Maine Common Core Referendum (2015)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
The measure was sponsored by two groups, the Maine Equal Rights Center and No Common Core Maine. Supporters were aiming to land the measure on the November 4, 2014, ballot, but they missed the February 3, 2014, signature filing deadline. They did not file signatures in time to land the measure on the 2015 ballot.
At the time the initiative was filed, Common Core was a set of relatively new, federally-condoned standards for Math and English curricula supported by the United States Department of Education. According to supporters, the standards were designed to align school curricula, goals and standards across the states. States can choose whether or not to implement the program in its schools. Common Core advocates believe that setting national benchmarks will improve student performance. Opponents are concerned that the standards give the federal government powers that once belonged to state and local governments. Opponents are also concerned that Common Core eliminates school choice and competitive advantages. Maine became the 42nd state to adopt the education standards when Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed Legislative Document 12 in April of 2011. The measure was passed unanimously in both the state house and senate.
Two groups, the Maine Equal Rights Center and No Common Core Maine, were sponsoring the measure. Erick Bennett, director of the Maine Equal Rights Center, said, "It doesn't matter what your ideology is. (Common Core) totally eliminates your involvement in how the money is spent and how your kids learn." While fellow supporter, Heidi Sampson, co-founder of No Common Core Maine and member of Maine's Board of Education, said, "The people of Maine will be able to have their voices heard. If this is not repealed, the parents of Maine will have no more voice when it comes to the education of their children. That's the harsh reality. I don't care how it's sugarcoated. When Washington, D.C., pulls the strings on education, there is no more local control."
Path to the ballot
Supporters needed to gather at least 57,277 valid signatures by February 3, 2014, in order to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot. The petitions, however, do not expire until April 30, 2015, giving the petitioners a chance for a ballot in 2015 or 2016. However, no signatures were submitted by the January 22, 2015, deadline, thereby preventing it from appearing on the ballot.
- ABCnews.com, "Maine is First to Face Possiblel Common Core Vote," August 21, 2013
- Maine Secretary of State website, "Citizen Initiative Petitions Currently Approved for Circulation," accessed March 13, 2014
- NYDailyNews.com, "Stop the rush to the Common Core," July 1, 2013
- Orlando Sentinel, "Common Core standards spark concerns among some Lake conservatives," July 1, 2013
- Maine.gov, "Governor signs rigorous education standards into law," April 4, 2011
- Maine Government, "Deadlines for Current Citizen Initiatives," accessed August 27, 2013