PRIORITY NOTICE: Invitation to a Conceptual Conversation Regarding Rule Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards for Public Preschool

Since July 1, 2017, school approval standards governing implementation of public preschool programs in Maine have been in effect, as authorized by Title 20-A, Maine Revised Statutes, Chapters 203 and 206. Now that these rules, incorporated in Rule Chapter 124, have been in effect for several years, and in preparation for continued expansion of public preschool programming, the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) invites interested stakeholders to attend a conceptual conversation related to the rule on July 14, 2020 from 1pm-3pm via Zoom. The conceptual conversation will be an opportunity to provide feedback on current implementation of the Rule. If you are interested in being part of the conversation, please register, and a link will be provided.

The Department intends to take the following steps with respect to review of Chapter 124:

1.  On July 14, 2020, stakeholders are invited to attend a conceptual conversation which will be facilitated by Early Learning Team Coordinator Lee Anne Larsen, Early Childhood Specialist Nicole Madore, and Federal/State Liaison Jaci Holmes. This conversation will be guided by the following discussion prompts:

  • What aspects of Chapter 124 promote high-quality public preschool?
  • What aspects of Chapter 124 present challenges for implementing and/or achieving high-quality public preschool programming?
  • As the Maine DOE continues to support the expansion of public preschool opportunities to reach universal capacity, including partnerships with Head Start and private childcare/preschool programs, does Chapter 124 adequately support achievement of this goal?

2.  Taking into consideration the insights gained from the discussion on July 14, the Department will propose updates to Chapter 124 and begin the Maine Administrative Procedures Act (A.P.A.) routine technical rule process pursuant to 5 MRS §8052 (public notice of filing, public hearing, open public comment period).

3.  Once the proposed rule has been filed, the public will be notified of the scheduled public hearing and comment period.  This will be an opportunity to provide written and oral comments regarding the proposed rule.

4.  The Department will review all comments and respond accordingly.  Updates to the rule will then be filed for legal review before final adoption.

For more information about the conceptual conversations for Chapter 124, contact Lee Anne Larsen at leeann.larsen@maine.gov.