The following Priority Notice was sent to superintendents and business managers on Thursday, July 30.
Dear Superintendents and Business Managers,
With the recent passage of the biennial budget, many school districts in Maine saw an increase in the amount of subsidy that they will receive from the State. We thought this would be a good time to explain some of the laws regarding how these additional funds can be used.
While State law does allow school districts to use the additional funds to reduce the local property tax burden, keep in mind these funds were requested and allocated for the benefit of your local schools, not for some other purpose.
Also, while the law allows school districts to place these funds in a reserve account for use next year, this was not the use intended by the legislature when it allocated additional funds for each of the next two years in the current biennial budget cycle.
If your school district intends to expend any of these funds in the coming school year, State law requires that a revised budget be drafted and then voted on in a local referendum in order to validate the new spending plan. Expending any of these funds without authorization through referendum is prohibited by State statute MRSA 20-A §1485.
Tom Desjardin, Acting Commissioner
Maine Department of Education