Sen. Miramant introduces bill to increase school funding

Sat, 04/17/2021 - 10:00am

AUGUSTA — Senator David Miramant, D-Camden, introduced a bill this week 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,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

­“Our school districts are struggling with annual budget increases due to inflation, and communities are resistant to meeting those budget increases by raising property taxes,” said Sen. Miramant. “This situation could be eased if the state was meeting its obligation to fund the 55 percent of Essential Programs and Services as was passed by Maine voters many years ago.”

LD 1114 would make sure the state share of funding essential programs and services of public school is 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. Since then, the state has never met that requirement.

LD 1114 now faces further action in committee.