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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 pass warrant articles that asks voters for flexibility in spending additional state aid that is approved in Augusta after local school budgets are passed.

The bill would allow a school unit 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 increase expenditures for school purposes in approved costs centers, without a special budget meeting or referendum. It also allows additional funding to be used to decrease the local tax rate for education or be placed in reserve.

The Maine School Boards Association approved a resolution supporting the proposal at its Delegate Assembly in October and Maine School Management Association requested the bill on behalf of boards and superintendents.

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