Image of school busSchool Facilities & Student Transportation

School Facilities

The Maine Department of Education oversees the prioritization and funding of major school construction and projects, administers programs that fund school renovations, and supports school districts in developing and implementing long-term management plans for their facilities.

  • Improvements & Renovations. The Maine DOE oversees a number of programs that offer school districts the chance to add temporary classroom space or fund facility renovations with the help of State or federal funds.
    • Federal Facility Program. The Qualified Zone Academy Bond and Qualified School Construction Bond programs leverage federal funds to allow school districts to make needed repairs and improvements to their facilities interest free.
    • Leased Space Program. The Leased Space Program allows Maine's school districts to add temporary classroom space when their buildings are overcrowding and when they're starting new programs.
    • School Revolving Renovation Fund. The Revolving Renovation Fund allows school districts to secure state loans to undertake necessary upgrades to ensure the health and safety of their students. A portion of the loan is forgiven, and school districts repay the remainder at zero percent interest.
  • Major Capital School Construction. Maine school districts that seek State support for the construction of new school facilities or major overhauls of existing ones can apply to the Maine DOE for funding, which is generally awarded to those districts in greatest need of a new facility.
  • School Facilities Management. Wise facilities management is the key to ensuring that school buildings remain safe, efficient and in good condition for the long term. The Department helps the state's schools design long-term plans for managing their facilities and provides them with tools to implement them.
    • Long-Term Facilities Management. The Maine DOE assists school districts in the methodical, long-term management of their capital assets.
    • Management of Chemicals in Schools. Maine's school districts are annually required to prepare an inventory of all chemicals stored in their buildings, craft a chemical hygiene plan and provide for the safe storage of such materials.
    • School Facility Management System. The Department provides school districts with access to this online tool for managing capital assets and planning major capital investments.
    • School Security. Guiding school administration in their emergency operations efforts so districts can prepare for and respond to risks specific to each school community.

School Transportation

Approximately eighty percent of Maine students rely on the school bus to get them to school each day ready to learn.

  • School Bus Refurbishment. School districts may participate in a program that could allow them to refurbish mid-life buses and extend their school bus' lifespan as a result.
  • Student Transportation. The Maine DOE works with school districts to make sure their buses are safe, their transportation personnel are qualified and responsible, and their transportation services are provided as cost effectively as possible.
  • Transfinder Routing & Transportation Management. The Department offers a software suite to school districts at no cost that allows them to plan the most efficient routes possible for their buses, map the safest possible student pickup and dropoff points, schedule and manage field trips, improve communications, and track maintenance.