Legislation

Current Critical Legislative Issues and Updates

 

Each year, there are a number of legislative issues that require our attention. Always be prepared to take action on an issue of importance to homeschoolers! Read our Legislative Information page to become acquainted with the Maine Legislature and the legislative process in our state.

 

To stay informed of any threat to homeschool freedoms, sign up to receive HOME Email Updates!

 

Be ready to contact current Maine Education and Cultural Affairs Committee Members, your area's Senators and Representatives, or other legislative committee members, as needed, on Maine legislative issues of importance to homeschoolers. 

 

  • Members of the Maine Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and their contact information are listed here.
  • In addition, you can text your US postal code to (520)200-2223, and you will receive a text back with the phone numbers of your area's state and federal representatives and senators. Save them in your phone.
  • Submit testimony on a bill here. 
  • Watch a public hearing here.

2021 Maine Legislative Watch

WATCH 

LD 96  An Act To Create Fairness in the Treatment of Students by Retaining Students with Certain Vaccine Exemptions

 

Current law allows a student covered by an individualized education plan who elected

a philosophical or religious exemption from immunization on or before September 1, 2021

to continue to attend school after September 1, 2021 without being immunized as long as

certain statements regarding acknowledgement of the risks and benefits associated with the

choice to immunize are provided.

 

This bill extends that exemption to any student who elected a philosophical or religious

exemption from immunization on or before September 1, 2021.  

 

Follow the Status of this bill. 

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

SUPPORT

LD 156  An Act To Promote School Attendance by Exempting Virtual Public Charter School and Private School Students from Immunization Requirements

 

This bill exempts children who are enrolled in or attend a virtual public charter school

or a private school from the requirement that a child must have evidence of immunization

to be enrolled in or attend school. The bill also provides that the Legislature is required to

enact laws that are necessary to assure that all school administrative units make suitable

provisions for the support and maintenance of public schools and the education of every

person within the age limits prescribed by statute who resides in the school administrative

unit.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will support this bill. 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 247  An Act To Improve Maine's Education System

 

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill proposes to enact measures to improve kindergarten to grade 12 education.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: To be determined. 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 255  An Act To Ensure Student Success

 

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill would make changes to the law to help ensure the success of students.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: To be determined. 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 261  Resolve, Directing the Department of Education To Study Truancy Trends in the State and Develop Recommendations for Increasing Student Attendance and Reducing Truancy

 

This resolve directs the Department of Education to conduct a study on truancy trends in the State and develop recommendations for supporting school administrative units in increasing student attendance and reducing truancy and to submit a report with suggested legislation by January 4, 2022 to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, which may submit legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 130th Legislature.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill. 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 277  An Act To Discontinue the Use of the SAT in Maine Schools

 

This bill prohibits the Commissioner of Education from including the use of the SAT as a method for assessing student performance in the state assessment program. It also directs the Department of Education to develop an alternate method to replace the SAT.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill. 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 380  An Act To Change the Statutory Cap on Virtual Public Charter School Enrollment

 

This bill changes the maximum total enrollment at all virtual public charter schools from 1,000 students to 2% of the total statewide enrollment for the grade levels served by the virtual public charter schools.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 386  An Act To Improve Operations at the Department of Education

 

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208. This bill would correct problems at the Department of Education.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 430  An Act To Provide for School Choice and Online Learning Opportunities in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

This bill removes the limits on virtual public charter school enrollment and the number of public charter schools that may operate. It also removes the prohibition on the expansion of a virtual public charter school to serve a grade level not included in the school's charter contract.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 683  An Act To Allow Maine Nonprofit Corporations To Hold Meetings Electronically

 

This bill allows the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation to adopt guidelines and procedures for remote meetings or to allow members to participate remotely.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 762  An Act To Clarify the Response to Truancy under the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act

 

This bill amends definitions in the Child and Family Services and Child Protection Act to update cross-references and to ensure the Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to intervene in situations involving truancy under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

SUPPORT

LD 833 An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Vaccines by Reinstating Religious Exemptions

 

Public Law 2019, chapter 154 removes the exemption from immunization requirements based on religious belief for students in elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools and employees of nursery schools and certain health care facilities.  This bill reinstates the religious exemption.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

WATCH

LD 1082  An Act To Improve Educational Opportunities by Exempting Children Who Attend Virtual Public Charter Schools from Immunization Requirements and Expanding Enrollment at Virtual Public Charter Schools

 

This bill increases the total enrollment at virtual public charter schools authorized by the Maine Charter School Commission from 1,000 at all virtual public charter schools to 1,500 at a virtual public charter school.  It allows a virtual public charter school to expand to serve grade levels beyond the grade levels under the school's initial or renewed charter contract to include grade levels 5 and 6.  It exempts children who are enrolled in or attend a virtual public charter school from immunization requirements.  It also allows the Maine Charter School Commission to adopt safety protocols for physical attendance by such children at any class or school program.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be monitoring this bill.

 

Further Information

ACTION NEEDED: None at this time.

 

AMEND

LD 1343  An Act To Create Education Choices by Creating Education Savings Accounts for Maine Students

 

This bill directs the Treasurer of State to establish education savings accounts that may be used by the parents or legal guardians of children to pay for the education of their children outside of the public school system, including homeschooling, or in a public school that is outside of the school administrative unit in which the child resides. The funding for these savings accounts comes from shifting 90% of the essential programs and services funding that would otherwise be provided by the State and by the school administrative unit for each child into a savings account. The bill specifies what educational expenditures are permitted and provides for review of spending from the accounts.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be opposing this bill as currently written and requesting that homeschoolers be removed from the bill to protect the integrity and efficacy of private home education. 

 

Further Information

HOME opposes publicly funded homeschooling. Learn more here.

 

ACTION NEEDED: Contact the Education Committee and ask them to remove homeschoolers from the bill. 

 

AMEND

LD 1426  An Act To Provide for the Equitable Funding of Education Chosen by Maine Families

 

This bill requires each school administrative unit to calculate the per-pupil tuition costs for elementary and secondary students who reside in that school administrative unit and provide no more than that amount to a student who resides in but does not attend public school in that school administrative unit and who incurs education costs, such as for attendance at a private school or educational cooperative, for a tutor or for costs associated with homeschooling. This bill also repeals the restriction in current law on providing public school funds to sectarian schools.

 

Follow the Status of this bill.

 

Position: HOME will be opposing this bill as currently written and requesting that homeschoolers be removed from the bill to protect the integrity and efficacy of private home education. 

 

Further Information

HOME opposes publicly funded homeschooling. Learn more here.

 

ACTION NEEDED: Contact the Education Committee and ask them to remove homeschoolers from the bill. 

 

2021 Federal Legislative Watch

For more information on current federal issues of concern, please visit HSLDA.