Foreign Exchange Student Information (page 3)
In order for a resident student to be counted for State subsidy, they must be “educated” at public expense at a public school or a private school approved for tuition – 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 15672, subsection 32.
Maine Student attending a school in another country:
Maine Students attending a school in a foreign country may only be counted for subsidy if tuition for “educational expenses” is paid to the host school. If the host school waives the tuition then the student may not be counted for State subsidy. A fee paid to a foreign exchange service is not an educational expense therefore is not considered tuition for educational expenses.
- For students attending schools in a foreign country, if a Maine school does not accept the credits from school in foreign country in order for the student to meet the Learning Results requirements – this could prevent these students from receiving a “Maine Learning Results” diploma.
- If the foreign school is a private school, in order to be approved for tuition purposes, the host school must comply with the reporting requirements of 20-A M.R.S.A. Chapter 117, sub-chapter 2.
Foreign Student attending a school in Maine
If the superintendent approves the acceptance of the foreign exchange student under 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 5205, sub-section 2 and assumes financial responsibility for this student, then a foreign exchange student is considered a Maine resident studentof the school unit where the student physically resides during the duration of the exchange, and is counted for enrollment and subsidy purposes in that unit.
- If a superintendent’s approved foreign exchange student resides in a school unit where students are to another school unit or to a private schools, a receiving school unit/private school may let the student come for no tuition, or may charge tuition for the student at the same rate charge for other residents of that sending school unit. This is at the discretion of the receiving school unit or the private school. (Note: The sending unit may only count the foreign exchange student as a resident student for subsidy purposes if the sending unit pays the tuition cost for the foreign exchange student. If there is no charge for the student then the student may not be counted for subsidy purposes.)
- However, since a superintendent’s approved foreign exchange student is considered a Maine resident student of the school unit they reside in for the duration of their stay, another option is a transfer for the student from the school unit where the student resides to a potential receiving school unit.
This transfer can be accomplished via a Superintendents Agreement, a formal agreement where the superintendent of the school unit where the student resides and the superintendent of the potential receiving school unit agree on the transfer of the student from one school unit to the other.
A Superintendents Agreement would allow a receiving school unit to count a foreign exchange student as a resident of that unit for enrollment and cost purposes. Under a Superintendents Agreement, the state subsidy “follows” the student. Therefore, the receiving school unit would receive the state subsidy for that student. This helps to defray some of the costs associated with accepting the student at no tuition charge. This option is only possible between two public school units, because a private school does not have “residents”, and does not receive state subsidy.
20A § 5205. Other exceptions to the general residency rules
2. Other students not living at home. A student other than a state ward, a state agency client or a homeless child, residing with another person who is not the student's parent, is considered a resident of the school administrative unit where the student resides if the superintendent of the unit determines that it is in the best interest of the student because of the following:
- It is undesirable and impractical for that student to reside with the student's parent, or that other extenuating circumstances exist which justify residence in the unit; and
- That person is residing in the school administrative unit for other than just education purposes.
The commissioner shall review the superintendent's determination on the request of the student's parent. The commissioner's decision is final and binding. Upon request of the superintendent of schools in the unit in which a student is placed in accordance with this subsection, the state share percentage for subsidized educational costs for that student is equivalent to the state share percentage of the unit in which the student's parent or legal guardian resides or the average state share percentage, whichever is greater. If the parent or legal guardian does not reside in the State or can not be located, the subsidy is the state average subsidy.
6. Transfer students. The following provisions apply to transfers of students from one school administrative unit to another.
- Two superintendents may approve the transfer of a student from one school administrative unit to another if:
- They find that a transfer is in the student's best interest; and
- The student's parent approves.
- On the request of the parent of a student requesting transfer under paragraph A, the commissioner shall review the transfer. The commissioner's decision shall be final and binding.
- The superintendents shall annually review any transfer under this subsection.
- For purposes of the state school subsidy, a student transferred under this subsection is considered a resident of the school administrative unit to which transferred. Upon request of the superintendent of schools in the unit in which a student is placed in accordance with this subsection, the state share percentage for subsidized educational costs for that student is equivalent to the state share percentage of the unit in which the student's parent or legal guardian resides or the average state share percentage, whichever is greater. If the parent or legal guardian does not reside in the State or can not be located, the subsidy is the state average subsidy.
- A school administrative unit may not charge tuition for a transfer approved under this subsection.
20A § 15672. Definitions
32. Subsidizable pupils. "Subsidizable pupils" means all school level pupils who reside in a school administrative unit and who are educated at public expense at a public school or at a private school approved for tuition purposes.
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