Maine School Legislation Update

We hope that you are enjoying the summer “break” and finding some time to enjoy the best of what Maine has to offer. As you all are aware, the Maine Legislature had a rather busy session and there are a number of new laws that have already taken effect, or will be taking effect later this summer, on August 8th. There are a host of changes of which school leaders should be mindful, including but not limited to the following:

Legislation Impacting Labor Negotiations / Compensation / Leave / Settlement Agreements –

  • LD 225 – An Act Regarding the Treatment of Vacation Time upon Cessation of Employment (requiring non-public employers to begin paying accrued, unused vacation upon termination of employment beginning on January 1, 2023)
  • LD 449 – An Act To Strengthen the Ability of Public Employers and Teachers’ Unions To Negotiate (requiring school boards to meet with teachers unions during the term of a collective bargaining agreement even though the contract may contain a zipper clause)
  • LD 610 – An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Employer Recovery of Overcompensation Paid to an Employee (reducing the amount that can be recovered from an employee’s paycheck when the employee has been overcompensated)
  • LD 912 – An Act To Extend Family Medical Leave to Hourly School Employees (allowing hourly employees to access family medical leave benefits if they have worked at least 900 hours in the prior 12 months)
  • LD 775 – An Act To Include within the Definitions of “Public Employee” and “Judicial Employee” Those Who Have Been Employed for Less Than 6 Months (eliminating the waiting period before most school employees become “public employees” covered by collective bargaining laws)
  • LD 965 – An Act Concerning Nondisclosure Agreements in Employment (creating new restrictions on separation agreements)
  • LD 1716 – An Act To Ensure Full Payment of the State’s Salary Supplement Obligation to Teachers with National Board Certification (eliminating the cap on the amount of funds the state can issue to meet national board certification salary requirements)
  • LD 1780 – An Act To Allow Unorganized Territory School Staff To Receive Annualized Pay (permitting staff in the unorganized territory to average their compensation)
  • LD 1823 – An Act To Amend the Enforcement Provisions of the Law Governing Earned Paid Leave (permitting a school and union to agree to use both the existing Department of Labor process as well as the CBA’s grievance process to resolve disputes regarding EPL)
  • LD 1874 – An Act To Clarify COVID-19 Paid Leave for School Employees (requiring schools to provide each school employee with 15 paid leave days for COVID-19 related reasons to be used during their employment, except where the employee already has more than 60 days of accrued paid leave)

Legislation Impacting School Curriculum / School Reorganization –

  • LD 176 – An Act to Facilitate a Grade 9 to 16 School Project (creating a new “MidMaine Community School District”)
  • LD 177 – An Act to Support Apprenticeship Programs (authorizing funding for apprenticeship programs)
  • LD 1389 – An Act To Improve Maritime Education in Maine (the Maine Ocean School will transition from a magnet school to an educational program-based model school focused on marine-related science)
  • LD 1802 – An Act To Amend the Requirements of the Reorganization Plan for the Formation of Regional School Units (allowing schools to form RSUs to serve students grades K-8 and contract for grades 9-12 and/or to form schools that serve grades 9-12 while students K-8 receive education from a separate school administrative units)
  • LD 1962 – An Act To Increase Potential by Providing Innovative Instruction and Tutoring Program Grants (creating a grant fund for school units who develop innovative instruction and tutoring programs)

Legislation Impacting Student or Employee Rights –

  • LD 598 – An Act To Prohibit Discrimination in Employment and School Based on Hair Texture or Hairstyle (redefining the term race to include traits associated with race, including hairstyles)
  • LD 1679 – An Act Regarding Expanding Access to Free School Meals (requiring schools to accept information submitted through an online application)
  • LD 1786 – An Act To Maintain Consistency among Maine’s Nondiscrimination Statutes (modifying various provisions of the MHRA to prohibit discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, age or familial status)
  • LD 1845 – An Act To Amend the Education Statutes (updating a number of outdated references, modifying school diploma requirements, and modifying some state funding requirements)

Legislation Regarding Safety Programs –

  • LD 1861 – An Act To Establish the Safe Homes Program (establishing a fund for a program intended to educate citizens about the safe storage of prescription drugs, firearms, and dangerous weapons in homes and public spaces)
  • LD 1870 – An Act Regarding the Maine School Safety Center (specifying the purposes of the Maine School Safety Center and requiring the center to provide certain safety-related services to schools)

Legislation Impacting School Transportation Services –

  • LD 1579 – An Act To Transition State and Local Motor Vehicle Fleets to Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles and Zero-emission Vehicles (setting a goal of having school bus purchases, contracts and leases result in 75% of annual school bus acquisitions being zero-emission vehicles by 2035)
  • LD 1990 – An Act Allowing Electric-powered School Buses To Have Distinctively Colored Bumpers, Wheels and Rub Rails and Allowing Public Service Vehicles To Be Equipped with a Flashing Green Auxiliary Light (allowing electric-powered school buses to keep the bumper the same color applied by the manufacturer)

Legislation Impacting the Freedom of Access Act –

  • LD 1971 – An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning Remote Participation (permitting public boards without remote meeting policies to hold emergency, remote meetings to adopt a remote participation policy where an urgent issue exists that prevents the board from meeting in person)
  • LD 1772 – An Act To Amend the Remote Meeting Law in Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (amending the remote meeting law to allow boards to limit public attendance to remote-only attendance where there is an emergency or urgent situation that requires the board to meet using remote-only methods and applying any remote meeting policy of the board to the board’s committees in the absence of a committee-specific policy)

We are planning a virtual conference on the morning of Friday, August 26th, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. to review the new laws, explain their importance, and answer your questions. Please mark your calendars, and we hope to see you there!


Join Our Mailing List