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Maine School Consolidation Referendum (2008)

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The Maine School Consolidation Referendum is a referendum to opposing school consolidation plane reduce the number of school districts in the state from 290 districts to 80 school districts and the number of superintendents from 192 to 26.

Opposition

Governor John Baldacci
Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has said, is a “call to action” to increase student performance and education excellence while reducing costs.

Baldacci’s proposal is based on four reports, including the Brookings Report called “Charting Maine’s Future,” which encourages school consolidation.[1]

David Connerty-Marin, spokesman for the Department of Education who has been quoted saying:

"The status quo is not sustainable. Nobody would design a system with 150 central offices and 290 school boards all trying to interpret Maine Learning Results and disseminate best teaching practices. We want that money going into the classroom, not into overhead and duplicate administration, so where there are opportunities to streamline outside the classroom, that is what we need to do."[2]

Support

Maine Small Schools Coalition

This group has come out voicing that coalition strongly opposes the plan. They believe that savings will not be as large as promised and that in long term plans schools would be forced to shut down and have rural schools suffering.[3]

Maine Coalition to Save Schools

The Coalition is fighting the schools plan to reduce the number of school districts in the state from 290 districts to 80 school districts. "I have a real problem with the state calling this a cost-saving program when it's really just a cost-shifting program to the towns," said school board chairwoman, Andrea Beaver.[4]

Other groups include

  • Maine Municipal Association
  • Maine Children’s Alliance[5]
  • Maine's Independent Green Party
  • Maine School Boards Association[6]

External links


See also

References