The State Board and the Department of Education are proposing the repeal and replacement of Chapter 125: Basic School Approval Standards: Public Schools and School Administrative Units.
The last repeal and replace of State Board of Education/Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 125 was in 2002. The resulting language was highly duplicative of statute. The proposed replacement eliminates redundancy when possible, and minimizes to include only what is required in law.
To this end, the proposed Rule is written to address school approval standards and requirements in a linear fashion, reflecting requirements in the order they appear in statute when possible, and providing detail where necessary. For clarity, a chart referenced in Section 4 of the proposed Rule resides on the Department web page and contains a comprehensive list of requirements and citations.
Specific revisions to the Rule are as follows:
- Based on a cross-walk conducted by the Department, language which is duplicative of statute or is outdated has been updated or eliminated;
- The definition of school has been revised;
- Unnecessary definitions have been eliminated;
- Certain requirement exceptions for SAUs that tuition all or whole populations of students out of the resident unit have been added;
- Certain requirement exceptions for Career and Technical Regions have been added;
- The Comprehensive Education Plan format determination remains with the SAU, but must equally include and reflect all schools within the unit;
- The minimum requirements as required by M.R.S. 20-A Section 4502(5) are listed in Section 5:
- 5.01 – Grade K now has a minimum instructional day of 3 hours;
- 5.03 – added “Areas used for the provision of student services and health services shall be adequate to provide for the privacy and confidentiality of such services;”
- 5.08 – revised language regarding school counseling program;
- 5.12 – revised language regarding time out areas to reference Restraint and Seclusion;
- 5.15 – added family outreach requirement, per statute;
- 5.16 – added language around Promotion, Retention, Acceleration and Graduation of Students;
- 5.18 – added requirement for Multi-tiered System of Support, per LD 651; and
- Section 7.01 outlining the initial approval process for SAUs was revised to reflect current practice.
Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 125:
- December 16, 2019 from 1:00-3:00 PM
- Room 500 in the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine
- All are welcome to attend, and no RSVP is required. Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mailing comments to:
Maine Department of Education
attention: Jaci Holmes
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023
Comment Period Deadline: December 27, 2019