The Maine Department of Education will send more than $42 million to schools after a duplication was found in a budget review that caused an error.

How Was the Error Found?

When you think about it, this is pretty ironic. The Maine Department of Educators made a math error. Good thing they remembered the advice from their teachers and checked their work. In a notice to school districts, Maine DOE officials announced the error that was found in this fiscal year's ED 279 reports for School Administrative Units(SAU's). The reports are issued in January as SAU's prepare to undergo their local budgeting processes. Once the preliminary reports are issued, the Department of Education reviews them to ensure accuracy before they're finalized.

What Was the Mistake?

It was during this review that a miscalculation was discovered, according to the release from the Maine DOE.

This week, that ongoing review identified a duplicative data entry in the algorithm that generates the funding estimates in the reports. The duplicative data entry inaccurately inflated the mil rate in the preliminary reports.

For anyone who doesn't deal with budgets regularly, that all sounds like the first day of trigonometry in high school.

Basically, what it means is that the original reports estimated the mil rate too high, causing less money to be sent to school districts. A mil, or millage, rate is the tax per thousand dollars in assessed value.

Who's Getting Additional Funds and How Much?

According to the latest data, several Maine school districts will be sent money to make up for the error. Among the schools splitting over $42 million dollars will be Bangor, which is set to receive nearly $900,000. Brewer's school district will get over $254,000, and Ellsworth schools should receive over $366,000. Some school districts will not receive any additional funds, but none will have money taken away from their current budgets.

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