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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 of 2017, with some caveats, and is in effect now for any new programs being planned for the 2015-2016 school year.
Based on feedback given by stakeholders, including superintendents representing the Maine School Superintendents Association, some leeway was written into the rule to allow flexibility around the 2017 date for existing programs, which includes existing program expansions.
The rule allows districts to apply, on a case-by-case basis, for more time beyond the 2017 deadline to meet specific requirements.
The DOE also has clarified that the section regarding transportation for pre-kindergarten programs is a recommendation, not a mandate.