AUGUSTA — A bill awaiting Gov. Paul LePage’s signature would enable school districts to explore options to reduce their health insurance costs.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Ralph Sarty of Denmark, says the bill gives school districts the flexibility to self-insure or find more affordable plans during this time of financial pressure. Sarty says the bill does not mandate anything. He says school districts can stay with the coverage they have, or they can look around for a better deal.

School boards and superintendents’ groups support the bill.

School officials say health insurance consumes up to 14 percent of school district budgets.