Code of Maine Rules
05 - DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
071 - EDUCATION - GENERAL
Chapter 26 - RULES RELATING TO REORGANIZATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICTS
Section 071-26-3 - Computation of Costs Associated With Closing An Elementary School

Current through 2023-52, December 27, 2023

A. The following cost and related data shall be prepared and submitted by the SAD. to the Department, as prescribed in Section 2, paragraph B.

(1) All costs shall be calculated from actual base year operating costs, transportation costs, and minor capital costs that satisfy the following criteria:
a. the costs are associated only with the elementary school that the S.A.D. Board of Directors is considering dosing, or which may be reasonably pro-rated to that school, and

b. the costs would be expected to have been different in the base year if this elementary school had been closed during the base year.

(2) Costs to be considered will include, but are not necessarily limited to:
a. building costs such as heating and maintenance expenses, base costs of telephones and other utilities;

b. school staff salaries and the S.A.D. share of benefit costs, for school staff who directly work with the pupils attending that elementary school or who serve the elementary school building; and

c. transportation operating costs if bus routes would change as a result of a closing.

(3) Costs that are not considered include, but are not necessarily limited to:
a. salaries and benefits for central office staff and staff of other schools in the S.A.D.;

b. text books, furniture, instructional equipment, supplies, and other materials that would be required regardless of where the students were taught.

(4) Two sets of cost data will be computed:
a. actual and/or prorated base year costs for the elementary school during the base year, and

b. estimated costs of educating those students who attended the elementary school during, the base year, if those students had attended other schools of the S.A.D. during the base year.

(5) In determining the amount of the costs in paragraph A.4.b., the following applies:
a. The S.A.D. must justify any reduction in the cost of salaries and benefits of any classroom teachers by demonstrating that all pupils of the elementary school could have been reassigned to the classrooms of other teachers without making any class larger than whatever maximum class size statutes, Department of Education rules, or S.A.D. policy were in effect during that base year. A written account of, his justification must be provided with the cost data.

b. If the principal of the elementary school is a teaching principal then the policy in paragraph A.5.a. also applies to that teaching principal.

c. The amount of the reduction in salaries and benefits shall be computed as the number Of reduced teaching positions times the average salary and benefit cost for elementary teachers in the S.A.D.

(6) The S.A.D. will also provide:
a. the amount, and nature, of each type of source data that is used by the S.A.D in these calculations and the basis for each pro-rating that is performed, in sufficient detail to permit an independent verification of the accuracy of the cost data and its validity for use with 20-A MRSA §1407 and these rules.

b. the proposed closing date of the elementary school, the number of days in the S.A.D. school year which the elementary school will be closed, and the number of days in the school year for which the elementary school will be closed if the school closing plan is implemented.

B. The Department shall determine, from official Department records, the pupil membership count of the elementary school which are used for subsidy purposes, for:

(1) The October 1st membership count of the elementary school for the base year will be used to compute the two base year per pupil costs.

(2) The most recent October 1st membership count of the elementary school will be used to compute the total cost that will be incurred by the municipality if the elementary school remains open contrary to the affirmative vote by the SAD. Board of Directors to close the school.

C. The Department shall compute the total amount of funds to be paid to the S.A.D. by the member municipality if its elementary school remains open contrary to an affirmative vote by the S.A.D. Board of Directors to close the elementary school, as follows:

(1) Two per pupil costs are computed.
a. One per pupil cost is estimated per pupil cost of the elementary school in the base year. The per pupil cost is computed by dividing the cost amount in paragraph A.4.a. by the pupil count in paragraph B.1.

b. The other per pupil cost is the estimated cost for educating a pupil that attended the elementary school in the base year, if that elementary school had been closed and the students were educated in other S.A.D. schools. The per pupil cost is computed by dividing the cost amount in paragraph A.4.b. by the pupil count in paragraph B.1.

(2) The difference between
a. the per pupil cost computed in accordance with paragraph C.1.a., and

b. 110% of the per pupil cost computed in accordance with paragraph C.1.b. is computed.

(3) The cost to be incurred by the member municipality for keeping the elementary school open, if this school remains open, for an entire school year following the date established by the S.A.D. Board of Director's in their vote to close the school, is the product of:
a. the difference computed in paragraph C.2., and

b. the pupil count in paragraph B.2.

(4) If the school is not closed for an entire school year, the cost to be incurred by the member municipality shall be prorated. The proration shall be based on the portion of the S.A.D. school year during which the elementary school remains open contrary to the affirmative vote by the S.A.D. Board of Directors to close the school.

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