An Act To Amend the Laws Related to Public Funding of Charter Schools
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, implementation of Maine's recently enacted charter school law has resulted in substantial budgetary challenges for certain school administrative units that are located within the catchment areas of public charter schools recently approved by the Maine Charter School Commission; and
Whereas, these challenges demonstrate the need for more timely and transparent funding provisions enacted as part of the education statutes related to public charter schools authorized and approved by the Maine Charter School Commission; and
Whereas, the funding mechanism proposed by this Act must be initiated as soon as possible in order to enable school boards to make practicable budgetary decisions that will not be constrained by funding reductions that result from students enrolling in public charter schools after school administrative units have approved their budgets for the 2015-2016 school year; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §2405, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2011, c. 570, §§5 and 6, is further amended to read:
(1) Approved, but not yet open;
(6) Closed; or
(7) Never opened;
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §2407, sub-§5, ¶C, as amended by PL 2013, c. 272, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §2411, sub-§7, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 414, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 4. 20-A MRSA §2413, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 20-A MRSA §2413-A is enacted to read:
§ 2413-A. Funding for public charter schools authorized by the commission
Beginning with fiscal year 2015-16, this section applies to public charter schools authorized by the commission.
(1) The total allocation must be calculated pursuant to section 15683-B, based on the student's grade level and adjusted as appropriate for economically disadvantaged students and limited English proficiency students pursuant to section 15675, subsections 1 and 2. Debt service and capital outlays may not be included in the calculation of these allocations. The department shall adopt rules governing how to calculate per-pupil allocations, including those for targeted funds for assessment, technology and kindergarten to grade 2 programs.
(2) For students attending public charter schools, the payments for public charter schools must be made pursuant to section 15683-B, subsection 6.
(3) For transportation expenses, the transportation operating allocation must be the statewide per-pupil essential programs and services transportation operating allocation multiplied by pupil counts determined under section 15683-B, subsection 2, paragraph A multiplied by the percentage established by the commission for the public charter school based on the cost of transportation services provided by the public charter school to the student, but not to exceed 100%.
(4) The department shall pay to the public charter school any additional allocation assigned to the public charter school for gifted and talented students pursuant to section 15681-A, subsection 5 in the year in which the allocation is assigned.
(1) For each enrolled special education student, a public charter school must receive the average additional allocation calculated by the department under section 15681-A, subsection 2 for its special education students. These allocations must be paid on the same basis as the per-pupil allocations for operating funds.
(2) The department shall pay directly to a public charter school any federal or state aid attributable to a student with a disability attending the public charter school in proportion to the level of services for the student with a disability that the public charter school provides directly or indirectly.
(3) The department shall pay to a public charter school any additional allocation assigned to the public charter school because of a high-cost in-district special education placement in accordance with section 15681-A, subsection 2, paragraph B in the year in which the allocation is assigned as an adjustment to the public charter school's state contribution.
(4) The department shall pay to a public charter school any additional allocation assigned to the school administrative unit because of a high-cost out-of-district special education placement in accordance with section 15681-A, subsection 2, paragraph C in the year in which the allocation is assigned.
Sec. 6. 20-A MRSA §15683-B is enacted to read:
§ 15683-B. Public charter schools; calculation of total allocation and state contribution
Beginning with fiscal year 2015-16, this section applies to public charter schools authorized by the Maine Charter School Commission, established under Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 10-D, in accordance with the funding provisions established in section 2413-A.
The operating allocation calculated pursuant to this subsection must be adjusted by multiplying it by the appropriate transition percentage in accordance with section 15671, subsection 7.
A public charter school is not entitled to career and technical education funding. The school administrative unit in which the public charter school student resides must pay the cost of attendance for the student at a career and technical education program.
Sec. 7. 20-A MRSA §15689-B, sub-§2-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. 20-A MRSA §15689-C, sub-§2, ¶A, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 2, Pt. D, §61 and affected by §§72 and 74 and c. 12, Pt. WW, §18, is amended to read:
Sec. 9. 20-A MRSA §15689-D, as amended by PL 2013, c. 368, Pt. C, §18, is further amended to read:
§ 15689-D. Governor's recommendation for funding levels
Sec. 10. 20-A MRSA §15689-E, sub-§1, ¶B, as amended by PL 2013, c. 368, Pt. C, §19, is further amended to read:
Sec. 11. Reports to the Legislature. Beginning on the effective date of this section and until one year after the effective date of this section, a virtual public charter school shall also submit to the Legislature each report that the virtual public charter school is required to submit to the Commissioner of Education or to the Department of Education.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.