The Maine Legislative action of the First Regular Session of the 127th Legislature, in the budget bill, Public Law 2015, Chapter 267 proposed that the Maine Department of Education be authorized 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 students as determined pursuant to section 15675, subsection 2 and that has more economically disadvantaged students than other qualified school administrative units under this subsection. The law continues, beginning Oct. 1, 2015, a 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 school administrative units in which the designated community schools are located. The legislative intent is to have the community school pilots geographically dispersed across the state 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 This section is repealed July 1, 2021. The Department anticipates being able to fund three Community School Pilots.
The Department has developed an application to be submitted by June 9, 2016 to Jaci Holmes, Maine Department of Education, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine 04333.