The superintendent of a school administrative unit is responsible for certifying the residency of students to the State Department of Education. The superintendent does this biannually when he/she signs their school administrative unit’s (SAU’s) October 1st EPS Report Certification.
State statute (20-A MRSA Section 5202) indicates that a student is entitled to attend school in the municipality where the student’s parent (or legal guardian) lives, unless the student is 18 or an emancipated minor – then it is municipality where the student lives.
Common items used to determine a parent’s residence:
- Current tax bill or rent receipt
- Current vehicle registration
- Current voter registration
- Divorce decree – may assign the child(s) primary/permanent residence
- Current utility bills
Shared Custody in divorce:
In cases that the divorce decree does not assign primary/permanent residence, and parents have shared custody, either parent’s residence may be considered the student’s residence. If more than one SAU is involved then the two superintendents need to jointly determine the residence of the students and/or may request this information from the parents (both parents should agree to the student’s residence).
Students in Public Charter Schools:
If an SAU receives a notice from a public charter school (Rules Ch. 140) of the intent of a student to enroll in the public charter school and the SAU has determined (using the information above) that the student is not a resident of the SAU, the SAU should first contact the public charter school notifying them that the student is not a resident of the SAU, with any supporting information. The charter school should review its determination of resident SAU.
Enrollment of Students in Schools:
For publicly funded students, the student’s “attending” school (SAU school, public charter school or private school) enters the student’s enrollment in the State student information system (SIS) and indicates the resident municipality and the resident SAU.