The fiscal year 2018-2019 ED 279 subsidy printouts are now available: http://www.maine.gov/doe/eps/
The subsidy printouts are provided based on $1.1 billion in funding allocated to education in the 2018/19 Biennial Budget that was enacted by the Maine State Legislature. See the trend in education funding from 2011 – 2019.
As a reminder, a number of EPS funding formula changes were also enacted as part of the budget. Many of these changes were made to both increase funds to education and to target more funds toward classroom expenditures. Provided below is a detailed list of the changes along with other important factors that impact EPS funding formula calculations.
Funding changes enacted in the budget:
- Essential Programs and Services (EPS) Operating Transition Percentage – What is recognized as essential programs and services has increased from 97% to 100% due to a repeal of the EPS transition percentage. This means that the formula now recognizes 100% total cost allocation as calculated by the formula for each district. The 3% increase has resulted in over $42 million increased funding for education.
- Funds for Special Education – There were several changes enacted that resulted in more funding to special education students. These changes have resulted in an increase of $30 million in funding for special education:
- The weight for special education students increased from 1.27 per student to 1.50 per student. This change provides more funding to districts with higher number of special education students.
- The Special Education Adjustment made for minimum receivers has increased from 33% to 40%.
- Incentives are provided to public schools that place special education students in regional special purpose schools closer to home versus placing students in private schools further away.
- The Special Education Budgetary Hardship Fund is now available for districts to apply for additional special education funding when they receive high cost special education student/s during the current school year, rather than wait for the coming year to receive extra funding.
- Career & Technical Education (CTE) – Allocation for Career and Technical Education (CTE) is now based on a program-driven cost model, which bases the calculation of state subsidy on the following components: direct instruction, central administration, supplies, operation and maintenance of plant, other student and staff support, and student enrollment. As part of this model, State subsidy payments will be made directly to Career and Technical Education Centers and Regions and replaces both state and local share for the costs included in the model. Going forward, assessments will only be necessary for costs outside/above the model, such as new equipment or costs not covered by the model. FY19 CTE Centers & Regions Summary Estimate Funding Levels.
- Additional Public Preschool funding – An additional $10 million in funding has been specifically allocated toward new and expanded public preschool programs.
- Town valuation – Each town’s valuation is provided by the Maine Revenue Service each year and is part of the calculation that determines the town’s ability to pay local share. Previously the amounts used were determined based on the average valuation of the previous 3 years for each town. This coming fiscal year they will be based on an average of the previous 2 years. This change has created an increased “ability to pay” for some towns resulting in a higher required local share.
- Student-to-Teacher ratio for New Early Childhood programs – The student to teacher ratio for programs for 4-year-old through kindergarten has changed from 17 – 1 to 15 – 1. This change has resulted in an $8 million increase in funding.
- Funding for System Administration – Allocation for system administration has gone from a rate of $135 per pupil in FY18 to $92 per pupil in FY19. Districts pursuing a Regional Service Center as part of Chapter 123 were allotted an additional $46 per pupil, pending approval of round II applications.
- Basic pupil count – The pupil count used in EPS calculations is based on an average of the previous two year’s October pupil counts (reported by each district). Previously, it was based on the average of the most recent October and April counts.
- State share percentage has grown – The average State share percentage has grown to 53.02%. The previous year was 52.02%.
Other important factors that impact EPS calculations:
- Mil Rate – The Mil Rate, which is used as part of the calculation that determines each towns ability to pay required local share is 8.51. Previously the Mil Rate was 8.19.
- Student enrollment – A dramatic increase or decrease in student enrollment has a major impact on funding because the EPS funding formula’s major driver is student population.
- Changes in debt service payments – Districts that have either paid off or begun to pay principal or interest payments for equipment (new school, new bus, etc.), that the State has allocated funds to pay those payments could see dramatic changes in calculations if either payments no longer need to be made or if payments have begun.
Districts that have questions regarding subsidy printouts can contact the School Finance Team: Tyler Backus at firstname.lastname@example.org; Paula Gravelle at email@example.com; or Ida Batista at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media that have questions about school funding should contact Director of Communications, Rachel Paling at email@example.com or (207)624-6747