The Maine Department of Education is committed to providing guidance and support to our schools, educators, and leaders through a network of nine Education Service Centers located throughout the State. Education Service Centers provide support to member School Administrative Units to improve educational services, increase student achievement, provide resources, and create efficiencies through partnerships.
Education Service Centers (ESCs) are member-owned organizations established and operated for the purposes of developing, managing, and providing services to its member units. The services offered by each ESC, as well as those utilized by its members, are at the discretion of the membership and its board of directors. Title 20-A MRS Chapter 123 was enacted into law in 2018 as a set of provisions specifically for the development of Education Service Centers. Education Service Centers are operated by members for members to provide support that will improve opportunity and access for Maine students by economizing on and maximizing educational services.
To view current Education Service Centers by location, click on the Education Service Center Interactive Map.
Information on Education Service Centers
- Title 20-A MRS Chapter 123: Education Service Centers
- Education Service Center Q & A Our most frequently asked questions and Maine DOE's responses. This will be updated as necessary - last update 3/18/2019.
Application and Approval Cycle
School Administrative groups are encouraged to proceed at your own pace as you plan for and develop an application for a new Education Service Center. The ESC application cycle is ongoing, however there are two deadlines that must be met during the approval process.
Proposed school administrative unit members of a new education service center must receive voter approval of the Interlocal Agreement by November 30 of the year prior to which the education service center will become operational on July 1.
For example, if a referendum vote to approve the Interlocal Agreement is held by November 30, 2019, the operational date of the new education service center will be July 1, 2020 (FY 21). However, if a referendum vote to approve the Interlocal Agreement is held after November 30, 2019, the operational date of the new education service center cannot be until July 1, 2021 (FY 22).
Becoming a member of an existing Education Service Center
Each Education Service Center (ESC) is governed by a unique Interlocal Agreement that specifies how new members join the ESC. Follow this link to learn about the timeline.
- Online Application Part I
- Application Part I - as a Word document for downloading and using as a working draft (240KB) - Completed application must be submitted through the online application portal.
- Online Application Part II
- Application Part II - as a Word document for downloading and using as a working draft (24KB) - Completed application must be submitted through the online application portal.
Facilitators and Legal Cost Reimbursement
Up to $3,000 is available per regional group to assist with the cost of funding facilitation and legal services. SAUs can request these funds by sending an email to Deb Lajoie.
Facilitators are available to provide technical assistance and guidance to regional groups during the process of planning and developing regional project applications and proposals.
- Facilitator Request Form - Use this online form to request a facilitator.
- Roster of Facilitators - The facilitators on this list participated in the Department's orientation and training session. Additional facilitators will be trained at the Department's discretion.
To request reimbursement for facilitator fees:
- Submit an invoice on district letterhead to Deb Lajoie, by email
- Invoice template (Excel)
- Attach an itemized invoice from your facilitator
- Attach monthly status report
Costs for legal services related to the development of a regional project proposal are reimbursable by the Department of Education. The request for reimbursement must be made by the SAU who holds the contract for facilitation and legal cost reimbursement on behalf of the project applicants.
To request reimbursement for legal costs: