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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools


FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:             March 10, 2004





On Wednesday, March 3, Governor Baldacci proposed a tax reform package that included an additional $25 million dollars for General Purpose Aid in FY 2004-05, pending enactment by the Legislature.  These additional dollars would bring the total appropriation for General Purpose Aid to $750,410,576.  Of this, $3,752,053 will be used to create the Efficient Delivery of Services Fund, leaving $746,658,323 to be distributed through the school funding formula.  As I know many of you are eager to see what this proposed increase would mean to your school administrative unit, I am enclosing a preliminary ED 261 subsidy printout to show the effects of this proposed increase.

Also in this preliminary printout, changes to the following school funding formula components are proposed:        

·        The Per-pupil Guarantee is raised $4,892 – a proposed increase consistent with the growth in the Consumer Price Index of 1.4%. 

·        The reduction percentage for Program Costs is lowered to -2.62%; again, consistent with the Consumer Price Index.

Again, the enclosed ED261 subsidy printout(s) reflects the Governor’s proposal only; not what the Legislature has enacted into law.  While you may use the printout(s) for your budget calculations, keep in mind that these amounts may change.  Please note that this printout is labeled “2004-05 Funding Based on Governor’s Proposal – Not Enacted”, to distinguish it from the preliminary printout that was provided to you in January.

For the ED261 printout for each school unit printout, the following points should be noted.

·        Subsidies for approved bus purchases and for approved leases may change following receipt of the unit's EF-M-45 for FY 2004.

·        NO ESTIMATES of the principal and interest amounts for unbonded school construction projects are included in this printout. Exact amounts will be added to a revised printout for your unit when actual repayment schedules are received.  If you have an unbonded project, you must estimate the local and state impact and include these amounts in your budget for FY 2004-05.

·        The estimated subsidy reduction amounts for the Maine Indian Education school units will be replaced with final amounts, when available.

·        A school administrative unit's subsidy may be reduced as a result of (a) not raising the full amount of the required local share of the Foundation Allocation for FY 2004-05 or, (b) having an unallocated ending balance exceeding 3% of the FY 2003-04 budget that the local school board has not agreed to disburse in the next fiscal year or over a period not to exceed 3 years. 

·        Special Education amounts on lines 32, 33A, and 33B have been reduced by the Out-of-District placement adjustments received in June 2003.

·        NO ESTIMATES are provided for those units that purchased replacement buses via the Carpenter bus replacement program.  Adjustments to your subsidy will be made for these purchases and revised printouts sent to you at a later date.

For questions regarding the ED261 printout, please contact Suzan Cameron or Joanne Allen of General Purpose Aid Support Services by email to or or call at (207) 624-6790.