2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Mainers voting to require that the State fund 55 percent of the cost of public education. While we in Augusta have worked toward meeting that mandate, we have struggled most years to get to even 50 percent. Due to other funding priorities – especially those related to health and human services – the Legislature simply cannot come up with the money.
As talk of growing Maine’s Medicaid program again swirls in the State House, I’m often asked for my assessment on the potential effects of expansion on education. As our Department’s longtime Director of School Finance and Operations and now its Commissioner, I can tell you I am deeply concerned about the negative impact to Maine schools of further growing this already unsustainable program.
What is particularly troubling to me is the amount of uncertainty that surrounds expansion at the federal level, making it difficult for states and individual departments like ours within those states to truly understand and prepare for the impact. However, if history is any guide, the effects would be significant.
Notices and Reporting
News & Views
Maine schools have positive climates and State agencies are proactive in providing them meaningful safety-related resources, but there are extensive opportunities to better ensure safety. Those are the high-level findings of two school security reports the Maine DOE overviewed to the Legislature’s Education Committee this week. | More
Focusing funding on professional development, communicating early and often with educators and parents, and the need for strong leadership were the leading learnings that emerged in an analysis of the case studies currently featured on the Maine DOE’s Center for Best Practice. | More
The Standards-Based Instruction and Assessment Initiative is offering regional workshops to educate and support World Language teachers on standards-based instruction and assessment of student proficiency as districts implement the proficiency-based diploma law. | More
The goal of proficiency-based education is to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers and the centerpiece of achieving proficiency is a clear focus on learning and instruction. There is extensive guidance for developing educational systems that support student proficiency. | More
UMaine faculty and graduate students are hosting an informal drop-in history lab to provide one-on-one support for grade 6-12 students and teachers who are preparing a National History Day (NHD) research project. | More
The United States Department of Agriculture is proposing a rule that would establish minimum professional standards for school nutrition personnel who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. | More
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