4 Upcoming Public Preschool Bills (updated 5/14/19)

Update: LD 1043 was the Public Pre-K bill that moved forward. Following public hearing 5/6/19 LD 1043 was voted: OTP -AM. Workshop session has not been scheduled as of this posting.


Let’s look briefly at these 4 bills………

LD 1043 changes the start date to 2020/21 school year for all school administrative units to have public preschool programs for children 4 years old. It requires The Department of Education (DOE) will be required to include in their recommendations: the standards that public preschool programs must meet; the process for approval of partnership with community-based early childhood programs; and levels of funding for public preschool programs.

FCCAM is submitting written testimony on LD 1043 separately from the other bills. We are in support of this bill. We believe all children deserve access to quality early childhood education. We are encouraging that DOE and individual school districts look for creative solutions to offering public preschool through partnering with community-based ece programs like Head-Start, centers and family child care. We also feel that part of this is per pupil payment not classroom payment.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: Wednesday, May 1st

The first of these 4 bills that have something to do with Public Preschool will have a public hearing in the morning session at 9 AM.

LD 712 An Act To Fully Fund After-school and Preschool Programs in the School Funding Formula, Increase the Economically Disadvantaged Student Factor in the School Funding Formula and Increase the School Construction Debt Service Limit
Lead Sponsor: Representative Michael Brennan

The remaining 3 bills will have their public hearings during the afternoon session that starts at 1 PM.

LD 468An Act To Require That the State Fund on an Ongoing Basis a Minimum of 50 Percent of the Costs Associated with Public Preschool Programs
Lead Sponsor: Representative Richard Farnsworth

LD 1428An Act To Require the State To Fund 50 Percent of Public Preschool Programs
Lead Sponsor: Senator Rebecca Millett

LD 1043An Act To Establish Universal Public Preschool Programs
Lead Sponsor: Representative Victoria Kornfield

Let’s look briefly at these 4 bills………

LD 1043 changes the start date to 2020/21 school year for all school administrative units to have public preschool programs for children 4 years old. It requires The Department of Education (DOE) will be required to include in their recommendations: the standards that public preschool programs must meet; the process for approval of partnership with community-based early childhood programs; and levels of funding for public preschool programs.

FCCAM is submitting written testimony on LD 1043 separately from the other bills. We are in support of this bill. We believe all children deserve access to quality early childhood education. We are encouraging that DOE and individual school districts look for creative solutions to offering public preschool through partnering with community-based ece programs like Head-Start, centers and family child care. We also feel that part of this is per pupil payment not classroom payment.

LD 712, 1428, and 468, all have to do with funding. LD 468 requires ongoing funding at 50% for public preschool. LD 1428 saying that if funds for essential programs and services do not provide the funding necessary to reach the minimum of 50%, the State is directed to use other funding sources. LD 712 increases funding for economically disadvantaged students, include after-school programs, and raises the maximum debt limit for school construction projects.

FCCAM is writing 1 letter of support for all 3 of these funding bills. (We will be submitting the same letter twice, because of the split in morning and afternoon hearings and the structure of the online submission process.) If Maine is going to have public preschool than it needs to be adequately and equally funded. This funding also needs to be ongoing. We know that the positive return on monies invested in early childhood education is significant. Using tax dollars to invest in public preschool, means needing a mixed delivery system offering quality programs that will meet the needs of all Maine’s 4 year olds.


We encourage you to write testimony on any of these bills. Not sure writing testimony? Check out this previous post.


Maine now requires submission of written testimony be online. The process is pretty easy. Click on committee, date of hearing then bill(s). Then add testimony into the text box. To be sure you do not lose your work we suggest to add testimony by file or copy and paste into the text box.