The Maine DOE has been authorized per Public Law 2015, Chapter 267 to designate three community schools established in accordance with 20-A MRSA Chapter 333 as part of a five-year pilot project beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
In providing funds under this subsection, the law requires that the commissioner give priority to a qualified school administrative unit in which at least 40 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged as determined pursuant to section 15675, subsection 2 and that has more economically disadvantaged students than other qualified SAUs under this subsection. Beginning on Oct. 1a school board may designate an existing school or establish a new school as a community school.
The law requires that the commissioner provide state funding to the SAUs in which the designated community schools are located and may employ a State community school coordinator to implement this pilot project. The legislative intent is to have the pilots geographically dispersed across Maine and to have the funds support the coordination either through a designated individual or by other means. Annual State allocations for this pilot project may not exceed $150,000. This section is repealed on July 1, 2021.
The Department is developing an application which will be available this fall. and due in the spring of 2016. In order for the Department to understand which districts are interested in piloting a community school, please send a letter of intent to pilot to Jaci Holmes, Maine Department of Education, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine 04333.