Updates for Major Capital Construction Program and Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Facilities Pilot

Major Capital School Construction Program

The scoring process for the Major Capital School Construction Program is complete for the 74 schools visited during the Fall of 2017.  The proposed priority list was presented to the State Board of Education at its June 13, 2018 meeting and accepted. This initiates a 30 day period in which schools on the list have the chance to appeal the scoring process.

To view the Major Capital School Construction Program priority list visit the Maine DOE’s Facilities website.

Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Education Facility Pilot Project

The re-scoring process for the Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Education Facility Pilot Project is complete for the three applicants selected to move forward to complete part 2 of the application process. As part of the Department’s EMBRACE Regionalization initiative, the applicants consist of partnerships between school districts and their CTE, higher education, and business partners.

The priority list for the Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Education Facility Pilot Project was presented to the State Board of Education at its June 13, 2018 meeting and accepted. This initiates a 30 day period in which the three part 2 applicants on the list have the chance to appeal the scoring process.

To view the priority list for the Integrated, Consolidated 9-16 Education Facility Pilot Project visit the Maine DOE’s Facilities website. Learn more about the pilot project here.

For further information, contact Maine DOE Director of School Construction Scott Brown at (207) 624-6883.

Date set for presentation of Major Capital Improvement Program priority list

The scoring process for the Major Capital Improvement Program is close to completion for the 75 schools visited during the Fall of 2017.  A Proposed Priority List will be presented to the State Board of Education at its June 13, 2018 meeting. The acceptance of that list will initiate a 30 day appeal period.

Once the State Board has taken action after the scheduled meeting date, the Major Capital Improvement Program priority list will be posted on the Department’s website at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/facilities/construction/index.html

For further information, contact Maine DOE Director of School Construction Scott Brown at (207) 624-6883.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Resources to help schools keep students and school staff safe

Maine schools have long taken security seriously, working with local fire, police, and County Emergency Management Agencies to update emergency operations plans and exercise those plans at the local level.

Maine has worked at the State and local levels to strengthen the safety and security of its schools. Efforts have included free day-long security workshops in partnership with the Maine Principals’ Association and Maine School Management Association in addition to extensive tools to inform local planning, training, and preparation.

A 2014 Legislative report on the preparedness and facility security of Maine schools created by national and local experts praised the positive climates in Maine schools.

However, in light of recent high profile national incidents, the Department is reminding districts of resources available to support schools in their ongoing efforts to keep students and school staff safe.

Available on the Maine Department of Education website are, a free school security guide created for Maine DOE by Safe Havens International entitled Twenty Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools and a similar resource specific to building safety entitled Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security.  These guides are evidence-based strategies.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has available a cyber security awareness campaign called Stop.Think.Connect. which focuses on raising awareness about how to be safer and more secure online.

After a horrific incident like what happened recently in Florida, people want to take action. The safest response is to slow down, have local conversations about security (schools, fire, police, and county emergency management agencies), and take account of what is in place first before taking action.

For more resources, including training and emergency operations planning, from Maine DOE and its emergency planning partners, visit: http://www.maine.gov/doe/security/ or contact Pat Hinckley at 624-6886 or by email at pat.hinckley@maine.gov .

Governor LePage Recognizes School District Collaboration To Benefit Students

Released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has issued the following statement recognizing today’s State Board of Education vote to accept the scoring for the finalists for the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project.

“Communities across Maine are demonstrating that when the state provides them with support and incentives, they will work together to create more opportunities for students in an efficient and effective way,” said Governor LePage. “I commend the local superintendents and school boards for putting the needs of their students first.”

The Governor added, “Enabling Maine students to benefit from regional and collaborative approaches to education is the right thing to do. When these projects are up and running, they will serve as a shining example of what is possible when our communities work together to benefit students.”

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has implemented the Integrated, Consolidated 9–16 Educational Facility Pilot Project as part of the EMBRACE initiative, providing support and incentives to communities that work together to increase opportunities for students through regional partnerships that enable efficiency and take advantage of scale that the communities could not achieve on their own.

Most recently, Maine DOE announced grant awards of $4.6 million to school districts to pursue more than $10 million in savings through regional projects.

 

 

 

 

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Guidance on usage of additional state funds from 2017-2018 budget

The Department has received several requests from school administrative units for guidance regarding the interpretation of PL 2017 Chapter 284, Section JJJJJJJ. The Department offers this guidance with the caveats that 1) Differing legal interpretations may be put forth and in those instances, we would recommend consulting your school unit’s legal counsel and 2) this guidance applies to the fiscal year 2017-2018 only; no analysis has yet begun regarding the application of this section of statute to fiscal year 2018-2019.

The Department offers guidance on the following scenarios for fiscal year 2017-2018:

Scenario 1: The school administrative unit has passed a budget through all applicable stages and the budget did not include a warrant article to provide the school board with authority to use any additional state funds received.  Under this scenario, Section JJJJJJJ-4 would apply and provide 50% of the increase in subsidy to reduce the school administrative unit’s required local contribution.  For combined school administrative units (RSU, SAD or CSD), the Department’s suggested distribution of the 50% subsidy increase, based on the statutory language, is posted at the link below.  For combined school units with a Private & Special Law that amends the required local share calculation under 20-A § 15688, the Department suggests utilizing the required local contribution percentages as calculated under that Private & Special Law.

http://www.maine.gov/education/data/eps/fy18/index.html

Scenario 2: The school administrative unit has passed a budget through all applicable stages and the budget did include a warrant article providing the school board with the authority to use any additional state funds received.  Under this scenario, Section JJJJJJJ-5 applies and the school administrative unit may utilize the increase in subsidy as permitted under the approved article.

Scenario 3: The school administrative unit has not passed a budget.  This school administrative unit would present budget calculations which reflect the required local share and state subsidy amounts as displayed on the ED 279 dated July 12, 2017.  Section JJJJJJJ-5 would not apply as tax relief is provided via the reduction of the required mill expectation in the enacted ED 279.

Should you have questions or need additional clarification, please contact tyler.backus@maine.gov paula.b.gravelle@maine.gov or joanne.allen@maine.gov