The Claim: “[W]e made the largest investment in education in Maine’s history, putting the state’s share of funding for local public schools at 55 percent.”
You may have received a mailer from your state senator making claims about the last legislative session. Is it accurate and honest? See below for the fact check on this piece.
The Mailer: An official State Senate Legislative Update of Scott Cyrway
Towns: Albion, Benton, Clinton, Fairfield, Unity Twp., Waterville, and Winslow.
The state has never met the obligation to fund schools at 55% as passed by voters in 2003 and 2004, and later affirmed with the passage of Question 2 in 2016.
In July of 2017, Senator Cyrway voted for a state budget that overturned the ballot initiative passed by voters to tax the wealthiest 2 percent of Mainers in order to fully fund our schools. The state budget did NOT fund 55% of the cost of public schools as required by the voters and state law. Instead, the state budget provided 48.17% of the cost of public education – not the 55% as required.
On page 632 of the state budget, you can see the state is only funding 49.14% of the cost of public schools for fiscal year 2017-2018 and 50.14% for fiscal year 2018-2019.
Here is the exact language from the state budget:
“(13) For fiscal year 2017-18, the target is 49.14%. (14) For fiscal year 2018-19, the target is 50.14%”
This section of the law can be found on page 631-632 of the state budget.