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Rockland area school district to meet with local legislators

By Stephen Betts | Jan 18, 2021

Rockland — The Rockland area school board is scheduled hold an online meeting Thursday, Jan. 21, with local legislators concerning education-related issues.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. that evening.

State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden; Rep. Valli Geiger, D-Rockland and Rep. Ann Matlack, D-St. George have been invited to participate in the district that educates students in Rockland, Thomaston, Owls Head, South Thomaston and Cushing.

One issue that has been raised for years by RSU 13 officials is the lack of state education aid. For example, RSU 13 which has 1,634 students, is receiving $5.3 million in state aid for the 2020-2021 school year. This is less than 17% of the district's overall budget of $32.1 million.

The RSU 3 district based in Unity has 1,230 students yet will receive $7.7 million for 2020-2021 from the state. This amounts to about 37% of its budget.

RSU 71 based in Belfast has 1,538 students and is receiving $9.3 million for 2020-2021 about 33% of its overall budget.

Rockland area school officials maintain the state funding formula needs to be changed to take into account median incomes of communities rather than property values as it is currently designed. The current system tends to benefit inland communities because coastal communities have higher property values and thus receive less state aid.

The school board will also discuss its strategic plan at the Jan. 21 meeting.



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Comments (1)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jan 18, 2021 09:14

There is another ongoing issue with school education funding that is rarely talked about and that is a district's never ending thirst for spending.  New buildings, more personel more administration, no matter how much the State gives the district can always spend more.  The other districts mentioned in this story both receive more money, yet the State's piece represents only a third of their total spending.  Why not ask the State to pay "per Student" that way the distribution would be more equal and taxpayers should also NOT allow districts to spend above 50% of that figure.  We simply need to place a cap on spending, because public administrators just can't get enough of this drug "spending someone else's money"

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