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Home > MSMA News > Ramp-up approved for $40,000 teacher salary – June 3, 2019

Ramp-up approved for $40,000 teacher salary – June 3, 2019

The Appropriations Committee on Friday approved a three-year ramp-up to a $40,000 starting salary for all teachers in the state, honoring the governor’s commitment to a higher base statewide while recognizing some districts simply could not absorb the increase all at once.

The money for the ramp-up will go to districts as targeted funds.

General Purpose Aid to schools, which goes out through the funding formula, was unanimously approved in an earlier vote at the levels proposed by Governor Mills — $28.6 million in the first year and $52.8 million in the second.

The votes on the committee were unanimous.

The ramp-up calls for a base of $35,000 in school year 2020-21; $37,500 in school year 2021-22; and, $40,000 in school year 2022-23. The proposal also calls for the state to pay 100 percent reimbursement to districts for those increases over the three years.

The ramp-up was done in recognition that property taxpayers in districts where salary schedules have multiple steps below $40,000 simply couldn’t afford to do it all at once.

Revenue Sharing

The committee also cited the need for property tax relief in its vote to increase municipal revenue sharing.

Under the proposal, revenue sharing will go from the current 2 percent of state sales and income tax revenues to 3 percent in the first year of the biennium and 3.75 percent in the second. Total revenues distributed under the program will increase from the current $74 million to roughly $105 million in fiscal year 2020 and $143 million in fiscal year 2021, according to the Maine Municipal Association.

The committee also voted to expand the value of the homestead exemption.

The Appropriations Committee is continuing its work this week on the biennial budget, which ultimately must receive a two-thirds vote by the full Legislature.

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