Senate supports Sen. Miramant bill to increase school funding

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 9:30am

AUGUSTA — The Senate passed a bill Monday from Senator David Miramant, D-Camden, that would require the State of Maine to meet its 55 percent contribution requirement to schools.

LD 1114, “An Act To Require the State To Meet the Mandatory 55 Percent Contribution to Schools,” received unanimous, bipartisan support.

“We need to be taking responsibility for our children’s futures,” said Sen. Miramant. “Our school districts are struggling each year with budget increases and they understandably want to avoid meeting those increases by raising property taxes. The situation could be improved if the state followed the citizens’ referendum from 2003 to fund schools at 55 percent. This bill will serve as an equalizer for our schools and will promote equity across districts and communities. I’m glad my colleagues voted to support this bill and support Maine schools.”

LD 1114 would increase the state’s share of funding for essential services and programs and public schools to 55 percent.

In 2003, Maine voters passed a citizen referendum that required the state to pay for 55 percent of the costs of operating public schools in order to reduce property taxes.

Under a supplemental budget proposal from Gov. Janet Mills introduced in May, the state’s contribution to K-12 public education would reach the 55 percent threshold in state law for the first time in many years.

The Maine Principals’ Association, Maine Municipal Association, Maine School Boards Association, Maine School Superintendents Association and the Maine Education Association all testified in support of this bill.

LD 1114 faces further votes in the Legislature.