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Updated: March 1, 2013
Major Capital School Construction
PROGRAM: Beginning in 1999, the Maine State Board of Education modified the Major Capital School Construction Program for State subsidized major school construction and renovation. Under the present legislation and State Board of Education rule, school systems seeking State subsidized construction projects periodically apply to the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) for a major capital school construction project. A team from the MDOE reviews the applications and conducts a site visit to each applicant’s school district.
Following the site visit, the team rates each potential project. The ratings are done from a matrix developed by rule and adopted by the State Board of Education. The MDOE then creates a list of projects in decreasing order from the project with the greatest need followed by projects with lesser needs in descending order. The Commissioner of the Department of Education presents the list to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education funds as many projects from the list as available debt limit funds allow.
The MDOE working in concert with the State Board of Education establishes both size and financial limits on projects. Local school units may exceed these limits at local expense. Under current state school subsidy formulas, the State bears the major financial burden of capital costs in most school units in Maine. In seeking solutions to educational facility issues, the MDOE first looks to the possibility of renovations or renovations with additions. New school construction projects are only considered in those instances where renovation projects are not economically or educationally feasible. It should be noted that some school units in Maine have opted to finance capital projects at the local level without the assistance of State subsidy. This option remains open to all school units in Maine.
For a more detailed explanation, refer to State Board of Education rules Chapter 61 – “State Board of Education Rules for Major Capital School Construction Projects.” (effective May 25, 2012)
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