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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 Purpose Aid, the burden on local property taxpayers will increase $20 million next school year, if funding is not increased by that amount.
  • That $20 million is reflected in a required local mill rate that is projected to go up from 8.2 mills to 8.44 mills if state funding isn’t increased.
  • The problem is the cost of education – a number determined by the state Department of Education – is going up by $12 million. That includes things like the increase in special education and teacher salaries and benefits.
  • At the same time, the statewide property values are decreasing by $1.4 billion.
  • That double-hit means 131 school districts –more than half of the statewide total – are losing money next year.
  • A review of the GPA distribution spreadsheet, click here, shows just how much each district is losing. (See the red numbers in column 7.)

Two news stories have been reported in recent days that outline the issues and have comment from superintendents and MSMA. The most recent is in today’s Portland Press. The link is:

The other was in the Bangor Daily News earlier in the week:

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