Verification of Minimum Teacher Salaries – Due Date: November 30, 2010

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO: 20
POLICY CODE: GCB

TO: Superintendents of Schools and Directors of Career & Technical Education Regions
FROM: Angela Faherty, Ph.D., Commissioner
DATE: October 13, 2010
RE: Verification of Minimum Teacher Salaries – Due Date: November 30, 2010

In 2010-11, the State will provide each qualifying school administrative unit with the funding needed to raise salaries from the levels in locally established salary scales to the statutory minimum amount of $30,000.  A “qualifying school administrative unit” means a school administrative unit as defined in 20-A MRSA, section 1, subsection 26 or a career and technical education region as defined in 20-A MRSA, section 8301-A, subsection 6. Beginning 7/1/07, school administrative units must pay a salary of at least $30,000 to eligible staff (see Staff Eligibility for New Minimum Salary Requirements, below). The requirement to pay the $30,000 minimum is not contingent upon receipt of the State’s adjustment to subsidy. The minimum salary law does not distinguish between full-time and part-time teachers. Full-time teachers must be paid a minimum salary of $30,000. The minimum amount may be prorated for part-time teachers in proportion to their full-time equivalency.

Method of Application by a Qualifying School Administrative Unit:

A Minimum Teacher Salary Report is now available for verification on the Maine Educational Data Management System (MEDMS). Once you have verified that the data on this report are correct, please print the correct report and return it with a signed “2010-11 Minimum Teacher Salary Report Confirmation of Verification Form” to the Department of Education by fax at 207-624-6791 by November 30, 2010. This verification form is available by clicking on the following link:

http://www.maine.gov/education/data/teacher/

Upon receipt of the signed Minimum Teacher Salary Report Confirmation of Verification Form and correct MEDMS Report printout, the total adjustment amount will be calculated for each school administrative unit or career and technical education region and payment will be as follows: (1) school administrative units will receive an adjustment to the unit’s subsidy printout (ED279) – therefore the salary supplement for the entire 2010-11 school year will be included in the monthly subsidy checks; and (2) career and technical education regions will receive a payment in the amount of the total adjustment.

Verification of Minimum Teacher Salary Report Instructions:

The Minimum Teacher Salary Report that is available on the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS) is based on the staff data your unit(s) has entered into the MEDMS Staff Information Module.

Personnel with the role of “SAU Admin” may access this report in the MEDMS Information System by logging on to the MEDMS home page and implementing the following steps:

Step 1. Click on “MEDMS Log In”, type in Username and Password
Step 2. Under “Application”, select “Reports”, then click on “Go”
Step 3. Under “Action”, select “Portal”, then click on “Go”
Step 4. Click on “Superintendent Reports”
Step 5. Click on “Verify Minimum Teacher Salary”
Step 6. Under “Year Code”, please select 2011 for the 2010-11 school year
Step 7. Click on “Show Report.”

Note: School administrative units that do not operate schools will have a blank report. School administrative units that do not have eligible staff being paid below $30,000 will have a blank report with the exception of part-time eligible staff who will appear on the report in order to calculate the full-time equivalent salary.

Please check that all of your unit’s eligible staff are listed on the report and then review the following for each eligible staff:

  1. Salary For This Position
  2. Days Scheduled
  3. Hours Per Day
  4. Days Times Hours – Days Scheduled times Hours Per Day for this person
  5. Full-Time Rate – Days Scheduled times Hours Per Day for a full-time position
  6. Proration – Days Times Hours divided by Full-Time Rate
  7. Full-Time Salary:
    1. For a full-time person this amount would be the same as Salary For This Position
    2. For a part-time person this amount would be the Salary For This Position divided by number in the Proration column – which should result in the full-time salary amount
  8. Amount Below Minimum (indicates amount below minimum for full-time position)
  9. Amount of Adjustment (prorated if part-time)
    1. For a full-time person this amount would be the same as Amount Below Minimum
    2. For a part-time person this amount would be the Amount Below Minimum times the number in the Proration column– which should result in the prorated adjustment amount.

Correcting Errors in Minimum Teacher Salary Report:

If the Minimum Teacher Salary Report is incorrect, first please check that all information on eligible staff has been accurately reported in the MEDMS Staff Information Module based on the instructions in Administrative Letter #9 dated 09/10/10 – this letter is available at the following website:

http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/adlethome.shtml

  1. Eligible Staff is missing. Login into the MEDMS Staff Module and check the accuracy of the following items for that person:
    1. Position Description – the position title for the person in the MEDMS Staff module must be an eligible certified staff position (see Staff Eligibility for New Minimum Salary Requirements, below)
    2. Salary For This Position – salary for the person must be based on the local salary scale for the position and must be a prorated portion of the salary for part-time persons or someone who was hired later in the year and will not work the full year
    3. Days Scheduled – must be the “actual” number of days scheduled to be worked for this person
    4. Hours Per Day – must be the “actual” number of hours worked per day for this person

More detailed staff reporting instructions are available in Administrative Letter #9, cited above. If any of the above is incorrect, please have your staff correct this information in the MEDMS Staff Module.

  1. The Full Time Rate is not correct. This should be equal to the Days Scheduled times Hours Per Day for a full-time position. If this is not correct, please email the correct Days Scheduled and Hours Per Day for a full-time position to Paula Gravelle at paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov
  2. The Proration number is not correct. This number is calculated by dividing the Days Times Hours by the Full Time Rate. Days Times Hours is based on the information provided by your unit for Days Scheduled and Hours Per Day for this person. Please check that the “Days Scheduled” and the Hours Per Day have been accurately entered into the MEDMS Staff Module – in accordance with the instructions in Administrative Letter #9, cited above.
  3. For a part-time person, the Full-time Salary is not correct. This number is calculated by dividing the Salary for This Position by the number in the Proration column. Please check that the Salary for This Position, Days Scheduled and Hours Per Day have been accurately entered into the MEDMS Staff Module – in accordance with the instructions in Administrative Letter #9, cited above.

Please note that if you enter corrections into the MEDMS Staff Module, the Minimum Teacher Salary report is updated on a four hour schedule (12 Midnight, 4 AM, 8 AM, 12 Noon, 4 PM, 8 PM) so if the information or changes in information are not included in the report, please be patient and print the report again at a later time or even the next day.

Staff Eligibility for New Minimum Salary Requirements:

Eligible certified staff who are employed either full-time or part-time in a “qualifying school administrative unit” are eligible for an adjustment in their annual salary as necessary to achieve the minimum salary amount spelled out in the new law. The minimum salary requirement applies to all certified staff positions listed below who are employed in a “qualifying school administrative unit”; they must be certified for the positions they hold. The following are the staff positions eligible for the minimum salary supplement:

Classroom Teacher,
Special Education Teacher,
Literacy Specialist,
Library/Media Specialist, and
Guidance Counselor.

The requirement applies to all categories of certification including provisional (20-A MRSA section 13012), professional (20-A MRSA section 13013), conditional (20-A MRSA section 13011(10)), and targeted needs (20-A MRSA section 13011(9)) certificates. School nurses and social workers are not covered by this requirement.

Substitute Teachers – if the substitute teacher is a long-term substitute being paid under contract as a classroom teacher, and not paid hourly, these substitutes are considered a classroom teacher for purposes of the minimum teacher salary supplement.

Local School Unit Eligibility for State Support to Meet New Minimum Salary Requirements:

Each “qualifying school administrative unit” is eligible to receive State reimbursement for the costs associated with meeting the new minimum salary requirements. A qualifying school administrative unit includes a municipal school unit, a school administrative district, a community school district, a regional school unit, an alternative organizational structure or any other municipal or quasi-municipal corporation responsible for operating or constructing public schools pursuant to 20-A MRSA Section 1, subsection 26. For the purposes of this law, a qualifying school administrative unit also includes a career and technical education region. The minimum salary law does not apply to private schools and State-operated schools.

Method of Payment to a Qualifying School Administrative Unit:

Once the eligibility and adjustment have been verified for each teacher and the total adjustment amount calculated for each unit, an adjustment to the unit’s subsidy printout (ED279) will be issued and payment included in the remaining monthly subsidy checks. The adjustment to subsidy must occur on or before February 1st of each fiscal year. A provision in the law allows for receipt of additional State funds and payment of those funds to certified teachers without approval by the local governing body.

Method of Payment to Eligible Certified Teachers:

The additional amount required for each certified teacher to meet the new salary minimum should be added to the locally established salary and distributed as regular salary in normal periodic pay installments. It is subject to all normal withholding requirements for tax and retirement purposes.

Collective Bargaining:

The law makes no reference to collective bargaining. Therefore, it does not change collective bargaining obligations that already exist, and adds no new collective bargaining obligations. For SAUs that have collective bargaining agreements that are effective through the 2010-11 school year or beyond and that cover salaries, there is no obligation to negotiate on salary changes to take effect during the contract period, unless the collective bargaining agreement itself includes such an obligation by its specific terms.

School boards and bargaining agents may mutually agree to engage in additional mid-term collective bargaining about salaries, if both parties elect to do so.  The law does not require any change in salaries for teachers who are receiving salaries above the required minimum levels.  Any changes to those would be through the collective bargaining process.

Where collective bargaining agreements are in effect for 2010-11 or beyond, and provide for salaries for some certified teachers that are below the statutory minimums, the law effectively supersedes those contract provisions that conflict with it. Salaries of affected teachers must be raised to the statutory minimum amount.

If you have any questions, please contact Paula Gravelle via email: paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov