PRIORITY NOTICE: Verification of Minimum Teacher Salaries

Due Date: November 30, 2020 

In 2020-21, the State will provide each qualifying school administrative unit with the funding necessary to achieve the minimum salary for certified teachers established in Title 20-A, §13407. 

A “qualifying school administrative unit” means a school administrative unit the commissioner determines to have a locally established salary schedule with a minimum teacher salary of less than $35,000 in school year 2019-20.  The requirement to pay the $35,000 minimum is not contingent upon receipt of the State’s adjustment to subsidy.   

The minimum salary law does not distinguish between full-time and part-time teachers.  Full-time teachers must be paid a minimum salary of $35,000.  The minimum amount will be prorated for part-time teachers in proportion to their fulltime equivalency (FTE). 

Method of Allocation of State Funds to Qualifying School Administrative Units: 

The commissioner shall allocate funds provided to qualifying school administrative units per Title 20-A, §15689, sub-§7-A,(B), in accordance with the following: 

  1. The amount of increased funds provided to qualifying school administrative units under this subsection must be the amount necessary to fund the incremental salary increases specified in this subsection.   
  2. The number of teachers eligible for incremental salary increases in a qualifying school administrative unit for a fiscal year must be based on the information supplied to the department pursuant to section 13407 in that fiscal year.   
  3. The increased funds provided under this subsection must be issued to qualifying school administrative units as an adjustment to the state school subsidy for distribution to the teachers. Qualifying school administrative units shall use the payments provided under this subsection to provide salary adjustments to those teachers eligible for incremental salary increases. The department shall collect the necessary data to allow the funds to be included in a qualifying school administrative unit’s monthly subsidy payments beginning no later than February 1st of each fiscal year. 

Verification of Minimum Teacher Salary Report Instructions: 

The Minimum Teacher Salary Report is available in the NEO Staff Module under the Reports section.  The report is based on a snapshot of staff data entered by each school administrative unit for the FY 20 School Year from October 2019.  

This report should be reviewed by the Business Manager and then Certified by the Superintendent by November 30, 2020. 

Note: School administrative units that do not operate a school will have a blank report and do not need to certify the report. 

If you have questions about the report, or believe information is missing or is incorrect, please contact Paula Gravelle at or 207-624-6792. 

Staff Eligibility for New Minimum Salary Requirements: 

Certified teachers in teaching positions employed by a qualified school administrative unit (as defined by 20-A, M.R.S. §1 (26) and 20-A, M.R.S. §15689 (7-A).)  This includes teaching positions paid with federal funds, and state or local grants, in classrooms or specialized areas (i.e. special education, EL, etc.).  Also included are school counselors, and library/media specialists. 

The following are the staff positions eligible for the minimum salary supplement: 

Classroom Teacher  School Social Worker 
Gifted and Talented Teacher  Special Education Teacher 
Guidance Counselor  Substitute Teacher – Long-term* 
Librarian/Media Specialist  Title I Teacher 
Literacy Specialist  *only for substitute classroom teachers replacing another teacher currently on leave. 

Method of Payment to a Qualifying School Administrative Unit: 

Once the Minimum Teacher Salary report has been certified by the Superintendent, an adjustment to the unit’s ED 279 Report (Section 5B) will be issued and payment included in the remaining monthly subsidy checks.  The adjustment to subsidy must occur no later than February 1st of each fiscal year. 

Method of Payment to Eligible Certified Teachers: 

The method of payment is at the discretion of the school administrative unit.  The adjustment amount is subject to all normal withholding requirements for tax and retirement purposes.Page Break 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1.) Is teacher defined in statute? No 

  • Teacher vs teacher contract?  For purposes of the distribution of the minimum teacher salary adjustment, eligible staff are those employed by a SAUin a teaching position, and are certified (the certification may be conditional). 
  • Are federally paid teachers included? Yes 
  • State grant paid teachers?  Yes 
  • Does “teacher” reference both classroom and specialists ?  Yes,. 
  • What if a teacher works through an ESC or AOS?  AOS yes, ESC no as it is not a SAU  
  • What if other position types are locally considered teachers by the contract (librarians, Speech, etc.)? This is not the original intent in determining the amount of the appropriation needed but we are exploring the impact of expanding to those staff members employed under a teacher contract. 
  • What about CTE teachers? Teachers in CTE Centers only are eligible. 
  • If CTE teachers are included, what about those at a region (not a SAU) – CTE Regions are not SAUs therefore, they are not eligible under the enacted law. 
  • What about Charter School teachers? Yes 
  • What if they are not certified?  To be eligible, the teacher must be certified. 
  • What about MSSM teachers? No, MSSM is not a SAU. 
  • What about MECDHH teachers?  No, MECDHH is not a SAU. 
  • What about EUT teachers? No, EUT is not a SAU. 
  • What about CDS teachers? No, CDS is not a SAU. 
  • What about the teachers at Long Creek? No, Long Creek is not a SAU. 
  • What about teachers at the LongTerm Drug Treatment Programs?  Yes, if the teacher meets all the eligibility criteria under 1 (a). 
  • What about Special Education teachers at a regional program? Yes, if the teacher meets all the eligibility criteria under 1 (a). 
  • What about teachers at regional alternative education programs? Yes, if the teacher meets all the eligibility criteria under 1 (a). 
  • Or Waterville where the teachers are Waterville employees, but the program is run by a different agency? Yes, if the teacher meets all the eligibility criteria under 1 (a). 
  • What about PreK teachers at programs not directly operated by the SAU? No, as the teacher would not meet the eligibility criteria of being employed by a SAU. 

2.) Is this prorated? Yes 

  • What if a teacher works in multiple school districts?  The proration will be calculated and distributed accordingly. 
  • Part time teachers? The proration will be calculated and distributed accordingly. 

3.) Data Collection 

  • How to collect FY 2020 salary schedules – DOE will not need to collect individual SAU salary schedules; SAU Superintendents will receive a report of eligible staff from the NEO system and will be asked to certify the report. 

4.) Funding for the difference between $35k and their actual salary for the school year 

  • What happens if they negotiate their contract and make no increase to their salary schedule – the enacted statute directs SAUs to do so and DOE will trust that the SAUs follow statute.   
  • Is the calculation only based on their base salary (many teacher contracts include stipend negotiations within them)  Yes. 
  • What about teachers who work during the summer – the minimum teacher salary adjustment will be based on the base, contract salary as reported in NEO. 
  • Do we need to ensure they provided it to the teacher? The enacted statute directs SAUs to do so and DOE will trust that the SAUs follow statute.   
  • Is this being coded as salary, or do we want districts to differentiate it?  There is no reason for DOE to require a SAU to code this differently. 
  • Are the districts supposed to be providing it to them throughout the year, or lumpsum?  The distribution of the adjustment is at the discretion of the SAU. 
  • Will this affect the MSRS contributions especially in the case of federally and state grant paid teachers Yes, when the salary is increased by the SAU via the local contract, the increase will impact the amount of the contribution to MePERS. 

5.) Any additional reporting on their part? No