An Exception to the General Residency Rules
Regarding the Transfer of a Student from One School Administrative Unit to Another
The General Residency Rule for Enrollment in Public Schools
A person is eligible to attend schools in the school administrative unit:
- Where the person’s parent resides; or
- Where the person resides when they reach age 18; or
- Where the person resides if they become an emancipated minor.
In general, a student attends school in the school administrative unit where they live.
The “Superintendents’ Agreement” Exception
Under this exception, two superintendents may approve the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another school administrative unit (public unit to public unit only). Three conditions must first exist before such an approval can be arranged:
- Both superintendents find that a transfer is in a student’s best interest; and
- The student’s parent must approve, except where the student is considered majority age (age 18 or emancipated minor).
- The receiving school administrative unit must operate a school with the grade level of the student being transferred (effective October 9, 2013 per Public Law 2013 Ch. 356).
Please note that Superintendents’ Agreements:
- Can only occur between a student’s resident school administrative unit and the receiving school administrative unit that the student will be attending.
- Cannot be used by a school administrative unit to transfer a student that is not a resident of their unit.
Both the superintendent of the school administrative unit where the student resides and the superintendent of the school administrative unit where the student wishes to attend school must agree to the transfer. The transfer cannot take place if one or both of the superintendents involved denies the request.
However, the parent (or the student if age 18 or emancipated minor) has the right to petition the Commissioner of the Department of Education to review a denied transfer. The Commissioner’s decision on a petitioned case of a proposed transfer is final and binding.
School administrative units are responsible to have on file a letter of agreement between the superintendent releasing a student or students and the superintendent accepting the student or students.
Details Regarding Residency, Tuition and State Education Subsidy
*** No tuition may be charged under a Superintendents’ Agreement transfer ***
*** The term “student” in this document means “subsidizable pupil”. "Subsidizable pupils" means all school level pupils who reside in a school administrative unit and who are educated at public expense at a public school or at a private school approved for tuition purposes. (20-A, MRSA, § 15672, Sub-§ 32 as amended by Public Law 2005, Chapter 2, § D-36)
This transfer student provision effectively transfers the residency of a student from the student’s resident school administrative unit to the receiving school administrative unit where the student will be attending school, so that the receiving unit essentially “takes ownership” of the student.
Under a Superintendents’ Agreement, the receiving unit when the student actually attends school counts the student for state subsidy. The resident unit can no longer count the student for subsidy.
Student resides in School Administrative Unit A
Student wants to attend school in School Administrative Unit B
School administrative units A and B create a Superintendents’ Agreement to transfer this student from school administrative unit A to school administrative unit B.
When the agreement takes effect:
- school administrative unit B now receives the subsidy count for this student; and
- school administrative unit A no longer receives the subsidy count for this student.
MEDMS Student Information System Reporting Procedures
– based on above example:
In the Student Module – Student Enrollment, the student should be reported as follows:
- Resident Town - student is reported as a resident of municipality they live in – in school administrative unit A.
- Resident SAU - student is reported as a resident of school administrative unit A.
- Attending SAU - student is reported as attending in school administrative unit B.
- School - student is reported in the school that he or she is attending in school administrative unit B.
- FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY - set to Superintendent Agreement