School Funding - General Purpose Aid (GPA)

School funding in Maine is based on essential programs and services (EPS), which are defined as the programs and resources that are essential for students to have an equitable opportunity to achieve Maine's Learning Results. The EPS formula determines both the state and local share of funding needed for each School Administrative Unit (SAU) to have Essential Programs and Services. The funding formula is designed to respond to student needs and is based on years of research and information gleaned from high performing, cost-effective school units. 

State and Local Share: 

Maine’s funding formula calculates the share of the costs of PreK-12 education between State and Local: 

The determined Essential Programs and Services for the SAU (minus) the required Local Share* of those costs (equals) the State Share. 

*Many local units raise above and beyond what the state requires for local share. 

Key Operating Cost Components to Determine EPS: 

  • Student Demographics (School Administrative Unit (SAU) Pupil Counts for PreK-K, 1-5, 6-8, 9-12 and Specialized Student Populations) 

  • EPS Per Pupil Rate for Each SAU (Per Pupil Amounts Tailored for Each Unit Which Reflect Costs for Personnel, Administration, & Instructional Support) 

  • Weighted Amounts (Additional Per Pupil Amounts for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and Economically Disadvantaged Pupils) 

  • Targeted Amounts (Additional Per Pupil Amounts for 4YO/PreK Pupils, K-2 Pupils, Student Assessment, and Technology Resources) 

  • Other Adjustments (Isolated Small Schools, Adult Education, and Equivalent Instruction) 

Key Factors in Determining Required Local Share: 

  • Valuation by town as provided by the Maine Revenue Service each year, which determines ability to pay 

  • Percentage of students by town within a combined district, used to determine distribution of Total Allocation by Town 

  • Mil Expectation set by calculated recommended funding level each year