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School Administrative Reorganization
Learn more about the reorganization law and its implementation
Every child in the state of Maine deserves equal access to educational opportunities. Our economy demands it. And every taxpayer has a right to expect that every educational dollar – more than one-third of all taxpayer dollars – is being spent wisely.
As the national recession continues to impact state revenues, the implementation of Maine’s school administrative reorganization law is critical to prioritizing limited resources for the classroom. Already, the law has resulted in incredible opportunities for students in the districts that have reorganized, adding and expanding programs such as pre-kindergarten, foreign languages, Advanced Placement courses, gifted and talented, and others. The goals of equal opportunity, rigorous programming, sustainability, and efficient use of funds are being achieved.
As a result of Maine’s foresight and the wisdom of its citizens in preserving the reorganization law, the state is three years ahead of other states which are scrambling to catch up with Maine, which is much better prepared to face current economic uncertainties.
Success on the Ground – Savings and Educational Opportunities
In the first three years of the reorganization implementation, most of the reorganized school systems were heavily engaged in academic and administrative planning, strategic planning and curriculum alignment work.
Many of these reorganized school systems – which enroll over 67,000 students, have expanded educational opportunities to the students in their region. Along the way, they have also shown significant savings, even when taking into consideration the startup costs.
School systems seeking to stand alone were required to file Alternative Plans and were required to show that they could sustain educational programming. Every district, regardless of size, must demonstrate savings and those reductions in funding for system administration will not affect classroom instruction. These districts range significantly in enrollment and geographic make-up, reflecting the flexibility built into the law.
Over 176,000 Maine students – over 94 percent of all public school students – are in 108 school districts that conform with the reorganization law. By July 1, 2011, fewer than six percent of all students will be in non-conforming districts, as additional districts have voted to reorganize on that date. The number of school administrative units has dropped by over one-third – from 290 to 164.
- Statewide and local savings. By requiring efficiencies in non-classroom functions through the funding formula, the state is able to reduce annual commitments by $36 million and reduce the local obligation by $30 million annually.
- District-level savings. Individual districts are finding significant savings. Four districts alone generated combined savings over $2 million in their first year, even with start-up costs. Nearly every RSU that has met with the Department indicates they are either saving money already or expect to shortly. The greatest savings are being achieved in the central office, transportation, contracted services, purchasing, and maintenance. All say sustainability of educational programs without these savings would be extremely difficult or impossible.
- Extremely varied school system configurations and sizes, reflecting the flexibility built into the law. For example, “stand-alone” units range in size from about 1,000 students to over 7,000; there are RSUs and AOSs ranging from small groupings of two to three communities to wide geographic areas; they are in southern, western, northern and eastern Maine.
- Utilization of space. By assessing and reconfiguring, several units have reported more efficient and effective use of their buildings.
- Fiscally prepared. Reorganized units were better prepared to plan for current budgetary constraints.
As a result of the reorganization law, Maine is better prepared to meet the current economic and educational reform challenges facing our state and the country. Because of the local planning required under the law, districts are better able to diversify and expand their educational programs, ensuring all of their students have equal opportunities for success. Our goal is to give every student in the state those same opportunities.
Read a complete narrative describing the current status of reorganization
Procedures for Withdrawal from a Regional School Unit
Map of Maine School Administrative Units
11 x 17 in PDF | 11 x 17 in JPG
and Current School Systems - Updated August 2, 2012
For purposes of converting school cancellation and other systems
Reorganization status of all school systems
Includes links to reorganization and alternative plans
Summary of the reorganization law
Explanation of Alternative Organizational Structures