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INFORMATIONAL LETTER # 63  

POLICY CODE:  DB

 

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools

                        Selected Private Secondary School Administrators

 

FROM :            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:             January 8, 2004

 

RE:                   2003 - 2004 TUITION RATES

 

 

                Computation of the tuition rates for the 2003-2004 school year are now available on the Department of Education’s website:  http://www.maine.gov/education/data/tuitionrates/tuitrate.htm

This page includes rates for:

 

·        Public School Elementary Students

·        Public School Secondary Students

·        Private School Elementary and Secondary Students

 

            The statutory basis for these rate determinations has not changed from that used in prior years.   20-A M.R.S.A. sections 5804 - 5806 specify the method of computing these tuition charges.  A brief summary of these methods is provided below. The complete statutory law is available at http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/20-A/title20-Ach219sec0.html

 

TUITION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS:  2003-2004

 

Elementary (K-8) Students

 

            Current statute (20-A M.R.S.A., section 5804, subsection 1) states: "The maximum tuition payments shall not exceed the receiving school administrative unit's per student cost for the preceding year as calculated by the commissioner.  The school board of the sending unit may vote to pay a higher tuition rate."


Secondary (9-12) Students

 

            Current statute (20-A M.R.S.A. section 5805) establishes the method for calculating secondary tuition rates for any secondary student attending a public school in 2003-2004.   Subsection 2 of this statute establishes that the maximum allowable tuition rate may not exceed the lesser of:

 

1.   the per pupil expenditure in that public school (for all allowable expenditures) in    2002-03 after an adjustment for inflationary increases; or

2.   the statewide average public secondary per pupil expenditure (for all allowable expenditures) in 2002-03 after an adjustment for inflationary increases.

 

However, 20-A M.R.S.A. section 5805, subsection 2, further explains that the school board of the sending unit may vote to pay a higher tuition rate. 

 

TUITION FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS:  2003-2004

 

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

a)      Meet basic approval requirements (20-A M.R.S.A. section 2901 et seq.);

b)      Be a non-sectarian school;

c)      Be incorporated under the laws of the State of Maine or the United States;

d)      Meet all other requirements of this section of Title 20- A including the requirements pertaining to financial audits, student assessment, and student records.

 

Elementary (K-8) Students

 

            20-A M.R.S.A. section 5804, subsection 2 states: “The tuition payment to a private school shall not exceed the average per student cost in all public elementary schools in the State for the previous year as computed by the commissioner.” 

 

Secondary (9-12) Students

 

            Current statute (20-A M.R.S.A. section 5806) establishes the method of calculating secondary tuition rates for any secondary student attending a private school approved for tuition purposes per 20-A M.R.S.A section 2951.  Section 5806, subsection 2, requires that the tuition for any secondary student attending a private school in 2003-2004 may not exceed the sum of A and B:

 

A.  the lesser of:

    

1.      the per pupil expenditure in that private school (for allowable expenditures) in 2002-03 after an adjustment for inflationary increases; or

2.      the statewide average public secondary per pupil expenditure (for all allowable expenditures) in 2002-03 after an adjustment for inflationary increases; and

 

B.      an insured value factor (computed as 5% of the insured value of the school buildings and equipment divided by the average number of pupils enrolled in the school on October 1, 2002 and April 1, 2003) and which is limited to 10.0% of a school’s legal tuition rate per student in any one year.

20-A M.R.S.A section 5806, subsection 3 sets forth those instances when a private secondary school may charge a tuition rate above the allowable maximum.

 

If you have any questions regarding these tuition rates, please contact Suzan Cameron or    Joanne Allen of General Purpose Aid Support Services at (207) 624-6790 or via e-mail at suzan.cameron@maine.gov or joanne.allen@maine.gov

 

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