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TO: †††††††††††††††† Superintendents of Public Schools, Private School Administrators


FROM: †††††††††† Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:†††††††††††† May 15, 2004


SUBJECT: ††††† Private Schools Approved for Tuition Purposes



For your information, in order for a private school to be approved for tuition purposes by the State of Maine (per Maine statute Title 20-A MRSA Section 2951), the school must meet the following requirements:


  1. Meet basic approval requirements (Title 20-A MRSA Section 2901 et seq);
  2. Be a non-sectarian school;
  3. Be incorporated under the laws of the State of Maine or the United States;
  4. Meet all other requirements of this section of Title 20- A including the requirements pertaining to financial audits, student assessment, and student records.


As mentioned, Title 20-A MRSA Section 2901 et seq., identifies the requirements for operating a State of Maine approved private school. The requirements include the following:


  1. Meets the standards for hygiene, health and safety established by applicable law and rule; and
  2. Be currently accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (NEASC) (Note: Regardless of NEASC accreditation, schools that enroll at least 60% publicly funded students must also comply with Title 20-A MRSA Section 6209 System of Learning Results) or
  3. Meet the applicable state requirements for basic school approval that include requirements for immunization, language instruction, courses required by law, the Commissionerís basic curriculum that must be aligned with Maineís System of Learning Results, the employment of certified teachers, a school calendar that is commensurate with the requirements outlined in Title 20-A MRSA Section 4801, the release of student records, the administration of medications under the requirements of Title 20-A MRSA Section 254, sub 5, and have in place reintegration planning under Title 20-A MRSA Section 254, sub 12.


Copies of the identified statutory citations have been attached for your use.


In addition, please note that the Year-End Report of Private Schools (EF-M-240) should be completed and returned to the Department of Education only if your private school will be accepting Maine students at public expense during the 2004-05 school year. This report must be received, fully completed, before we can add your school to the list of private schools in and outside of Maine that are eligible to receive public funds from Maine municipalities and school districts. The Year-End Report of Private Schools (EF-M-240) is used to verify the status of your school (i.e., sectarian or non-sectarian) and to compute the maximum annual tuition rate that can be paid legally to your school from public funds from Maine municipal school units, school administrative districts, and community school districts. This form is also available for download from the Department of Educationís forms page at the following address: For those using the Microsoft Excel program, formulas have been embedded in the form to automatically add totals.


We also require a copy of the private schoolís fiscal year 2004-05 audit report. This is specifically required to be in compliance with Title 20-A MRSA sections 2951- 2955 et seq.


Please feel free to contact Edwin N. Kastuck, Ph.D., School Approval Services, at, tel: (207) 624-6776 or at the above address if you have any questions.


Thank you.