Maine Municipal Association School Reorganization The Municipal Clerk’s Responsibilities...

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Transcript of Maine Municipal Association School Reorganization The Municipal Clerk’s Responsibilities...

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Maine Municipal Association School Reorganization The Municipal Clerks Responsibilities October 4, 2007 Slide 2 School Reorganization Law Enacted as Part XXXX of budget (LD 499) Establishment of Regional School Units (RSUs) Goal to serve 2,500 students Provides for a 1,200 student exception Geography, demographics, economics, transportation, population and other Coastal island and tribal schools exempt Provides for the creation of Reorganization Planning Committees Slide 3 Reorganization Planning Committees Submit plans by December 1 to Department of Education for consolidation into a Regional School District School units included Size, composition, apportionment of governing body Method of voting for governing body Powers/duties of local boards created Disposition existing debt/lease-purchase obligations Assignment of school personnel contracts Development of budget Identification of savings Other Slide 4 Three clerk-related areas of school reorganization law Reorganization Referendum Design & Election of Regional Boards School Budget Process Open meeting for school budget Budget validation referendum Slide 5 Reorganization Referendum Dates January 15, 2008 Absentee ballot issues December 1, 2007 plan submitted to DOE December 15, 2007 DOE action When would the actual plan be available for absentee voters June 10, 2008 November 4, 2008 Slide 6 Reorganization Referendum Article: Do you favor approving the school regionalization plan prepared by the (insert name) Reorganization Planning Committee to reorganize (insert names of affected school administrative units) into a regional school unit with an effective date of (insert date)? Slide 7 Reorganization Referendum Article Statement Law requires that a statement of consequence be printed on the ballot with the question However, the law provides for two different statements Slide 8 Reorganization Referendum Statement - 1 20-A, 1461, sub5 A YES vote means that you approve of the (municipality or school administrative unit) joining the proposed regional school unit. The financial penalties under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15696 to the existing school administrative units will no longer apply to the proposed regional school unit. Slide 9 Reorganization Referendum Statement - 2 Found in unallocated section of law A YES votes means that you approve of the (municipality or school administrative unit) joining the proposed regional school unit, which will be provided with the following incentives: More favorable consideration in approval and funding of school construction projects; and Eligibility for additional financial support for reorganizations costs. Slide 10 Reorganization Referendum Statement 2, Continued A NO vote means that you do not approve of the (municipality or school administrative unit) joining the proposed regional school unit, which will result in the existing (municipality or school administrative unit) receiving the following penalties: Less favorable consideration in approval and funding of school construction projects; and A reduction in state funding of education costs in an amount estimated to be $ ___ for school year 200_ and $ ___ for school year 200_, with the possibility of ongoing penalties for continued failure to join an approved regional school unit. Reduction in state education funding will likely result in an increased mill rate expectation to meet the local share of education costs. Slide 11 Reorganization Referendum Statement Wording Difference Legal Issues Which statement to use? Can supplementary financial information in addition to the penalty impacts be included on the ballot? Slide 12 Reorganization Referendum In future years School systems may join existing regional school unit Regional school unit to approve SAU joining the regional school unit Article mirrors the wording found in the law, which includes the use of the less negative consequence statement Slide 13 Designing/Electing New Regional Boards Election of Officials 4 Methods Weighted Votes - 20-A, 1472(2) & 1473(2-B) Subdistrict - 20-A, 1472(1) & 1473(2-A) At-large - 20-A, 1472(3) & 1473(2-C) Other - 20-A, 1472(4) Slide 14 Designing/Electing New Regional Boards School board election, generally For the purpose of nominations, regional school unit board directors are considered municipal officials and must be nominated in accordance with Title 30-A, chapter 121 or with a municipal charter, whichever is applicable Clerk of each municipality within the regional school unit to forward names and addresses of directors elected for that municipality to the State Board of Education Slide 15 Designing/Electing New Regional Boards Weighted Voting Design ( most common among current SADs ) Each municipality elects one or more directors Directors assigned voting weights based on population 1,000 votes apportioned among board members Reapportionment occurs at the Regional School Unit level Reapportionment process DOE Commissioner, RSU directors or citizen petition Necessary to ensure one-person, one-vote standard Committee members municipal, school and citizen DOE Commissioner has final say on plan Slide 16 Designing/Electing New Regional Boards Subdistrict Design ( not common among current SADs ) Use of a reapportionment committee to determine subdistricts within each municipality or among multiple municipalities provide a separate polling place Within 45-60 days after approval of subdistricts, municipal officials to call special election Nomination papers furnished by the regional school unit, 10 days before deadline for filing nomination papers 25 to 50 signatures of register voters in district Directors elected by secret ballot Regional school units to prepare/provide ballots to the clerks Clerks of each municipality shall forward election results to the regional school unit Regional unit to inform clerks of the regional results Slide 17 Designing/Electing New Regional Boards At-Large Design ( least common among current SADs ) Directors elected by all the voters in the regional school unit (RSU) Nominations for directors must be made on petitions furnished by the RSU Petitions must be signed according to Title 30-A, section 2528 (4) process 20% votes in municipalities w/populations under 200 Petition submitted to registrar of voters for verification and returned to RSU within 30 days of election Ballots prepared and distributed by RSU Secret ballot election Clerks must impound election results, if the member municipalities do not hold elections on same day Slide 18 Designing/Electing New Regional Boards Other Election Process Regional school unit authorized to use a method other than subdistricts, weighted votes or at-large election, provided that it meets the requirement of the one- person, one-vote principle Slide 19 School Budget Process Budget Adoption Process Two step process Open Meeting - cost center summary budget adopted by the legislative body of the regional school unit (RSU) Vote of the RSU legislative body validated through referendum held in each community in the RSU Slide 20 School Budget Process Open Meeting for School Budget (Note: SADs that currently directly adopt budget by referendum will now have to have an open meeting first.) At least 7 days before regional school unit (RSU) budget meeting, RSU board make a detailed budget document available to public Moderator of the budget meeting to require the clerk or secretary of the RSU board to make a checklist of registered voters present at meeting If budget exceeds the LD 1 spending limit, the vote must be conducted by written ballot Slide 21 School Budget Process Budget Validation Procedures Referendum held no more than 10 days after the budget meeting, where the budget was adopted by the regional school units (RSU) legislative body RSU board shall provide printed information, to be displayed at the polling place, to assist voters Information is limited to total amounts proposed by the RSU for expenditure and revenue cost centers, amount approved at budget meeting, summary of authorized expenditures, and if applicable, amount of spending over EPS limit Where to display information? Can the too high/too low quested be added? Three year question to continue budget validation process Slide 22 School Budget Process Budget Validation Referendum Warrant and absentee ballots delivered to the municipal clerk at least 7 days before the date of the open regional school unit (RSU) budget meeting Absentee ballots may not be processed unless received by the municipal clerk after the conclusion of the budgeting meeting and before the close of the polls All ballots received before budget meeting must be marked rejected Slide 23 School Budget Process Budget Validation Wording School budget does not exceed EPS limit Do you favor approving the (name of regional school unit) budget for the upcoming school year that was adopted at the latest regional school unit budget meeting? Slide 24 School Budget Process Budgeting Validation Wording School budget does exceed EPS limit Do you favor approving the (name of regional school unit) budget for the upcoming school year that was adopted at the latest regional school unit budget meeting and that includes locally raised funds that exceed the required local contribution as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act? A Yes vote allows additional funds to be raised for K-12 public education A No vote means additional funds cannot be raised for K-12 public education Slide 25 School Budget Process Failure to validate budget Regional school unit (RSU) board holds another RSU budget meeting at least 10 days after referendum. Budget approved at the meeting must be validated by referendum Process continues until a budget is both approved at the budget meeting and validated through referendum In order for the school to operate, if the budget is not adopted by July 1, the latest budget su