No Cost Mandated Reporter Training Available to School Personnel

In 2015, Maine revised its mandated reporting law, requiring state-approved training for certain professions every four years. Specifically, it includes school personnel described as the following: teachers, guidance counselors, school officials, school bus drivers and school bus attendants.

Maine’s Network of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Councils is working to ensure that local school districts are aware of the changes and have the necessary resources to maintain compliance with Maine Statute. The local councils are able to provide in-person training at no-cost to the school districts.

As schools know, child abuse and neglect are serious issues, and school personnel often witness the challenges faced by Maine’s children.  In fact, according to the Office of Child and Family Services’ recent child welfare data, school personnel were responsible for over 20% of the total reported cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.  This demonstrates the importance of providing school personnel the most current, state-approved information for recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.  It is important that school personnel feel comfortable, confident, and fully understand their role as a mandated reporter. For information on how to access this free training, contact your local Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council or visit the Maine Children’s Trust website. Click here to read the full law. If you have any additional questions please email Denise Trafton at the Maine Children’s Trust, deniset@mechildrenstrust.org.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions for Rule Chapter 180 (Educator Effectiveness Rules); Hearing on October 28, 2019

The Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 180: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems to reflect recent statutory changes and feedback from conceptual conversations.

This proposed rulemaking provides a sunset for Section 7, Student Learning and Growth Measures, which are no longer a requirement. School administrative units will have flexibility in developing multiple measures on the local level. Section 13, subsection 3 has been revised to reflect, “A majority of the steering committee members must be teachers and must be chosen by the local representative of the applicable collective bargaining unit if the teachers in the school administrative unit are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.” Redundant and unnecessary language has been deleted.

The Department will be developing guidance to be available on the PEPG General Resources web page.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 180 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 180:
October 28, 2019 from 10:00am- 11:30am
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.

Comment Period Deadline: November 22, 2019

Comments can be submitted to Jaci Holmes at jaci.holmes@maine.gov

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions for Rule Chapter 40; Hearing on October 28, 2019

The Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 40: Medication Administration in Schools to reflect recent statutory changes.

This rule provides directions to public and private schools approved pursuant to 20-A MRSA §2902 in the administration of medication within schools. It is to assist school administrative units in implementing the provision of the medication statute [20-MRSA §254(5)(A-D)] that provides direction for training of unlicensed school personnel in the administration of medication, requires that students be allowed to carry and self-administer prescribed emergency medications; specifically, asthma inhalers or epinephrine auto-injectors with health care provider approval and school nurse assessment demonstrating competency and authorizes any student who attends public school to possess and use topical sunscreen product while on school property or at a school-sponsored event without a note or prescription from a health care provider if the product is regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use for the purpose of limiting skin damage from ultraviolet radiation. In addition, refinements have been made to the proposed rule related to medications related to the care of students with insulin dependent diabetes.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 40 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 40:
October 28, 2019 from 1:00pm- 2:30pm
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.

Comment Period Deadline: November 22, 2019

Comments can be submitted to Jaci Holmes at jaci.holmes@maine.gov

Maine Department of Education Provides Complimentary 2019-2020 Law Books to Superintendents

The Maine DOE acquired enough copies of the Maine Education and School Statutes 2019-2020 Edition law book from the publisher, Swan Island Press, to distribute one, at no charge, to each superintendent of schools in Maine.

The law books are in the mail and should be received soon. To purchase additional copies of this law book directly from Swan Island Press, please contact Aaron Chase of Swan Island Press at info@swanislandpress.me.

Maine Department of Education 2019 First Regular Session Legislative Summary Available

The Maine Department of Education has prepared a summary of major laws related to education that were enacted by the First Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature. This information may prove helpful to school and district administrators and educators when planning for the 2019-20 school year.
For each education bill, the summary lists the provisions, effective date, and action required by the bill.
A law indicated as an “emergency” is a law that was passed by a two-thirds vote of the Maine Legislature; emergency legislation takes effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.  For non-emergency laws passed during the First Regular Session, the effective date is September 19, 2019, unless otherwise noted.

The summary Microsoft Word document, as well as prior years’ legislative summaries, can be downloaded from the Maine Department of Education’s  Newly Enacted Legislation by the 129th Maine Legislature First Regular Session 

If you would like to read the laws and resolutions, including original bills and testimony provided, check out the webpage for the Maine State Legislature!

For more information or questions, please Karen Kusiak, Legislative Affairs at Karen.Kusiak@maine.gov.