Commissioner’s Update – April 28, 2016

From the Maine Department of Education

The Blue Ribbon Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance is now underway, after enactment by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Paul LePage. It is now recorded into statue as PUBLIC Law, Chapter 389, LD 1641.

The Commission will meet on June 6 at Oxford Hills High School and the meeting will be open to the public. All documents presented at these meetings can be found here.

“There are several macro trends we need to address,” says Commission Chair Bill Beardsley. “In the past 15 years, state funding formula expenses for public PreK–12 education have risen by 51 percent; local expenditures on public PreK–12 education have risen by 75 percent while total PreK–12 education enrollments have fallen by 34,000 to about 178,000 students. At the same time, while Maine remains slightly above national average in student achievement in ELA/literacy and mathematics, the income achievement gap across Maine remains large. Students in wealthier schools and counties, in terms of family income, have significantly higher academic achievement than students in lower income schools and counties.”

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