joint standing committee is authorized to report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature to address any obstacles to the development and implementation of the online platform and any other concerns.

L.D. 557 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 02/05/19
An Act To Create and Fund the School Revolving Maintenance Fund To Support the Usefulness and Longevity of Public School Buildings
This bill establishes the School Revolving Maintenance Fund as a nonlapsing fund administered by the Department of Education to make loans to school administrative units for minor school infrastructure maintenance and construction projects. The bill requires the Department of Education to adopt major substantive rules and transfers $30,000,000 from the General Fund unappropriated surplus to the School Revolving Maintenance Fund.

L.D. 549 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
An Act To Promote Academic Achievement through Hunger Relief for Maine Children
This bill directs the State to fund the difference between the federal reimbursements for reduced-price and free lunches in order to provide all children from families with incomes under 185% of the federal poverty level free lunch at school.

L.D. 541 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
Resolve, To Reduce Food Waste in Schools
This resolve directs the Department of Education to develop a school food sharing policy to encourage schools and food banks to work together to collect whole and packaged school cafeteria surplus or leftover food and share it with the community.

L.D. 513 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
An Act To Limit the Number of Students and Prevent the Addition of Grade Levels at Virtual Public Charter Schools
This bill limits total enrollment at all virtual public charter schools authorized by the commission to the total enrollment at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. It also prohibits a virtual public charter school authorized by the commission from expanding to serve a grade level not included in the school's initial charter contract or, for a school whose charter was renewed prior to November 1, 2019, the renewed charter contract.

L.D. 512 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
Resolve, To Create the Task Force To Study and Plan for the Implementation of Maine's Early Childhood Special Education Services
This resolve establishes the Task Force To Study and Plan for the Implementation of Maine's Early Childhood Special Education Services to examine the national trends and relevant models of governing and delivering early childhood special education systems and the short-term and long-term costs and benefits to the Department of Education's proposed plan to restructure the Child Development Services System and to make recommendations for an early childhood special education services program plan.

L.D. 504 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
An Act To Enhance the Development of Innovative Career and Technical Education Programs
This bill streamlines the procedure for authorizing career and technical education satellite programs. Current law requires any affiliated unit that wishes to operate a career and technical education satellite program to submit a written request to operate a satellite program to the governing body of the center or region with which the unit is affiliated. The governing body of the center or region considers the request and then forwards its recommendation to the Commissioner of Education. Instead, the bill provides that the written request be submitted directly to the Commissioner of Education for approval.

L.D. 502 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
An Act To Establish the Summer Success Program Fund
This bill establishes the Summer Success Program Fund, a dedicated fund to be directed and administered by the Commissioner of Education and held by the Treasurer of State, to encourage the facilitation of high-quality summer success programs in school administrative units throughout the State. The bill accomplishes the following.
  1. It provides that money paid into the fund may include General Fund appropriations, as well as grants, gifts and other money from any unit of federal, state or local government or from any person, firm, partnership or corporation for deposit to the fund, money received from a social impact bond and interest, dividends and other pecuniary gains. It requires that school administrative units ensure that grants provided from the fund for expanding access to summer success programs supplement and not supplant federal funding.
  2. It requires the commissioner to administer the fund within the Department of Education and to establish standards and approval for the allocation and use of fund money for summer success programs offered at elementary and secondary schools in the State. It also allows the commissioner to include the following in the standards:
  3. Guidelines similar to the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to close the achievement gap between high-performing and low-performing students;
  4. Effective models of summer success programs that involve networking and partnerships with community-based organizations that provide a range of high-quality services to support student learning and development; and
  5. Implementation of the formative and summative assessment methods to measure student achievement in order to monitor the progress of students participating in summer success programs.
  6. It provides that, beginning in fiscal year 2020-21, the department is required to provide grant funding, through a grant application process, to cover 90% of the costs of summer success programs in school administrative units with greater than 50% student participation in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.
  7. It adds the fund to the enhancing student performance and opportunity provisions of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act.
  8. It requires the commissioner to submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 15, 2019 that outlines the proposed rules to implement the fund by the 2020-2021 school year.

L.D. 497 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
An Act Regarding the Providing of Human Food Waste to Swine Producers
This bill specifies that an individual, organization or institution, including a public school, that donates food waste to a swine producer for use in swine feed is not required to verify that the swine producer has a license to feed garbage to swine. The bill also specifies that it is private or public property owned or operated by a swine producer that the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may enter to investigate conditions relating to the treating or feeding of garbage to swine.

L.D. 484 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/31/19
Resolve, To Establish a Maine State High School Diploma
This resolve directs the Department of Education, in consultation with the State Board of Education, to develop a Maine state high school diploma and report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs on its findings and recommendations no later than January 15, 2020.

L.D. 470 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Provide Traffic Safety Education in Schools
The purpose of this bill is to provide students in Maine with traffic safety education from an early age with the goal of teaching students safe practices and respect for all users of the road in order to reduce the unacceptable number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and make Maine's roadways safer and more enjoyable for all users. This bill requires all school administrative units to provide at least one hour annually of age-appropriate traffic safety education to students in grades 2 to 12. The traffic safety education program must provide, at a minimum, instruction on the use of public and private ways by pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle operators and on the laws and rules regarding that use. A school administrative unit may contract with a 3rd party to provide the traffic safety education.

L.D. 469 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Provide Funding for Upgrades of Learning Spaces and Other Projects Funded by the School Revolving Renovation Fund
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $50,000,000 in fiscal year 2019-20 and $50,000,000 in fiscal year 2020-21, will be used to provide funds to the School Revolving Renovation Fund for the purpose of providing funds to public schools to upgrade learning spaces in school buildings and make other necessary repairs.

L.D. 468 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Require That the State Fund on an Ongoing Basis a Minimum of 50 Percent of the Costs Associated with Public Preschool Programs
This bill requires the State to fund a minimum of 50% of the costs of eligible public preschool programs for each year the school administrative unit operates the eligible public preschool program, other than the year in which the school administrative unit receives start-up funds.

L.D. 464 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Change the Period To Request a Due Process Hearing for Costs Related to a Unilateral Private School Placement from a Public School
This bill removes a requirement that rules adopted by the Commissioner of Education governing due process hearings include a maximum period within which due process hearings and appeals may be requested. It provides that an action against a school administrative unit to recover the costs of a unilateral special education placement in a private school may be commenced only by requesting a due process hearing within 90 days of the placement. It also provides that rules adopted by the Commissioner of Education governing the procedures for conducting due process hearings must include procedures for discovery, including rules for the production of documents.

L.D. 462 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Provide Paid Family Leave to Public School Employees
This bill provides that a full-time employee of a school administrative unit is entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family medical leave and may not be required to use sick or other kinds of leave for the birth of the employee's child or the employee's domestic partner's child or for the placement of a child 16 years of age or less with the employee or the employee's domestic partner in connection with the adoption of the child by the employee or the employee's domestic partner. The bill also provides that the employer and employee may negotiate whether leave is taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule.

L.D. 454 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/25/19
An Act To Encourage the Purchase of Local Produce for Public Schools
This bill provides funds to the Department of Education to administer the Local Produce Fund and to provide a $1 match for every $3 expended by a school administrative unit for produce or minimally processed foods purchased directly from a farmer, farmers' cooperative or local food hub in this State.

L.D. 441 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Reduce Childhood Exposure to Harmful Ultraviolet Radiation by Allowing Students To Use Sunscreen in Schools
This bill allows public school students to possess and use a topical sunscreen product while on school property or at a school-sponsored event without prior authorization from a parent or legal guardian or a note or prescription from a licensed health care professional.

L.D. 438 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Allow the Creation of New Innovative School Models by Removing the Cap on the Number of Authorized Charter Schools
This bill removes the cap on the number of charter schools the Maine Charter School Commission may authorize.

L.D. 427 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Require the State To Fund Teacher Retirement
This bill changes the method for funding teacher retirement costs. It repeals those provisions of law enacted pursuant to Public Law 2013, chapter 368 that require school administrative units and private schools to pay a portion of the costs for teacher retirement.

L.D. 419 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Require a Minimum Salary of $50,000 for Public School Teachers
This bill requires that the minimum salary of certified teachers in public schools be established at $50,000 for the school year starting after June 30, 2020.

L.D. 412 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Restore System Administration Allocations in Maine School Administrative Units to the Level Prescribed for Fiscal Year 2017-18
Current law requires that, beginning in fiscal year 2018-19, a portion of the system administration allocation must be allocated to school administrative units that have established regionalized administrative services. This bill instead establishes the system administration allocation at $135 per pupil, the same as it was for fiscal year 2017-18, and repeals provisions that increase for future fiscal years the per-pupil amount and restrict allocation of portions of the funds to school administrative units that have established regionalized administrative services.

L.D. 406 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Establish Regional School Leadership Academies
This bill allows school administrative units to enter into collaborative agreements to establish regional school leadership academies that combine state and local programs and resources, including the preparation, licensure, certification, professional development and training for educational leadership, into a coherent system that can significantly improve the recruitment and preparation of prospective candidates for school principalship and other school leadership positions, as well as the induction, mentoring and retention of principals and school leaders during the first 2 years of employment in their school leadership positions. The bill repeals provisions in current law regarding regional school leadership academies.

L.D. 405 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Increase the Statewide Minimum Salary for Teachers
This bill increases the minimum salary for certified teachers, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. This bill also requires the Commissioner of Education to increase the state share of the total allocation to a qualifying school administrative unit to achieve the minimum salary for certified teachers.

L.D. 404 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Fund the School Revolving Renovation Fund
This bill provides one-time funds to be deposited in the School Revolving Renovation Fund to be used for the purposes specified in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 30-A, section 6006-F, subsection 3.

L.D. 395 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Protect Access to Outside-of-school Enrichment Opportunities
This bill establishes that a school administrative unit may not prohibit a student from accessing outside-of-school enrichment opportunities unless the student is failing to meet academic standards and that a school administrative unit may not prohibit or otherwise restrict an authorized school employee or volunteer from involvement unless the student is failing to meet academic standards or the enrichment opportunity is part of a corporate sponsorship and the employee's or volunteer's involvement is inconsistent with the educational policy of the school administrative unit.

L.D. 392 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/29/19
An Act To Fund Maine's School-based Health Centers
This bill provides ongoing funding for school-based health centers from the Fund for a Healthy Maine within the Department of Health and Human Services.

L.D. 388 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/25/19
An Act To Recognize Employee Background Checks Conducted for Out-of-state Schools Eligible for Maine Tuition Assistance
This bill provides that the tuition payment to an out-of-state high school that serves a student who resides in a school administrative unit that does not maintain a high school may not be withheld solely because persons regularly employed in that school do not meet the background check requirements in Maine law. The provisions apply as long as those persons are required to meet background check standards in that state determined by the Commissioner of Education to be equivalent to the requirements of Maine law.

L.D. 387 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/25/19
An Act To Require Cursive Handwriting Instruction in Grade 3 to Grade 5
This bill requires the Department of Education to provide for continual, regular instruction of and opportunities to use cursive handwriting beginning in grade 3. The instruction must be designed to enable students to demonstrate competence in cursive handwriting by the end of grade 5.

L.D. 385 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/25/19
An Act To Base School Funding on the Number of Students Sent by a Town to a Regional School Unit
This bill amends the method by which the share of the total cost of education from kindergarten to grade 12 is calculated for a municipality that is within a regional school unit. Current law establishes that share as the lesser of the municipality's total cost of education as determined under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15688, subsection 1 and an amount equal to the product of the education mill rate for the municipality multiplied by the total valuation of property in the municipality. This bill instead determines the share of the total cost of education from kindergarten to grade 12 of a municipality within a regional school unit based upon the product of the statewide per-pupil rate calculated under Title 20-A, section 15671-A, subsection 2-A and the number of pupils in the municipality who reside in the municipality and who are educated at public expense. The bill phases in this method of determining a municipality's share of the total cost of education from kindergarten to grade 12 over 3 years: in fiscal year 2020-21, the total cost is 2/3 of the amount determined based on property values and 1/3 of the amount determined based on number of pupils; in fiscal year 2021-22, the total cost is 1/3 of the amount determined based on property values and 2/3 of the amount determined based on number of pupils; and, in fiscal year 2022-23 and subsequent years, the total cost is determined based entirely on number of pupils.

L.D. 375 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Promote the Forest Products Industry in School Construction and Renovation Involving Heating Systems
This bill requires consideration of modern wood heating systems, with wood biomass fuels sourced locally and in a manner that benefits the State's economy, in the construction of new or substantially renovated schools or school buildings subject to State Board of Education approval.

L.D. 369 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Support Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Families by Providing Earned Paid Sick Leave to Certain Employees
This bill creates a right to earned paid sick leave for employees who are employed by an employer that employs more than 5 employees. The bill also creates a right to earned unpaid sick leave for employees of an employer that employs 5 or fewer employees. This bill takes effect January 1, 2021.

L.D. 359 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Address Student Hunger with a "Breakfast after the Bell" Program
This bill requires a school administrative unit with a public school in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year to operate an alternative breakfast delivery service that provides breakfast after the start of the school day for students at that public school. It also provides a process for a school administrative unit to opt out of the alternative breakfast delivery service. This bill requires the Department of Education to adopt rules to develop an application process and to adopt standards to address evaluation criteria based on need for funding assistance for alternative breakfast delivery services in school administrative units. It also requires the department to develop a means to track health and academic outcomes of students and schools that participate in alternative breakfast delivery services.

L.D. 358 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Fully Fund Career and Technical Education for Fiscal Year 2018-19
This bill provides $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2018-19 to the General Purpose Aid for Local Schools program within the Department of Education in order to fully fund the cost of career and technical education pursuant to current law. This bill also amends Public Law 2017, chapter 446 to reflect the additional funding.

L.D. 354 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Encourage the Provision of Reliable High-speed Internet in Rural Underserved Areas of Maine
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $20,000,000, will be used for encouraging the provision of reliable high-speed Internet in rural underserved areas of Maine.

L.D. 345 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Help New Teachers Succeed
This bill requires a probationary teacher to be evaluated during each year of employment as a probationary teacher and provides that if a 3rd-year probationary teacher does not receive a summative effectiveness rating indicating ineffectiveness during the first or 2nd year of the probationary teacher's contract, the probationary teacher's contract must be extended automatically. This bill also requires special procedures for probationary teachers in a school administrative unit's performance evaluation and professional growth system.

L.D. 344 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Increase the Penalties for Illegally Passing a School Bus
This bill increases the penalties for passing a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. The new penalties are:
  1. A $500 fine and a suspension of a driver's license for not more than 30 days for the first offense; and
  2. A fine of not less than $1,000 and a suspension of a driver's license for not less than 30 days for a 2nd or subsequent offense occurring within 5 years of the first offense.

L.D. 318 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/24/19
An Act To Prepare All Students for Work and Life by Requiring That Students Receive Instruction in Vocational Preparation and Practical Life Skills
This bill changes the requirement in the system of learning results from "career and education development" to "vocational preparation and practical life skills." The bill defines "vocational preparation and practical life skills" to mean experiential instruction of students, regardless of career choice or pathway, that develops their understanding of interests, aptitudes and options related to work and study; develops core workplace skills in areas such as planning, communication, problem solving, teamwork and computer applications; and includes practical workplace and home economics experiences that maximize learning through hands-on application.

L.D. 309 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Eliminate the Regional Adjustment for Public School Systems
This bill removes the regional adjustment in the total operating allocation for school administrative units under the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act.

L.D. 307 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Limit the Number of Charter Schools in Maine
Under current law, the number of public charter schools approved by the Maine Charter School Commission that may operate at any time is capped at 10 until July 1, 2022. This bill makes that cap permanent.

L.D. 300 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Protect Hourly School Personnel Pay During School Days Missed Due to Weather or Emergency Closures
This bill requires a school administrative unit to provide school personnel who are paid on an hourly basis with the option of receiving pay over a period of 12 months or shorter. The bill also provides that if a school day is cancelled or shortened due to circumstances beyond the control of school officials, a school administrative unit is required to pay school personnel who are paid on an hourly basis for the hours not worked because of the cancellation or shortened school day, up to 40 hours per school year.

L.D. 299 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Assist Schools, Municipalities and Counties in Using Emerging Technologies and Energy Alternatives to Fossil Fuels in Heating, Electrical and Other Utility Systems
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $15,000,000, will be used to assist schools, municipalities and counties in using emerging technologies and energy alternatives to fossil fuels in heating, electrical and other utility systems. The Finance Authority of Maine is directed to establish an application process and requirements for distribution of the funds.

L.D. 296 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act Regarding Student Privacy with Respect to Video Recordings
This bill requires an elementary or secondary school to keep confidential a video recording in which a student is present, including a video recording taken in a bus or other means of student transportation used by the school, and prohibits the school from disseminating or publishing the video recording without the written permission of a parent of the student.

L.D. 295 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Increase Rural Maine's Access to Broadband Internet Service
The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $100,000,000, will be used for the provision of broadband Internet service in unserved and underserved areas through ConnectME Authority grants to partnerships between private, municipal and nongovernmental service providers.

L.D. 285 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Provide for Legislative Review of Federally Mandated Major Substantive Rules under the Maine Administrative Procedure Act
This bill repeals the provision of law that exempts from legislative review major substantive rules that must be adopted to comply with federal law or to qualify for federal funds.

L.D. 283 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 132: Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education
This resolve provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 132: Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction, a major substantive rule of the Department of Education.

L.D. 278 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act Regarding Pay Equality
This bill amends the Maine Human Rights Act to provide that evidence of discrimination with respect to compensation includes an employer seeking information about a prospective employee's prior wage history before an offer of employment, including all compensation, to the prospective employee has been made. It provides that this discrimination is also evidenced by an employer requiring that a prospective employee's prior compensation history meet certain criteria. The bill broadens a provision in the current equal pay law to prohibit an employer from preventing employees from discussing or disclosing other employees' wages and makes the practice a violation of the Maine Human Rights Act as well.

L.D. 276 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Provide Equity in the State Income Tax Deduction for Maine Public Employees Retirement System Pensions
Retirement benefits under state, local or federal government retirement plans that are based on employment compensation for which contributions are not made to the federal Social Security system result in reductions in the amount of Social Security benefits that a retiree is eligible to receive under the federal Windfall Elimination Provision. This bill provides an income tax exemption for those retirement benefits.

L.D. 259 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Require the State To Meet the Mandatory 55 Percent Contribution to Schools
This bill increases the target for the state share percentage of the statewide adjusted total cost of the components of essential programs and services to 55%, as required by law, beginning in fiscal year 2019-20 and continuing at that rate annually.

L.D. 247 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Increase the Amount of Time School Counselors and Social Workers Spend Providing Students Direct and Indirect Counseling
This bill requires each school counselor and school social worker to spend at least 80% of that counselor's or social worker's time providing direct or indirect services to students and requires the Commissioner of Education to adopt rules to implement this provision.

L.D. 240 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Allow Public Employers of Teachers to Negotiate Regarding Educational Policies
This bill allows, but does not require, public employers of teachers to negotiate with respect to educational policies.

L.D. 237 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Appropriate Funds for Coaching Services for Existing and New Prekindergarten Programs
This bill provides ongoing funds for coaching services to provide teaching support for new and existing prekindergarten programs throughout the State.

L.D. 236 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act Regarding the Use of Unanticipated State Aid for Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
This bill requires the warrant presented to the legislative body of the regional school unit to include an article describing how unanticipated school aid will be used. In cases where the adjustment prevents the regional school unit board from raising 100% of the required local share, the Commissioner of Education must waive the required proration of the state share.

L.D. 226 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Require the Use of Preapproved Subcontractors for Publicly Funded Construction Projects
This bill requires the use of preapproved subcontractors for certain components of work included in bids awarded to general contractors for public improvement construction projects subject to competitive bidding.

L.D. 225 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act Regarding Transportation Management Software and School Bus Replacement
This bill establishes in statute the criteria for the replacement of conventional and transit-style school buses through the Department of Education and prohibits the department from requiring a school administrative unit to use a specific brand of routing and transportation management software.

L.D. 224 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Fund the Municipal Gigabit Broadband Network Access Fund
This bill provides funds to the ConnectME Authority to be used to provide grants to municipalities for high-speed broadband infrastructure development and improvement.

L.D. 210 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/23/19
An Act To Increase Technology and Engineering Education for Grades 7 to 12
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures to enhance technology and engineering education for students in grades 7 to 12. The measures include, but are not limited to:
  1. Changing the industrial arts/technology teacher endorsement to a technology and engineering endorsement and amending the endorsement requirements. The amended endorsement requirements would grandfather all current teachers who hold an industrial arts/technology endorsement and make them technology and engineering teachers. The amended endorsement requirements would also allow a college graduate with an engineering degree to obtain a technology and engineering endorsement; and
  2. Creating 3 categories of science endorsements: life science, physical science and technology and engineering.

L.D. 185 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Provide a Method for a Student To Be Excused from Standardized Testing
This bill requires a school administrative unit to excuse a student from a standardized assessment administered pursuant to the State's assessment program at the written request of the student's parent or guardian and establishes requirements for school administrative units and the Department of Education related to excusing a student.

L.D. 183 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Increase the Number of Teachers in Maine
Currently, under the Educators for Maine Program, an eligible undergraduate may receive a loan of up to $3,000 per academic year or $12,000 total. This bill increases those loan amounts to $9,000 per academic year and $36,000 total. It also increases from $20,000 to $44,000 the total loan amount under the program a student may receive in undergraduate and postbaccalaureate loans.

L.D. 179 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Change the Name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day
This bill changes the Columbus Day holiday in the State to Indigenous Peoples Day.

L.D. 178 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Increase the State Share of the Cost of Health Insurance for Retired Teachers
Current law requires the State to pay 45% of a retired teacher's share of the premium for group accident and sickness or health insurance. This bill raises that percentage to 50% from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020; 55% from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021; 60% from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022; 65% from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023; 70% from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024; 75% from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025; 80% from July 1, 2025 to June 30, 2026; 85% from July 1, 2026 to June 30, 2027; and 90% after June 30, 2027. It also removes some outdated language and the cap on the increase in the State's total cost for retired teachers' health insurance premiums for fiscal years ending after June 30, 2015.

L.D. 176 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Enhance Participation on the State Board of Education
This bill eliminates the provision in current law prohibiting teachers and school administrators from serving on the State Board of Education. It also provides that a teacher or school administrator serving on the state board must be granted release time for attendance at state board meetings. Any cost related to the release time is the responsibility of the state board.

L.D. 173 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Promote Economic Development and Critical Communications for Family Farms, Businesses and Residences by Strategic Public Investment in High-speed Internet
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to increase funding to the ConnectME Authority from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 to expand universal broadband and high-speed Internet into rural areas identified as the 6% of the State unserved by high-speed Internet. This bill proposes to make expanding high-speed Internet into unserved rural areas a key emphasis in the economic development of and to multiply the return to the State by directing the ConnectME Authority to use the increased funding to increase the rate of strategic broadband investment and leverage additional federal funding to provide middle-mile and last-mile infrastructure in the unserved areas and to correct broadband deficiencies identified in the ConnectME Authority's baseline update of 2013.

L.D. 167 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Prevent Food Shaming in Maine's Public Schools
This bill does the following.
  1. It requires a public school that provides free and reduced-price meals or other meals to students pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, chapter 223, subchapter 7 or otherwise provides to students meals eligible for reimbursement under a program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide such a meal to a student who requests the meal and is otherwise eligible for the meal regardless of the student's inability to pay for the school meal or failure in the past to pay for school meals. It also requires the school to take certain actions to assist the parent or guardian of a student who requests such a meal.
  2. It prohibits a public school from punishing a student in certain ways solely because of the student's inability to pay for a meal or because of any payments due for previous meals. It also prohibits a public school from refusing a meal to a student as a form of or as part of a disciplinary action.
  3. It prohibits a public school from openly identifying or stigmatizing a student who cannot pay for a meal or who has payments due for previous meals by requiring the student to wear a wristband, hand stamp or other identifying mark or sign noticeable by others.
  4. It requires a public school to communicate about a student's meal debts directly to the parent or guardian of the student rather than to the student. A public school may ask a student to carry to the student's parent or guardian a letter regarding a student's meal debt.

L.D. 166 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Protect Schoolchildren by Increasing the Penalty for Unlawful Passing of a School Bus
This bill increases the penalty for overtaking a school bus when the bus has stopped with its red lights flashing from a $250 minimum fine to a $500 minimum fine for the first offense and increases the driver's license suspension from 30 days to 60 days for a 2nd offense.

L.D. 162 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Eliminate the State Income Tax on Maine Public Employees Retirement System Pensions
Retirement benefits under state, local or federal government retirement plans that are based on employment compensation for which contributions are not made to the federal Social Security system result in reductions in the amount of Social Security benefits that a retiree is eligible to receive under the federal windfall elimination provision. This bill provides an income tax exemption for those retirement benefits.

L.D. 161 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Increase Access to Career and Technical Education
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to increase access to career and technical education.

L.D. 160 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/17/19
An Act To Add Instruction in Personal Finance to the Statewide System of Learning Results
This bill requires the Department of Education to add instruction in personal finance to the statewide system of learning results and to adopt rules accordingly.

L.D. 153 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Strengthen Testing for Lead in School Drinking Water
This bill requires all schools to test water used for drinking or culinary purposes for lead using water testing kits or by submitting samples of water to an approved laboratory for lead testing. It directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish by major substantive rule water lead levels, testing protocols, appropriate abatement and mitigation methods and public notification requirements. It directs the department to provisionally adopt major substantive rules and submit them to the Legislature no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 10, 2020. It provides that the department has the authority to issue an order reducing exposure to lead until the elevated water lead levels are abated or mitigated. It provides that water lead abatement or mitigation efforts will receive Priority 1 status for receipt of funds from the School Revolving Renovation Fund in the custody of the Maine Municipal Bond Bank.

L.D. 152 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Prohibit the Possession and Use of Electronic Smoking Devices on School Grounds
This bill includes in the prohibition against tobacco use in elementary or secondary schools the possession of an electronic smoking device, which is defined as a device used to deliver nicotine or any other substance intended for human consumption that may be used by a person to simulate smoking through inhalation of vapor or aerosol from the device, including, without limitation, a device manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic pipe, electronic hookah or so-called vape pen.

L.D. 151 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Align State Law with Current Practice Regarding Required School Attendance
This bill changes the age at which children are required to begin attending school from 7 years of age to 6 years of age.

L.D. 150 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Improve Attendance at Public Elementary Schools
This bill provides that unless a person 5 years of age or older and under 7 years of age who is enrolled in a public day school withdraws from the school, the person is required to attend the school during the time it is in session. It provides that students who are at least 5 years of age and have not completed grade 6 and are enrolled in a public day school are subject to the same provisions regarding truancy as students who are at least 7 years of age and have not completed grade 6 who are required to attend a public day school. It provides that a person 5 years of age or older and under 7 years of age is not required to meet the alternatives to attendance requirements set forth in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 5001-A, subsection 3.

L.D. 149 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Provide Student Debt Forgiveness To Support Workforce Attraction and Retention
This bill:
  1. Requires a General Fund bond obligation in the amount of $250,000,000 for a program administered by the Finance Authority of Maine to provide funds for payment of student loan debt for individuals who agree to live and work in Maine for 5 years and to reimburse employers that make student loan debt payments on behalf of their employees who agree to live and work in Maine for 5 years; and
  2. Establishes the Maine Student Loan Debt Relief Program and the Maine Student Loan Debt Relief Fund and requires the Finance Authority of Maine to adopt major substantive rules to implement the program and submit the rules to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

L.D. 148 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Recapitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund and To Give Priority Status to Certain School Facility Upgrades
The funds provided by the bond issue in Part A of this bill, in the amount of $50,000,000, will be used to recapitalize the School Revolving Renovation Fund for the purpose of providing funds to public schools for renovation and capital repairs. Part B of this bill gives upgrades of facilities required to meet prekindergarten facility standards and for prekindergarten capacity building Priority 4 status for loans from the fund to school administrative units for school repair and renovation.

L.D. 147 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Extend Internet Availability in Rural Maine
This bill provides one-time funding for 2 years for a program that provides mobile wireless hot spot devices to libraries in Washington County.

L.D. 137 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Make the Maine Learning Technology Initiative More Cost-effective
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures designed to make the Department of Education's Maine Learning Technology Initiative, or "MLTI," more cost-effective for schools and for the State, thus allowing participation by increased numbers of students. The cost-saving measures may include, but are not limited to, eliminating the ability of school administrative units to choose higher-cost technology options.

L.D. 136 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Establish a Special Education Circuit Breaker Reimbursement Program
This bill establishes the special education circuit breaker reimbursement program, in which the Department of Education reimburses school administrative units, for a student whose eligible special education costs exceed 4 times the statewide EPS per-pupil rate, 75% of the amount of the special education costs that are above 4 times the statewide EPS per-pupil rate. The bill requires the department to distribute reimbursements to eligible school administrative units on a quarterly basis, and the reimbursements must be deposited in a separate revolving account that may be spent only on approved special education services.

L.D. 122 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/16/19
An Act To Prohibit an Employer from Asking a Prospective Hire about the Person's Compensation History until after a Job Offer Is Made
This bill prohibits an employer from inquiring about a prospective employee's compensation history until after an offer of employment that includes all terms of compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee. The bill also prohibits an employer from requiring that a prospective employee's compensation history meet certain criteria. An employer that violates this provision is subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500 per violation and is also subject to a civil action that may be brought by or on behalf of an affected prospective employee by the Department of Labor or the affected employee.

L.D. 98 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/14/19
Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 122: Grant Application and Award Procedure: Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education
This resolve provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 122: Grant Application and Award Procedure: Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services, a major substantive rule of the Department of Education.

L.D. 97 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/14/19
Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 38: Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Education
This resolve provides for legislative review of portions of Chapter 38: Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools, a major substantive rule of the Department of Education.

L.D. 94 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/19
An Act To Prohibit the Dissemination of Obscene Material by Public Schools
This bill removes public schools from the institutional exceptions to the law prohibiting the dissemination of obscene material to minors.

L.D. 92 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/19
An Act To Amend Teacher Evaluation Requirements
This bill clarifies that the use of student learning and growth data to inform instruction is included as part of the multiple measures of educator effectiveness. The bill also requires the Department of Education to submit a provisionally adopted rule to the Legislature by January 10, 2020.

L.D. 69 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/22/19
An Act To Provide Economic Security to Maine Families through the Creation of a Paid Family Medical Leave System
This bill creates a paid family medical leave program, patterned after the unpaid family medical leave program existing in current law but requiring a contribution from an eligible employee, or a self-employed person on a voluntary basis, of no more than 0.5% of the employee's or self-employed person's wages or earnings. The program requires employers to deduct the contributions from employee paychecks and requires the employers and self-employed persons to submit contributions to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, which is charged with administering the program. The program pays benefits of up to 66% of an employee's wages or self-employed person's earnings, capped at the same maximum amount as unemployment benefits for leave taken by the employee or self-employed person for various family-related medical issues. The bill makes participation optional for employers that employ fewer than 15 employees. The bill also directs the Department of Labor to develop an implementation plan dealing with staffing, technology, start-up expenses, rulemaking and scheduling to begin the program on its effective date of October 1, 2020.

L.D. 65 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/19
An Act To Allow Municipalities To Impose a Seasonal or Year-round Local Option Sales Tax
This bill allows a municipality to impose a local option sales tax, which may be seasonal, if approved by referendum of the voters in that municipality. The referendum question must identify the rate of the local option sales tax, specify the months during which it will be imposed if not year-round and identify the purposes for which the revenue will be used. The local option sales tax would be collected and administered by the State in the same manner as the sales and use tax. Revenue from the local option sales tax is distributed to the municipality imposing the local option sales tax. Revenue received by a municipality may not be used to reduce or eliminate funding otherwise due the municipality under other provisions of law.

L.D. 63 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/19
An Act To Improve Responsiveness of Elected School Boards to the Public
This bill clarifies that a school board is accountable to the residents of the school board's district, who are the school board's constituents.

L.D. 55 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/11/19
An Act To Return the Normal Cost of Teacher Retirement to the State
This bill changes the method for funding teacher retirement costs. It repeals those provisions of law enacted pursuant to Public Law 2013, chapter 368 that require school administrative units and private schools to pay for teacher retirement.

L.D. 40 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/08/19
Resolve, To Establish the Commission To Study Children's Mental Health
This resolve establishes the Commission To Study Children's Mental Health to study the mental health of children in the State and federal and state laws, regulations, rules and policies governing the diagnosis and treatment of children with mental health issues.

L.D. 29 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/08/19
Resolve, To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force To Address the Opioid Crisis in the State by Establishing a Work Group To Develop Educational Programming for Prevention of Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders among Youth and Adolescents
This resolve is based on recommendations of the Task Force To Address the Opioid Crisis in the State, which submitted its report to the Legislature in December 2017. The resolve requires the Department of Education to establish a work group to evaluate existing substance use prevention programs targeting school-age children, investigate prevention programs that have proven effective in other areas of the United States or in other countries, identify funding resources and determine how prevention programs should be incorporated into education curricula. The work group must include representatives of educational, law enforcement and public health organizations. The department is required to submit a report of the findings of the work group no later than January 1, 2020 to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters.

L.D. 19 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/04/19
An Act To Require Public School Buses To Be Equipped with School Bus Crossing Arms
This bill requires school buses to be equipped with a school bus crossing arm, which is a device requiring students to walk at least 10 feet in front of the school bus to cross the roadway.

L.D. 14 - STATUS: Pending - Latest Update: 01/04/19
An Act To Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine's Students
This bill requires the Department of Education to include the so-called Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten to grade 12 in the State's system of learning results and assessment and directs the Commissioner of Education to amend Department of Education rules on or before December 31, 2019 in order to include the science standards as part of the State's system of learning results and assessment beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.

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