AUGUSTA — The campaign to increase local education funding with a surcharge on upper-income families has qualified for the November ballot.

The secretary of state announced Wednesday that the Stand Up for Students education funding initiative produced 66,849 valid signatures, more than the 61,123 needed to make the ballot. The initiative will appear alongside proposals to increase Maine’s minimum wage, change Maine’s election system for state and congressional candidates, and strengthen background checks on gun sales.

The campaign said the measure will generate $157 million in additional state aid to schools in just the first year after passage. To do so the proposal would impose a 3 percent tax on Maine household income in excess of $200,000 a year.

The initiative comes at a time when lawmakers continue to wrangle over proposals to increase local education funding and meet the standard of a 2004 ballot initiative requiring the state to fund 55 percent of all K-12 education costs. The state has never met that requirement and is paying 47.5 percent of the school costs this year.

The campaign said the cumulative loss in not meeting the funding standard has cost public schools $1.2 billion.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.