School Reorganization, Anyone? Regionalization Redux

Volume 30, No. 2

Regional Service Centers: What’s the (State Subsidy) Deal?
In the closing hours of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers enacted a budget bill that included many important changes to Maine school law, including a new form of organizing and delivering services to schools. The amended law authorizes and provides financial incentives for school units to enter into interlocal agreements to regionalize school services by forming and becoming members of school management and leadership centers, known as Regional Service Centers (“RSCs”). Those financial incentives, in short, are: (1) state subsidy for school units that join and purchase services from an RSC; (2) direct state funding to the RSC; and (3) start-up funding to cover the costs of legal and facilitation services associated with forming an RSC.

At the time the law was passed, it appeared that two separate forms of state subsidy would be available to those school units that purchase services from RSCs:  (1) a targeted per-pupil system administration allocation of $46 in FY 2019 and $94 in FY 2020; and (2) an RSC allocation based on the school unit’s subsidizable pupil count and a statewide RSC per pupil rate calculated by the Commissioner of Education. Since then, however, the Commissioner has indicated…To continue reading, visit

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