Maine local initiative and referendum law
School District Reorganization
School District reorganization has been mandated by law. The current law was enacted and signed on April 18th, 2008. You can read the entire text of the law at PUBLIC Law, Chapter 668, An Act To Remove Barriers to the Reorganization of School Administrative Units
All current school districts must create a committee to facilitate merging with other districts, adopt and submit a plan to the state, and after approval by the state hold a local referendum vote on their plan. The3 current 285 districts must by law be reduced to 80 new districts by January 2009. Existing districts which do not comply will not receive state education funds. $43 million in state education funds may be with held in penalties for non compliance.
Timeline for January 30, 2009, Referendum
This timeline is made possible by changes resulting from enactment of LD 2323 on April 18, 2008. Prior to passage of LD 2323, November 4, 2008, was the latest date allowed by law for referendum.
November 15 , 2008* - Regional Planning Committees - Last date for Reorganization Plan to be submitted to Department of Education in order to meet the January 30, 2009, referendum date
December 15, 2008 - Municipal officers of town meeting municipal school units & CSD Member towns - Deadline for Order with wording of ballot article to be filed with the town clerk
December 28, 2008* - School boards of SADs and CSDs - Deadline to sign election warrants
December 29, 2008 - CSD & SAD Member towns - Deadline for delivery of absentee ballots and election warrants to town clerks
December 29 , 2008 - Town meeting municipal school units - Deadline for Absentee ballots to be made available
January 20 , 2009 - Town meeting municipal school units and CSDs - Last day for public hearing on referendum article (notice of public hearing must be posted 7 days prior)
January 23, 2009 - SAD Member Towns - Last date for public hearing on referendum article
January 23 , 2009 - Town meeting municipal school units member towns in CSDs and SADs - Deadline for posting warrants
January 30 , 2009 - Referendum date
- Check School District Reorganization News for daily updates on local school districts.
A veto referendum to appeal the current law is circulating for signatures to be added to the state 2009 ballot. See An Act to Repeal the School District Consolidation Laws for more information