October 18, 2017
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Education funding priorities

By Erin Rhoda, BDN Staff

One of the biggest differences in the successful budget passed by the Legislature, compared to Gov. Paul LePage’s original budget proposal, is the inclusion of a provision to incrementally increase state funding for public education to a target of 55 percent. It’s estimated that increasing the state’s share by 1 percent per year will cost about $20 million annually and take eight to 10 years. Below are some additional differences between the governor’s proposal and Legislature’s final budget.

Governor’s budget

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates: $5.29 million

Bridge Year Program: $2 million

Proficiency based diploma transition: $4 million

Educator effectiveness plan phase-in: $5 million

School improvement grants: $3 million

Direct public school funding: $844 million

Net funding after districts pay teacher pensions: $815 million

Legislature’s budget

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates: $4.69 million

Bridge Year Program: $500,000

Proficiency based diploma transition: $4 million

Educator effectiveness plan phase-in: $0

School improvement grants: $0

Direct public school funding: $870 million

Net funding after districts pay teacher pensions: $844 million

Source: Maine Department of Education


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