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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:  # 30

POLICY CODE:  DB

TO:                   Superintendents of Schools

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:              March 26, 2003

RE:                   Legislative Progress Towards a Budget for FY 2003-04 and FY 2004-05

Last Saturday, the Appropriations Committee approved a budget package for FY 2003-04 and for FY 2004-05.  The full Legislature is expected to discuss and vote on this budget soon.  Key “General Purpose Aid for Local Schools” components of the budget are as follows:

2003-04 General Purpose Aid for Local Schools (GPA):  The proposed GPA appropriation for FY 2003-04 would be $732,126,120; representing a 2.46% increase over the FY 2002-03 appropriation of $714,543,588 (after the 1st and 2nd curtailment).  This amount is based on the Education Committee’s recommendation to the Appropriations Committee that includes a $5 million two-tier cushion.  A “spreadsheet” printout of the preliminary subsidy amounts (excluding the state share of buses and debt service) for individual school administrative units is available on the Department’s web page at: http://www.maine.gov/education/data/LeadershipRequest25Mar03.htm

2004-05 General Purpose Aid for Local Schools (GPA):  The proposed GPA appropriation for FY 2004-05 would be $725,817,941; representing a –0.86% decrease from the FY 2003-04 appropriation of $732,126,120.  This amount is based on the Appropriation Committee’s recommendation.

It is important to note that the above information represents only a proposed budget approved by the Appropriations Committee.  The final budget bill must still be debated and voted on by full Legislature.