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 it will go into effect for the next school year. Districts have been eager for its passage since they currently are passing budgets for next year and needed to know whether to include charter tuition.
The bill had to go through a final financial review Monday before the Appropriations Committee, which unanimously voted to move it along to the Senate for approval this morning. It now goes to the governor for his signature, which is expected.
The bill gives relief to districts that are hard-hit by charter tuition payments largely because of their proximity to a charter school. Under current law, both the local and state share of the charter tuition follows the student from the sending district.