MEA understands as time passes, the number of questions you have regarding your jobs and your lives, in general, increases. MEA would like to let you know we are here to provide you some calm during this unprecedented storm. The Association is working around the clock to get the answers to as many questions as possible.  

Here’s what MEA knows as of 3/18: 

  1. Emergency legislation passed last night (3/17/2020) that allows for the Governor, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, to waive the mandated number of school days. Individual districts will need to apply for this waiver to the Department of Education.
  2. The emergency legislation also mandates that nutrition services to students must continue when schools are closed due to COVID-19.  
  3. Schools will receive an additional $63 million more in funding for the 2020-21 school year, giving peace of mind to school administrators and school boards that resources will be available. 
  4. MEA has been working with the Commissioner to ensure hourly employees are paid. Today, the Commissioner released the following regarding this issue:  “We recommend that school districts continue to pay hourly staff (and there are many tasks that they could be performing (preparing meals, transporting food or educational materials, continuing to provide updated communication with the community, preparing student packets, assisting with online instruction … etc.)  Salaries that were already included in school budgets should not create a significant additional/unplanned hardship, so we hope that school districts will continue to pay hourly workers.” 
  5. The Department of Education also released the following information today: “DOE intends to pursue targeted 1-year waivers for the 95% participation requirement in assessment and for accountability measures like chronic absenteeism that would be impacted by the coronavirus.” 
  6. Serving students with disabilities? Please see the guidance on the Maine DOE COVID webpage: https://www.maine.gov/doe/covid-19 

The Association recognizes your value and is here to support you now and always. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. MEA is here for you. 

Contact us: https://maineea.org/coronavirus/ 

Stay strong and stay safe, 

Grace Leavitt 

MEA President