Funded: Charters

A Detailed Look at Each State's Charter School Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Maine
Funding Basics
Authorizer

Charter funding policies and reporting practices within each state may vary depending on the entity that authorized the charter school. Charter schools in Maine may be authorized by local school districts, the State Charter School Commission, or other entities, such as a collaborative of local school districts.

References:
“Charter Schools: What organizations may authorize charter schools, and is there a statewide authorizing body?” Education Commission of the States, 50-State Comparison, January 2018. 
Funding Formula

Funding for charter schools in Maine is calculated based on a formula similar to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded through a formula that considers the characteristics of students they educate and the cost of the resources required to deliver an education to these students. Charter schools in Maine receive a base funding amount and increased funding for students from low-income households, English-language learners, and other student characteristics. Base costs vary in Maine by district, depending on the cost of resources in the district’s geographic region. Charters are usually funded using the base cost of their students’ district of residence, and for charter schools that serve students from more than one district of residence, the base cost is calculated based on the share of students that come from each district.

In addition, charter schools also receive program-specific allocations for any gifted and talented students and students with disabilities they serve.

References:
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 15683-B
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2413
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2413-A
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Charter schools in Maine receive all funding directly from the state.

References:
pers. comm. Tyler Backus, Maine Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018.
Withholdings

Charter schools in Maine will have a share of their funding withheld, with the maximum set by state law.

Entities that authorize charter schools in Maine may charge up to 3% of the charter’s funding to cover the costs of authorizing and overseeing charter schools. For charter schools that are authorized by local school districts, the students’ district(s) of residence may additionally retain 1% of the charter’s funding for administrative costs.

References:
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 15683-B (Lexis 2019)
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2405 (Lexis 2019)
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2413 (Lexis 2019)
Local Taxes

Charter schools in Maine do not receive a share of local tax revenue.

References:
pers. comm. Tyler Backus, Maine Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018.
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

Charter schools in Maine constitute their own local education agencies.

References:
pers. comm. Tyler Backus, Maine Department of Education, email, October 1, 2018.
Student Count

Charter school students in Maine are counted as students of the charter they attend for state reporting purposes.

References:
pers. comm. Tyler Backus, Maine Department of Education, email, October 15, 2018
Funding

State funding for some charter schools in Maine is reported separately while state funding for other charter schools is reported as part of state funding for the school district where the charter school is located.

State funding for charter schools authorized by the state are reported separately from state funding for any district. State funding for charter schools that are authorized by a local school district are reported as part of funding for the school district to which the charter school belongs.

References:
pers. comm. Tyler Backus, Maine Department of Education, email, October 15, 2018.
Expenditures

For some charter schools in Maine, expenditures are reported separately while for other charter schools, charter expenditures are reported as part of expenditures of the school district where the charter school is located.

For charter schools authorized by the state, charter expenditures are reported separately from expenditures of any school district. For charter schools that are authorized by a local school district, charter expenditures are included in expenditures for the school district that authorized the charter school.

References:
pers. comm. Tyler Backus, Maine Department of Education, email, October 15, 2018.