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March 16, 2017
LePage nominates Hasson for DOE Commissioner – March 16, 2017
Gov. Paul LePage has announced he will be recommending the appointment of Acting Commissioner Robert Hasson to the position of permanent commissioner – a position both the Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association have been advocating be filled. Dr. Hasson, a former superintendent, already has appeared before the State Board of Education, […] ...Read the full article.

March 15, 2017
Warrant articles give boards flexibility to use additional state subsidy – March 15, 2017
The Legislature in 2016 passed a bill that allows a school district to include an article in the warrant for its annual budget meeting that says in the event the district receives more state subsidy than expected, the school board can, without a special budget meeting and budget validation referendum: increase expenditures for school purposes […] ...Read the full article.

March 2, 2017
Plan to meet federal ESSA law open for comment – March 2, 2017
The Department of Education has released its draft plan on how the state and school districts will implement the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is being described as more supportive and less prescriptive than the old No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The federal law is giving states and districts more say in […] ...Read the full article.

February 27, 2017
Hearing on K-12 state budget March 3 in Augusta – February 27, 2017
The public hearing on the Governor’s Biennial Budget, L.D. 390, has been scheduled for Friday, March 3, starting at 10 a.m., in the Appropriations Committee Room 228, second floor of the State House. An earlier hearing was cancelled due to snow. The hearing will review the K-12 funding sections of the budget, including 48 proposed […] ...Read the full article.

February 15, 2017
Blue Ribbon Commission report released – February 15, 2017
The Commission To Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine, better known as the Blue Ribbon Commission, has released its first report outlining recommendations that will be further explored as the commission continues its work in 2017. The commission has been charged with identifying ways to lower the cost of education and […] ...Read the full article.

February 14, 2017
Hearing on K-12 budget postponed to March 3 in Augusta – February 14, 2017
The public hearing on the Governor’s Biennial Budget, L.D. 390, was postponed yesterday due to the snowstorm and has been rescheduled for Friday, March 3, starting at 10 a.m., in the Appropriations Committee Room 228, second floor of the State House. The hearing will review the K-12 funding sections of the budget, including 48 proposed […] ...Read the full article.

February 12, 2017
Maine State Legislature Closed – February 13, 2017
The Maine State Legislature will be closed on Monday, February 13, 2017, due to the inclement weather.  Therefore, the Appropriations Committee will not be holding its public hearing on the budget bill as originally scheduled.  When a new date and time becomes available we will notify membership. ...Read the full article.

February 10, 2017
Facts on Superintendent Numbers and System Administration – February 10, 2017
The governor’s proposed biennial budget would eliminate state support for system administration, which includes superintendents, the business office, all central office staff and functions and support for School Boards. Here are the facts: Number of Superintendents 92 full-time, 34 part-time and 5 combination superintendent/principals in 2016-2017; overseeing 251 school administrative units Compares to 118 full-time, […] ...Read the full article.

February 6, 2017
Hearing on K-12 budget Feb. 13 in Augusta – February 6, 2017
Below are some bullet points to help you in preparation of your testimony on the governor’s proposed biennial budget, as it relates to K-12 education. A key element of that testimony is with the sweeping changes proposed in the budget and no spreadsheets on local impact (EDU 279s), districts cannot predict the true cost. What […] ...Read the full article.

January 27, 2017
Details emerge on K-12 funding, cuts to administration – January 27, 2017
Acting DOE Deputy Commissioner Suzan Beaudoin told the Education Committee Thursday she could not say when districts will be getting spreadsheets (ED 279s) showing what they can expect in state aid next year based on the far reaching changes in the funding formula proposed in the governor’s budget. “At this point I don’t know what […] ...Read the full article.

January 10, 2017
Middle School laptops still covered in state budget – January 10, 2017
There is funding for the Middle School laptop program in the governor’s proposed biennial budget, but a section of the law authorizing the payment of that money was removed because it was redundant with another section of law, according to the Department of Education. MSMA’s overview on the biennial budget that went out on Jan. […] ...Read the full article.

January 9, 2017
Governor’s budget makes major changes to funding formula, shifts costs – January 9, 2017
The governor’s proposed biennial budget for fiscal years 18 and 19 essentially flat funds General Purpose Aid for schools, but puts significant restrictions on how that money is spent, including no funding for system administration. The budget also calls for an end to subtracting Title I funds from the state’s GPA allocation, but offsets the […] ...Read the full article.

January 5, 2017
DOE offers relief on computer refresh costs – January 5, 2017
The following bulletin was sent out by the Department of Education this afternoon. Recently, many districts received an invoice to cover the cost of broken and damaged devices from the 2016 Refresh of MLTI devices. Understanding the difficulty that districts face in paying unanticipated invoices that arrive in the middle of a school year, the […] ...Read the full article.

January 5, 2017
Problems cited in Snow Pond charter 90-day review – January 5, 2017
The 90-day review at Snow Pond Arts Academy charter school has found overuse of virtual education for non-arts classes, and special education services are not being provided to the students who need them. Adding to its issues, the school is running a deficit. Long-time Maine Superintendent Joe Mattos, who was serving on the Snow Pond […] ...Read the full article.

January 4, 2017
School leaders respond to Governor’s regional incentive grants – January 4, 2017
The Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association responded to Gov. LePage’s plan to offer incentive grants to encourage regional cooperation, saying such a plan could support and expand sharing that already is going on today. “We are very interested to see the details of the governor’s proposal. Forced school consolidation isn’t the […] ...Read the full article.

December 23, 2016
Education Committee named – December 23, 2016
The following legislators have been named to serve on the Education Committee for the 128th Legislature: Education Committee Senate  Brian Langley, Chair (R-Hancock) SenBrian.Langley@legislature.maine.gov Joyce Maker, (R-Washington) Joyce.Maker@legislature.maine.gov Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland) senrebeccamillett@gmail.com House Victoria Kornfield, Chair, D-Bangor Victoria.Kornfield@legislature.maine.gov Matthea Daughtry, Brunswick Matthea.Daughtry@legislature.maine.gov Richard Farnsworth, D-Portland Richard.Farnsworth@legislature.maine.gov Roger Fuller, D-Lewiston Roger.Fuller@legislature.maine.gov David McCrea, D-Fort Fairfield David.McCrea@legislature.maine.gov […] ...Read the full article.

December 21, 2016
Survey explores barriers to school district sharing – December 21, 2016
The Maine Department of Education is looking for feedback from school leaders on identifying barriers and challenges that prevent school districts from sharing programs and services. MSBA and MSSA are urging members to fill out the survey because it could support legislation put in on behalf of MSBA to remove those barriers. The survey can […] ...Read the full article.

December 14, 2016
School leaders call on LePage to nominate DOE Commissioner – December 14, 2016
The Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association are once again calling on Gov. Paul LePage to outline his plans to appoint a permanent commissioner of education after it was announced this morning that Deputy Commissioner William Beardsley, who was acting as head of the department, is resigning. “With the announcement this morning […] ...Read the full article.

December 14, 2016
Statement from Governor LePage on Leadership Transition at the Department of Education – December 14, 2016
The office of Gov. Paul LePage released the following press statement this morning regarding the resignation of Deputy Education Commissioner William Beardsley. For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the departure of the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Education, Dr. […] ...Read the full article.

December 8, 2016
Cornville Elementary Charter to add high school and pre-K program – December 8, 2016
The Maine Charter School Commission this week voted to allow Cornville Regional Charter School, now serving 144 elementary students, to add a high school program that will eventually serve 160 students in downtown Skowhegan and a pre-kindergarten program serving 32 children. The expansion did not go through the review process required to start a charter […] ...Read the full article.

November 29, 2016
Commission priorities include help for disadvantaged and pre-K – November 29, 2016
Members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on school funding discussed priorities Monday and reached general consensus around the need to close the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students and support pre-kindergarten programs. Commission Chairman Robert Hasson said his goal was to have some recommendations ready for a report back to the new Legislature in January. […] ...Read the full article.

November 14, 2016
Time for School Boards to meet with elected legislators
A new Legislature was elected on Nov. 8 and now is the time to invite your delegation to a School Board meeting to help your senators and representatives understand the issues your district is facing and how legislators can help. This brief overview is designed to help you get ready for that meeting and plan […] ...Read the full article.

November 8, 2016
Charter Commission gives $428,473 in excess GPA to 7 charter schools – November 8, 2016
The Maine Charter School Commission voted today to give $428,473 in excess funds to charter schools that have been operating for the last four school years – funds that came out of General Purpose Aid for public schools and in some cases local property taxpayer pockets. Language in the state’s charter school law allows the […] ...Read the full article.

October 31, 2016
Rier suggests major changes to EPS formula
Former Education Commissioner Jim Rier told the governor’s special blue ribbon commission on education today the state needs to stop subtracting Title I funds as part of its state aid calculation, but will have to look at increasing the number of students per teacher, at least in the lower grades, as part of the bargain. […] ...Read the full article.

October 19, 2016
Wayfinder withdraws charter application – October 19, 2016
A charter school applicant, Wayfinder Schools, which was moved ahead to the public hearing phase of the Maine Charter School Commission’s approval process on a 3-to-3 vote, has withdrawn its application. Announcement of the withdrawal was sent out Oct.19 by commission staff. Wayfinder Schools, established through the merger in 2011 of The Community School of […] ...Read the full article.

October 5, 2016
Commission divides over definition of true public charter – October 5, 2016
The Maine Charter School Commission split 3-to-3 on moving ahead with its only applicant for the last charter school authorization available in Maine, with members divided on whether the proposal could actually operate a true public school, open to all. The applicant, Wayfinder Schools, established through the merger in 2011 of The Community School of […] ...Read the full article.

October 4, 2016
School leaders respond to LePage criticism of administrators
The heads of the Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association say Gov. Paul LePage’s latest assertion that administrators are to blame for rising school costs just isn’t true and strong school leadership matters when it comes to student success. While school administration has been a longtime target of the governor, the reality […] ...Read the full article.

September 16, 2016
One applicant applies for final charter school slot – September 16, 2016
Only one applicant, Wayfinder Schools, which already serves at-risk students, has applied for the last charter school authorization allowed under a 10-school cap in Maine law. Two other applicants that had expressed interest did not file formal applications. Wayfinder Schools, established through the merger in 2011 of The Community School of Camden and Opportunity Farm […] ...Read the full article.

September 13, 2016
Education News Clips on the website – September 13, 2016
A new feature has been added to the msmaweb.com website that will highlight news stories from Maine media about education to keep you up to date about what’s happening in districts across the state. The Education News Clips feature is on the front page of the website and lists headlines and links to stories. We […] ...Read the full article.

September 7, 2016
Charter Commission adds staff, gives back some funds to charters – September 7, 2016
The Maine Charter School Commission believes it is taking in too much money based on the administrative fee allowed under law and wants to give some back to charter schools, while still being able to add staff, increase contracted services and create an annual $100,000 contingency fund. Language in the state’s charter school law allows […] ...Read the full article.

September 6, 2016
White Paper on Ballot Question 2 – September 6, 2016
MSMA WHITE PAPER Introduction For several years Maine School Management Association staff has endeavored to identify major issues affecting Maine public schools and present data and analysis of such issues to members of the Maine School Boards Association (MSBA) and Maine School Superintendents Association (MSSA) to assist them in performing their responsibility to educate the […] ...Read the full article.

September 1, 2016
Planning now for board meetings with new legislators – September 1, 2016
MSMA will be sending out information in November to help school boards organize meetings with their newly elected senators and representatives to discuss issues facing schools in their district and the importance of public education. Boards are encouraged to invite newly elected legislators to a School Board meeting as quickly as possible after Election Day […] ...Read the full article.

August 30, 2016
Commission brainstorms changes to public education – August 30, 2016
The governor’s blue ribbon commission on public education had its first open meeting on Monday, where participants suggested major changes to the system, including a statewide teachers’ contract; making teachers state employees and putting them into the state’s health plan; raising teacher pay and tying it to student outcomes; and, universal pre-K. Other proposals included […] ...Read the full article.

August 11, 2016
Music charter school opening with decreased enrollment – August 11, 2016
The Snow Pond Arts Academy charter school is preparing for a Sept. 6 opening with a projected enrollment of 75 – down from the 124 students written into its contract with the Maine Charter School Commission – and has made adjustments to its staffing to stay within budget, according to its director. The full commission […] ...Read the full article.

August 8, 2016
Rier nominated to serve on Charter Commission – August 8, 2016
Former Education Commissioner and school funding expert, Jim Rier, has been nominated to serve on the Maine Charter School Commission. Rier, who was in attendance at the last commission meeting, was nominated by the State Board of Education and must be interviewed by the Education Committee before he can officially be appointed. There are no […] ...Read the full article.

August 5, 2016
Retirement costs up 18 percent – August 5, 2016
The retirement costs school districts have to pay for their working teachers are projected to go up 18 percent in the next biennium, an increase that will raise the current $38 million statewide contribution to $46 million, starting in 2017-2018. Those costs, known as normal teacher retirement costs, were shifted onto local districts from the […] ...Read the full article.

July 15, 2016
Three schools eye one charter slot – July 15, 2016
Three potential charter school operators hoping to fill the one available slot in Maine under a 10-school cap mandated by law have submitted letters of intent to apply for authorization to open in 2017. The three include: Peridot Montessori, serving pre-K through grade 8, in the Ellsworth area, has applied once again for a charter. […] ...Read the full article.

July 13, 2016
Superintendents aren’t what ails Maine schools
Below is the full text of an editorial that appeared in the Portland Press Herald on Sunday, July 10, 2016, regarding what’s driving the cost of public education in Maine. www.pressherald.com/2016/07/10/our-view-superintendents-arent-what-ails-maine-schools/ By The Editorial Board Maine schools have a funding problem, but contrary to a popular belief, it’s got little to do with the people […] ...Read the full article.

July 12, 2016
Take survey on new federal ESSA law
The Maine Department of Education has posted a survey to get feedback on how school districts should be rated and supported under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act – information that will be used to help create state and local plans to help struggling schools. The new law is supposed to give states and […] ...Read the full article.

July 8, 2016
LePage says Beardsley will remain DOE leader
The Maine School Superintendents Association has received a reply to its letter regarding leadership in the Department of Education from Gov. LePage, who says he intends to keep Acting Deputy Commissioner William Beardsley in charge either as commissioner or deputy. The superintendents asked the governor for clarity around the process in naming a commissioner. Dr. […] ...Read the full article.

June 20, 2016
Interim director named at MSMA
Maine School Management Association announced today that former Executive Director Dale Douglass will be serving as interim director until a search can be done for a permanent replacement. Douglass served as executive director for 17 years, retiring in 2012. The director’s position opened up last week when Director Dr. Connie Brown announced her resignation, effective […] ...Read the full article.

June 3, 2016
U.S. DOE releases draft ESSA Rules
The U.S. DOE has released draft rules regarding accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that allow states to choose indicators of success that go beyond test scores and graduation rates, while underscoring that academic progress is still an essential part of any school profile. According to the U.S. DOE, the proposed rules are […] ...Read the full article.

April 20, 2016
Standards-Based Diploma Bill Now Law
Legislation that sets up a process and timeline for Maine students to earn a diploma under a standards-based system of learning has been signed into law by the governor. The bill, L.D. 1627, “An Act to Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council,” was enacted in the Senate with a unanimous vote and […] ...Read the full article.

April 15, 2016
New law allows flexibility in spending late school aid
A bill that will give school districts options on how to use additional state aid for schools when the Legislature is late passing the state budget has been signed into law after the House and Senate overrode a governor’s veto. L.D. 1475, An Act to Facilitate the Use of State Education Subsidies, allows districts to […] ...Read the full article.

April 14, 2016
Bill would help mill towns with school aid
A governor’s bill, L.D. 1699, is being considered by the Legislature to help mill towns experiencing a loss in valuation because of a mill downsizing to recoup some state aid for their schools. It would distribute just over $900,000 in reserve funds to towns that meet the following criteria. Beginning with the 2016 state valuation, […] ...Read the full article.

April 11, 2016
Teacher assignment bill defeated in Legislature
The House today reaffirmed its vote against a bill that would have encroached on the school board’s right to set education policy, and the legislation has officially been defeated. L.D. 1544, An Act To Improve Teaching Assignments in Maine’s Public Schools, would have required teaching assignments to be negotiated, preventing schools from acting quickly and […] ...Read the full article.

March 17, 2016
Committee unanimously backs graduation standards bill
The Education Committee Wednesday unanimously supported a graduation standards bill that would require graduates of the class of 2021 to be proficient in the core four – math, English, science and social studies – and require proficiency in all eight content areas by 2025. The bill specifically requires that after the core four, students add […] ...Read the full article.

March 15, 2016
Spreadsheets showing additional $15 million in aid released
Updated spreadsheets showing the distribution of an additional $15 million in state aid to districts have been released by the Department of Education following legislative approval last week of the increased subsidy. The additional funding was signed by the governor on March 10, the day after it was approved unanimously in the Senate and in […] ...Read the full article.

March 9, 2016
Legislature votes in $15 million more for schools
The House and Senate today overwhelmingly passed a bill that would send $15 million in additional aid to schools for 2016-2017 and set up a commission to recommend changes to public education funding and ways to improve student performance. The vote in the House was 131 to 8 and unanimous in the Senate. The additional […] ...Read the full article.

March 8, 2016
Senate president discusses $15 million more for schools
Senate President Mike Thibodeau floated a proposal on MPBN’s radio call-in show today that would send an additional $15 million out to school districts. The news came during an hour-long Maine Calling program just a day after a public hearing was held on the so-called flat funding of General Purpose Aid. Flat funding actually cuts […] ...Read the full article.

March 1, 2016
Advocate now for additional school aid
The Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association are urging all their members to contact legislators and advocate for an additional $20 million in state aid to avoid increasing the burden on local property taxpayers. The proposed increase in the local mill rate for schools from 8.2 mills to 8.44 mills, which represents […] ...Read the full article.

February 11, 2016
LePage says he won’t make himself DOE commissioner
Gov. Paul LePage has clarified he will not be appointing himself as Commissioner of Education when Acting Commissioner William Beardsley’s term expires, but instead will be signing paperwork that needs an official signature. In an impromptu press conference at the State House, Gov. LePage clarified remarks made early in the day when he said he […] ...Read the full article.

February 9, 2016
Governor temporarily withdraws Beardsley nomination for commissioner
Governor Paul LePage today announced the temporary withdrawal of his nomination of Dr. Bill Beardsley as commissioner of the Maine Department of Education. According to a press release sent by his office, the Governor halted the nomination upon learning Democratic members of the Education Committee plan to reject Dr. Beardsley’s confirmation for what he called […] ...Read the full article.

February 5, 2016
State Aid cuts – talking points
We need you to contact your legislators and ask them to approve an additional $20 million for public schools next year instead of the $2.3 million (essentially flat funding) the state plans to send out to schools. Below are talking points to help you in that discussion. Because the state is essentially flat funding General […] ...Read the full article.

February 1, 2016
State GPA spreadsheet released
The Department of Education has released preliminary district-level subsidy sheets (EDU-279s) for the 2016-2017 school year and a statewide spreadsheet that shows what all districts will be receiving based on a prediction of flat-funding of General Purpose Aid despite increases in the cost of education. While that flat-funding was forecast in the biennial budget passed […] ...Read the full article.

February 1, 2016
Committee rejects bill to limit School Board authority
The Education Committee voted 10-3 against L.D. 1544, An Act To Improve Teaching Assignments in Maine, in a bipartisan rejection of an attempt to limit the School Board’s legal authority to adopt education policy for their local districts. The bill dealt with policy as it relates to teacher transfers, but was seen by many as […] ...Read the full article.

December 22, 2015
Beardsley officially nominated as DOE Commissioner
Governor Paul LePage today officially nominated Acting Education Commissioner William Beardsley to serve as commissioner pending approval by the Senate. Beardsley, who was named acting commissioner in mid-October, will first go through an interview process with the State Board of Education and then go before the Legislature’s Education Committee. It, in turn, will make a recommendation on […] ...Read the full article.

December 11, 2015
New Education Law Reduces Federal Reach
President Obama signed into law on Dec. 10 a replacement for the unpopular and ultimately unworkable law that was known as No Child Left Behind, putting more control in the hands of states and school districts and preserving the local governance authority of local school boards. The vote was 85 to 12 in the Senate […] ...Read the full article.

December 9, 2015
Federal replacement for NCLB passes Senate
The U.S. Senate this morning passed an updated version of the antiquated No Child Left Behind Act, putting more control in the hands of states and school districts and preserving the local governance authority of local school boards. The vote was 85 to 12, and President Obama has said he will sign it into law. […] ...Read the full article.

December 8, 2015
Colpitts Named Superintendent of the Year
MSAD 17 Superintendent Richard Colpitts has been named Maine Superintendent of the Year by a vote of his colleagues – an honor that recognizes his work to support teachers and administrators to help all students achieve and his community outreach to keep taxpayers and businesses engaged in the local schools. Colpitts has been superintendent of […] ...Read the full article.

December 3, 2015
ESSA Passes House
We have received the information below from NSBA and are passing it on to you for your information. We hope you will find The ESSA Timetable and Frequently Asked Questions: A Local School board Primer particularly helpful. NSBA Victory: House Passes Every Student Succeeds Act, Affirming the Importance of Local Governance The National School Boards […] ...Read the full article.

November 24, 2015
Legislature will vote on significant K-12 bills in 2016
Legislative leaders have voted to allow a handful of bills into the upcoming session that could have a significant impact on public education, including a proposal that would infringe on the school board’s legal right to set educational policy when making teacher assignments. The Legislative Council, made up of Republican and Democratic leaders in the […] ...Read the full article.

November 17, 2015
Two new charter schools approved by commission
The Maine Charter School Commission today approved two new charter schools – one a performing arts high school associated with the New England Music Camp in Sidney and the second a pre-K-6 school affiliated with the Margaret Murphy Center for Children in Lewiston. The commission vote was unanimous for the Snow Pond Arts Academy, which […] ...Read the full article.

November 16, 2015
Tomaszewski named acting deputy director
Elaine Tomaszewski has been named acting deputy executive director of Maine School Management Association to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of current director Robert Hasson. Tomaszewski, who has been the MSMA’s associate executive director since February of 2013, was superintendent of the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District before joining MSMA and prior to that […] ...Read the full article.

October 29, 2015
Charter School Vote Nov. 17
The Maine Charter School Commission will vote on Nov. 17 on whether to approve two applications for charter schools hoping to open next fall. The two applications are: Acadia Academy, affiliated with the Margaret Murphy Center for Children. Serving pre-K through grade 6 in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Margaret Murphy, which serves children with developmental disabilities, […] ...Read the full article.

September 11, 2015
Smarter Balanced test scores released
The Maine Department of Education today released the test scores by district and school for the Smarter Balanced test in English and Math and the MEA for Science. Click on the link below for the department press release and a link to the scores. http://mainedoenews.net/2015/09/11/standardized-assessment-scores-for-2014-15/   ...Read the full article.

September 2, 2015
Four new charters expected to submit formal applications
Four potential charter school operators are expected to hand in their formal applications by today’s 5 p.m. deadline to be considered for one of the three available charter slots allowed under state law. The four likely applicants include: Snow Pond Arts Academy, affiliated with the New England Music Camp in Sidney; serving grades 9-12; contact […] ...Read the full article.

August 14, 2015
Feds extend NCLB waiver
The Maine Department of Education received a three-year waiver allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), whose reauthorization was recently debated and is being revised in Washington, D.C. This waiver provides Maine educators and state and local […] ...Read the full article.

August 13, 2015
REPORT OF THE MSBA 2015 NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The Nominating Committee met and interviewed prospective candidates for the MSBA Officers and Board of Directors on August 6, 2015. Following is a list of the candidates slated by the Nominating Committee. President-Elect James Grant (Brunswick School Department) Vice President Maureen King (RSU 21-Kennebunkport) Region V David Kolodin (AOS 93-Bristol) Region VI Denise Rodzen (RSU […] ...Read the full article.

July 28, 2015
GPA statewide spreadsheet released
The Department of Education has released a spreadsheet that shows the distribution of General Purpose Aid by district statewide. The sheet reflects the General Purpose Aid approved by the Legislature on June 30, as part of the biennial budget. It represents a $40 million increase in GPA from the fiscal year that just ended. The […] ...Read the full article.

July 14, 2015
Five potential charter applicants for three slots
Five groups have sent in letters of intent to apply for permission to open new charter schools in Maine in 2016 – a number that will have to be winnowed down since only three slots remain available under the state’s charter law. Three of the five potential applicants have expressed interest in past years to […] ...Read the full article.

June 30, 2015
Legislators override state budget veto
Legislators today overrode the governor’s veto of the state budget, reinforcing their support for a compromise plan that includes $25 million more for schools than originally proposed by the administration. The vote was 109 to 37 in the House and 25 to 10 in the Senate. The budget increases GPA by $25 million over what was included […] ...Read the full article.

June 29, 2015
Bill would direct more GPA to devalued mill towns
A bill that would adjust the property valuations for four towns affected by loss in value of their paper mills is working its way through the legislative process and could result in moving an estimated $2.8 million in General Purpose Aid to those communities. While there has been discussion about finding that $2.8 million outside […] ...Read the full article.

June 19, 2015
Legislature overrides governor’s initial vetoes on state budget
The Senate and House have both voted to override the governor’s line-item vetoes in the state budget, including one that would have reduced General Purpose Aid increases over the next two years. The House voted last night and the Senate early this afternoon. The votes literally had to be done line-by-line for the 64 items […] ...Read the full article.

June 17, 2015
Legislature passes state budget with increased funding for schools
The Legislature just after midnight finally passed a state budget that will send $25 million more out to schools for each of the next two years on top of what already was proposed in the administration’s budget – a move that will lower the required local mill rate for education. School districts will receive updated […] ...Read the full article.

June 16, 2015
Compromise budget includes $25 million more per year for schools
The compromise reached among House and Senate leaders on the state biennial budget includes $25 million per year in additional GPA going out to schools – a proposal already endorsed by a majority of the Appropriations Committee and one likely to pass the House and Senate today. The additional funding will come from two sources. […] ...Read the full article.

June 4, 2015
$25 million more for schools would lower mill rate
A majority of the Appropriations Committee members are supporting a budget that increases General Purpose Aid going out to school districts by $25 million in each year of the state’s biennial budget, adding onto what was proposed by the administration. The additional funding will come from two sources. The lion’s share – $19.5 million per […] ...Read the full article.

June 2, 2015
Committee votes an additional $25 million in GPA per year
A majority on the Appropriations Committee voted Monday night to increase General Purpose Aid going out to school districts by $25 million in both years of the state’s biennial budget, adding onto what already had been proposed by the administration. The vote was 9-4, with the House Republicans on the committee voting against the proposal, […] ...Read the full article.

May 21, 2015
Come rally at Statehouse May 27 for public education funding
We are in the final days of budget negotiations that will determine how much money will be given to public schools next year to cover rising costs and lower an unprecedented local tax burden that, if not addressed, could mean more school budgets will fail at the ballot box. Your voice is important. We ask […] ...Read the full article.

May 18, 2015
Education Committee votes to get rid of Smarter Balanced
The Education Committee today unanimously voted to get rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment for next year and direct the Department of Education to start work on finding a new test. The vote followed a public hearing last week where many stood to say the Smarter Balanced test was too long and those that simply […] ...Read the full article.

May 11, 2015
Charter funding bill signed by governor
Governor LePage has signed the charter school funding law that allows the state to fund charter schools directly, eliminating the requirement for school districts to write what amounted to tuition checks for charter students. L.D. 131, sponsored by Rep. Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor, and co-sponsored by Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock, was passed as an emergency […] ...Read the full article.

May 7, 2015
Educational Materials on New Pension Standards
New accounting and financial reporting standards for pensions are being implemented as early as June 30, 2015, by state and local governments across the country.  It is critical for your members to understand their impacts. To assist stakeholders in understanding the impact of the pension requirements, representatives of a cross-section of major organizations representing the […] ...Read the full article.

May 5, 2015
Charter funding bill finally passed
The Legislature today finally passed a bill that allows the state to fund charter schools directly, eliminating the requirement for school districts to write what amounted to tuition checks for charter students. L.D. 131, sponsored by Rep. Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor, and co-sponsored by Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock, was passed as an emergency measure so […] ...Read the full article.

April 16, 2015
Discussions on increased GPA ongoing in Augusta
Discussion continues in Augusta about the need to significantly increase General Purpose Aid to schools in the proposed biennial budget to lower the burden on local taxpayers and pay for essential school programs. The Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association have called for a $50 million increase in GPA to essentially keep […] ...Read the full article.

March 24, 2015
Education Committee backs GPA increase to offset property tax hike
The Education Committee on Monday voted to recommend the state increase General Purpose Aid in the next biennium to reduce a proposed property tax hike to pay for public education, with Democrats supporting an additional $51 million and Republicans $25 million. The state biennial budget as proposed by the administration increased GPA by $20 million, […] ...Read the full article.

March 23, 2015
Free Adolescent Neuroscience Training Opportunity, April 3
“Developmental Approach:  Simple Explanations of the Scientific Underpinnings” – Karen Williams, MSSW A free training for School Board Representatives April 3, 2015 9:00 am to 12:00 am The REAL School, Mackworth Island Participants will be able to:  Explain the rationale behind the “Developmental Approach”  Explain the power and purpose of Adolescence  Name […] ...Read the full article.

March 12, 2015
Unanimous votes for ESEA waiver, evaluation bills
The Education Committee Wednesday unanimously supported bills that will help the state keep its waiver of No Child Left Behind and give districts an extra year to pilot and implement teacher and principal evaluation systems. The federal government had informed Maine its waiver of NCLB, officially known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), […] ...Read the full article.

March 5, 2015
Public hearing March 9 on proposed K-12 budget
A Public hearing on the governor’s proposed budget for K-12 education, which includes a sizeable increase in the amount local taxpayers have to contribute to public schools, will be held on Monday, March 9. The hearing, which will be held before a joint meeting of the Appropriations and Education Committees, will begin at 1 p.m., […] ...Read the full article.

February 25, 2015
GPA statewide spreadsheet released
The Department of Education has released a spreadsheet showing projected funding for school districts based on the governor’s proposed biennial budget. That budget is currently before the Appropriations Committee, which ultimately will make recommendations to the full Legislature. Figures could and likely will change based on what the Legislature votes to do with the governor’s […] ...Read the full article.

February 25, 2015
Committee unanimously backs charter funding change
The Education Committee today unanimously approved a bill that allows the state to fund charter schools directly, eliminating the requirement for school districts to write tuition checks for charter students. If the bill, L.D. 131, sponsored by Rep. Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor, and co-sponsored by Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock, is passed by the full Legislature, […] ...Read the full article.

February 11, 2015
Committee supports extending teacher evaluation deadline
The Education Committee Wednesday morning took a straw vote and unanimously supported giving school districts another year to pilot and then implement their teacher and principal evaluation systems. The vote was not official because the state Department of Education is in the process of negotiating a waiver of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act […] ...Read the full article.

January 26, 2015
Expenses up more than revenue in state K-12 budget proposal
The governor’s proposed biennial budget targets new funding for some key K-12 initiatives, including teacher evaluations and help for struggling schools, but also puts more burden on local property taxpayers because costs are going up higher than increases in state aid. K-12 cost projections could come down over the next month when the Department of […] ...Read the full article.

January 14, 2015
More money for K-12, but costs rising
The governor’s proposed biennial budget includes an additional $20 million for public schools, but also reflects rising costs and targets some funding to special initiatives like help for implementing standards-based diplomas and teacher evaluation systems. The rising costs in the K-12 budget include normal retirement costs for teachers, which are going up by $7.5 million. […] ...Read the full article.

January 13, 2015
Report recommending EPS changes now available
The commission charged with recommending changes to the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding formula has released its final report, which offers proposals for expanded pre-kindergarten programs, help for economically disadvantaged students, and teacher professional development. The report will now go to the full Education Committee for its review. Click here to see the report: […] ...Read the full article.

January 9, 2015
GPA flat funded in governor’s biennial budget
Gov. Paul LePage today released his proposed two-year state budget, basically flat funding the General Purpose Aid that goes out to school districts, but adding in funding to encourage consolidation of administrative functions and fully funding charter schools so there is no local share. Specifically the budget provides $5 million each year of the biennium […] ...Read the full article.

January 9, 2015
DOE rule around pre-kindergarten programs now official
The Department of Education has released its rule governing pre-kindergarten programs that includes requirements ranging from student-teacher ratios to classroom design. The rule, which was categorized as “routine-technical”, does not require legislative approval, but legislators on the Education Committee say they will review it because of concerns raised. The rule applies to existing programs as […] ...Read the full article.

December 29, 2014
Education Committee members named
Legislative leaders have announced that Sen. Brian Langley, R-Hancock, and Rep. Victoria Kornfield, D-Bangor, will chair the Education Committee in the upcoming legislative session. A full list of those who will serve on the Education Committee, as well as those serving on the Appropriations Committee, which recommends funding levels for public education, is below. Education […] ...Read the full article.

December 23, 2014
AASA Names Finalists for 2015 National Superintendent of the Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: James Minichello 703-875-0723 703-774-6953 (cell) jminichello@aasa.org AASA Names Finalists for 2015 National Superintendent of the Year Finalists include superintendents from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia   Alexandria, Va. – Dec. 17, 2014 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, announced today the finalists for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year. This […] ...Read the full article.

November 24, 2014
Steven Bailey named Superintendent of the Year
AOS 93 Superintendent Steven Bailey has been named Maine Superintendent of the Year for his commitment to helping all students achieve and his work through the state’s superintendent association to provide effective and relevant professional development to his colleagues. Bailey was selected by a committee of his peers, including former Superintendent of the Year recipients, […] ...Read the full article.

November 13, 2014
Virtual charter school with ties to K-12 approved
The Maine Charter School Commission voted 6-to-1 today to approve the state’s second virtual charter school, which will provide content from the national K-12 corporation charter chain. Charter Commission Chair Shelley Reed was the only member to vote against Maine Virtual Academy. She did so out of concern about the national reports on the poor […] ...Read the full article.

November 5, 2014
Vote on second virtual charter application Nov. 13
The Maine Charter School Commission will vote on Nov. 13 whether to approve the state’s second virtual charter school – a move opposed by the Maine School Boards and Maine School Superintendents Associations at a recent public hearing because it would duplicate what already exists. If the commission approves Maine Virtual Academy, which has ties […] ...Read the full article.

October 1, 2014
School Boards must keep control of educational policy
The outcome of the general election on Nov. 4 could have an impact on the school board’s legal right to decide educational policy, and school boards and superintendents are prepared to defend local control over things as fundamental as class size, curriculum and staffing. Two candidates for governor – incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and independent […] ...Read the full article.

October 1, 2014
Political Forums Focus on K-12 Education
Maine School Management Association sponsored legislative forums in nine different regions across the state in September bringing together school board members, superintendents and legislative candidates to talk about key issues facing public education prior to Election Day. The forums brought candidates into our schools – three CTE centers, a middle school, high schools and a […] ...Read the full article.

October 1, 2014
41st Annual MSMA Fall Conference
MSMA Fall Conference: Public Education for ME The essential and changing role of public schools in Maine is the focus of the 41st Annual MSMA Fall Conference, featuring keynotes on how school boards and administrators can help improve and support student success. Scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Oct. 23 and 24, at the Augusta Civic […] ...Read the full article.

September 11, 2014
Three charter school applications now under review
The Maine Charter School Commission has set tentative dates in October to get public testimony on three charters schools that would like to open next year – one in Lewiston, one in the Sanford area and one virtual school that, if approved, would be the second virtual charter school in Maine. The commission will vote […] ...Read the full article.

September 2, 2014
Virtual Academy draws 281 students from 86 districts
The state’s first virtual charter school – Maine Connections Academy – began operating on Sept. 2 with 281 students from 86 public school districts, including 70 students who previously had been home-schooled. The districts where those home-schooled students reside will have to send money to the charter school this year to pay for the students’ […] ...Read the full article.

August 17, 2014
GPA spreadsheet released
The Department of Education has released a spreadsheet showing how General Purpose Aid is being distributed across the state in the 2014-2015 school year. ...Read the full article.

July 14, 2014
Candidates for governor weigh in on negotiating educational policy
Two candidates for governor – incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler – unequivocally believe adoption of educational policy should remain in the hands of local school boards, while Democrat Michael Michaud says he is open to making some policy decisions a matter of collective bargaining. ...Read the full article.

June 11, 2014
Six charters eye 2015 opening
Six groups have submitted letters of intent to apply for permission to operate new charter schools in Maine in 2015. ...Read the full article.

May 9, 2014
Second virtual charter off table for now
The Maine Charter School Commission decided on May 6 not to reconsider an application to establish a virtual charter school linked to virtual school giant, K-12 Inc., meaning there will be only one virtual charter opening this fall in the state. ...Read the full article.

April 18, 2014
Charter funding bill defeated
An amendment that would have offered financial relief to districts hard hit by charter schools was defeated in the Senate on Thursday after the Maine Education Association lobbied against the proposal despite the fact budget cuts could mean teacher layoffs. ...Read the full article.

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