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AUGUSTA, Maine — Property owners in Maine could end up footing the bill for an estimated $20 million gap in school funding next year.

The Portland Press Herald reports the state Department of Education released its 2016-2017 projections for funding under the essential programs and services model this week. More than 130 districts of the 248 in the state would lose money under the projections.

Officials say the gap is being driven by increased costs, nearly level state funding and a drop in tax valuation.

Roughly 10-15 percent of the K-12 student population in the U.S. is not attending school on a regular basis, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

BANGOR, Maine — National research shows online charter schools across the nation have struggled with withdrawls in their first years due, in part, to the challenges of keeping kids engaged when face-to-face interaction between students and teachers is limited.

AUBURN, Maine — Auburn's school committee will vote tonight on a medical marijuana policy for the district.

A new state law requires all districts in Maine to adopt a policy on medical cannabis.

Under the Auburn rule, which was initially drafted last month, students under the age of 18 would need a prescription from a doctor for medical marijuana and doses of cannabis, in non-smoking form, would need to be a administered by a parent or guardian.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Department of Education has signed up New Hampshire-based Measured Progress Inc. for new statewide English and math tests given to students in third through eighth grades.

AUGUSTA, Maine — It's been nearly a year since the Maine Department of Education has had a leader who didn't have the words "Acting Commissioner" in their job title.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced late Friday that Dr. William Beardsley would become the state's latest acting education chief.

Appointing acting leaders allows LePage to have someone he wants in the top job, for six months at a time, without having to go through a confirmation battle in the Legislature.

Jay Field / MPBN

ORONO, Maine — Virtual reality simulations are changing how people train to enter a growing number of interactive professions. The University of Maine is the latest educational institution to begin using this approach to prepare teachers in training.

AUGUSTA, Maine — It's been 12 years since voters approved an initiative requiring the state to fund 55 percent of the cost of public education in Maine.

HARTLAND, Maine — More states are increasingly turning to children's savings accounts as a way of promoting a "college-going" culture and reducing student loan debt over the long term.

Maine is recognized as a national leader on this front.

But getting large numbers of families in the state, especially low-income ones, to save for their youngest members has been a challenge.

List of Maine's Top High Schools Contains Errors

May 15, 2015

A report from earlier this week listing the nation's top high schools — on which a number of Maine schools appeared — contains apparent errors.

In its annual rankings of the nation's high schools, U.S. News and World Report used enrollment data from the 2012-2013 school year from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Answers to your questions about Common Core.

Guests:  Tom Keller with the Maine Math & Science Alliance
Amy Johnson, Assistant Director - Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation at the University of Southern Maine.
Sally Laughlin, curriculum director for Cumberland/N.Yarmouth schools.

Jay Field / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - A top Democratic lawmaker in the Maine House wants to make sure parents know they have the right to opt their school-age children out of taking standardized tests.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Education Association brought teachers from across the state to Augusta to discuss what they say is a devastating education budget proposal by Gov. Paul LePage.

Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardins was quick to fire back, saying support for Maine schools from the state is at record levels.

The MEA says the aid to local schools proposed by LePage is flat funded at a time when the costs of running schools, from salaries to supplies, continues to go up.

What is a 'rural education' and what does the future hold for rural schools?

Guests:  Gordon A. Donaldson, Jr. Ed.D., Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Maine.
  Mara Tieken, Assistant Professor at Bates College and author of "Why Rural Schools Matter." 
  Todd West, principal at Deer Isle-Stonington High School.

How technology is used in Maine's public schools, from IPads in kindergarten to the middle school laptop program.

Guests:  Jeff Mao, Learning Technology Policy Director, Maine Department of Education (last day on the job is 9/5/14).  New Position - Senior Director, Learning Solutions Programs, Common Sense Media

Anne Macdonald, Technology Integration, K-8 Falmouth School Department

Andrew Wallace, Director of Technology, South Portland School Department, Technology Integration, K-8 Falmouth School Department