administrative unit shall obtain initial approval from the Commissioner prior
to opening a new school.
1. A school
administrative unit seeking initial approval status for any school shall make
this intention known to the Commissioner in writing as soon as possible prior
to the initial opening. School units that have received school construction
approval from the State Board of Education shall be deemed to have met this
2. Prior to the
initial opening, the facility shall complete any local code enforcement
requirements and be approved for safety by the State Fire Marshal or local
municipal fire department official, and certified as sanitary by the Department
of Health and Human Services.
For a new school administrative unit or other public school, adoption of a
proposed Comprehensive Education Plan shall be on the agenda of at least one
meeting of the school board. The school board shall invite participation and
discussion of the Plan by parents, citizens, staff, and students. After
receiving comments on the proposed Plan, the school board shall review the
proposal, make any modifications deemed appropriate, and adopt a final
Comprehensive Education Plan prior to the initial opening.
B. Initial approval status shall be awarded
when the Commissioner determines that the school is likely to comply with all
weeks after student occupancy, representatives of the Commissioner may visit
the school while it is in session to determine if all applicable school
approval standards are being met.
school approval standards are not being met, initial approval status shall
continue until compliance is demonstrated or until the end of the school year,
whichever is the earlier date.
Upon obtaining final approval by the Commissioner, the school administrative
unit shall be entitled to operate the school and to receive state subsidy aid
to which it is otherwise entitled.
A. A school that is determined by the
Commissioner not to comply with applicable school approval standards shall be
placed on provisional approval. Failure to submit School Approval Reports,
other than financial reports, in a timely manner and in accordance with this
rule, shall result in provisional approval status. Failure to submit financial
reports in a timely manner shall result in a withholding of state subsidy in
accordance with Section 7.03. B.
When placing a school on provisional approval status, the Commissioner shall
take the following actions:
Commissioner shall notify, in writing, the superintendent responsible for any
schools placed on provisional approval status and shall include a statement of
the reasons for provisional approval status.
2. Representatives of the Commissioner shall
meet with the superintendent and shall determine a reasonable deadline for
achieving compliance with school approval standards.
3. A school or school administrative unit on
provisional approval status shall be required to file with the Commissioner an
acceptable written plan of corrective action as part of the Comprehensive
Education Plan. The Commissioner may assign a school assistance team in
accordance with Maine Department of Education Regulation 127.
4. Failure to file a required plan of
corrective action shall result in enforcement action by the Commissioner,
pursuant to Section 7.03 of this rule.
C. The Commissioner shall restore full
approval status upon the Commissioner's determination of compliance with school
of Failure to Comply
The Commissioner shall give written notice of pending
enforcement action to the superintendent of any school or school administrative
unit that fails to comply with school approval standards by the established
deadlines in statute or in the plan of corrective action established in Section
7.02. B.3. Such notice shall include a statement of the laws and regulations
with which the school or school administrative unit fails to comply. School
administrative units failing to comply with school approval standards shall be
given notice and the opportunity for a hearing.
The Commissioner may impose the following penalties on
schools or school administrative units until compliance is achieved:
1. Withhold state subsidy and other state
funds from the school or school administrative unit;
2. Refer the matter to the Attorney General,
who may seek injunctive relief to enjoin activities not in compliance with the
governing statute or seek any other remedy authorized by law; or
3. Employ other penalties authorized in
statute or authorized/required by federal law.