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Stand Up for Students

School Budgets Could Receive a Reprieve

As school districts around the state prepare budgets for the next school year many are faced with less funding than in years past. In fact, according to figures from the Department of Education, the State is spending the exact same amount of money, 983 million statewide in 2015-16, on direct classroom funding this school year as it did seven years ago. As the State continues to fail to fund schools properly, as voters demanded more than a decade ago, school districts are preparing for local budget battles where more cuts to school funding will occur because of the continued lack of state funding.

If schools were to receive additional funding to help meet the 55% funding mandate, as would be provided in a new ballot initiative known as Stand Up for Students, the budget conversation in each community would be much different. The Stand Up for Students ballot initiative brings tax fairness back into Maine by creating a 3% surcharge on households with income greater than $200,000 with the proceeds to be used toward funding Prek-12 public education. The ballot initiative would generate an additional $157 million for public schools statewide, with the money to be used for direct classroom instruction benefiting Maine’s 180,000 students. The surcharge impacts just 2% of the entire Maine population.

The Stand Up for Students Ballot initiative will help the state reach the 55% funding level voters mandated in 2004, easing local budget burdens. Below are examples in selected districts of what the district’s increase in state contribution would be if the state was funding at the required 55% level for the 2016-17 school year.

Increase to State Contribution to 55% in 2016-17 School Year:
Bangor: $3,943,149
Brunswick: $3,082,637
Ellsworth: $1,523,166
Hermon: $777,112
Lewiston: $4,001,889
Madawaska: $493,054
Scarborough: $5,204,112
South Portland: $5,193,244
Winthrop: $947,801
RSU 79: $1,361,589
Portland: $11,296,967

Learn how this initiative helps Maine achieve 55% school funding and eases local budget burdens click here.

See the full school funding facts.

Learn More Here

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MEA Benefits Trust

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