The MEA Saga Continues

“Stop Excise Tax Cap”

“Stop TABOR”

Two bright red stop signs advise this to readers of October’s monthly MEA publication, the Maine Educator.  Questions 2 and 4 on this November’s ballot feature prominently in the publication.  Of its eight pages, I’m not counting the ads, four of those are devoted to the referendum questions.  Two and one half are devoted entirely to the excise tax cap and TABOR II.  Question 1, the same sex marriage repeal, receives half a page.  Question 3 receives roughly one quarter of a page concerning the November referendums, I’m being generous here.  The rest of that piece is devoted to Questions 2 and 4.  There is a lot to discuss here, so let’s jump right in. Continue reading

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Gubernatorial Candidates’ Statements on Question 3

I have been rather vocal about my opinion on Question 3.  I thought it was time to give some others a chance.  I have presented some candidate views on Question 3 in one handy place.  An analysis of these views will be coming this weekend.  Read their views after the cut. (Hat tip to Dirigo Blue for the Dem opinions) Continue reading

Question 3 on 6pm News Tonight

I’ve just been informed that WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2 will be airing a 6 minute pro and con segment on Question 3 tonight at 6pm.  There’s still time to bring the truth and dispell the fears on repealing consolidation.  Following the cut is an Op/Ed by Michael Kosowsky, Chair, Five Town CSD School Board.  Please spread the truth on repealing consolidation and don’t forget to vote this Tuesday. Continue reading

Maine PTA Backs Yes on 3

Yes on 3 has received an important endorsement.  The Maine Parent Teacher Association supports a Yes vote on Question 3 to repeal the current school consolidation law.  The MPTA cites reorganized districts unhappy need the right to leave their unions.  Ed Commissioner Gendron has stated that legislation would be quickly enacted to allow successful RSUs to remain together.  Give RSUs without the power of the larger exempt districts the equal right to choose RSUs with REAL savings under rules that work for everyone.  Vote Yes on 3.  Read the MPTA’s statement after the cut. Continue reading

MEA’s Revealing Opinon on Consolidation

The latest Education Intelligence Agency Communique picked up on the piece I wrote criticizing the Maine Education Association leadership for ignoring school consolidation.  The EIA noted that the MEA has failed to “articulate a position on school district consolidation”.  Another MEA, the Michigan Education Association, does not seem to be so tight lipped on the issue.  The Michigan EA came to a logical conclusion that would help their members and school systems alike.  Their solution? Don’t consolidate unless the savings is really there and don’t arbitrarily shove districts together.  Sound familiar?  But the MEA (When I use this term further it will now reference the Maine EA unless otherwise noted) had not been completely silent on consolidation.  Thanks to some searching by Brian Hubbell from MDIschools.net, an email stating the MEA’s position on school consolidation has surfaced. Continue reading

Sen. David Trahan Supports Yes on 3

Repeal consolidation and treat all Mainers fairly

Sen. David Trahan (R-Waldoboro)

Question 3 on the November ballot asks Maine voters to reject the recently enacted law to consolidate Maine schools. This law was over-sold and corrupted by political horse trading, and in time will destroy what remains of Maine’s rural education system.

I ask you to vote Yes on Question 3 to repeal this failed mandate because it isn’t fair and hasn’t worked.

Researchers at the University of Maine have studied the last consolidation effort in this state, the Sinclair Act, and its effect on administration in the 1950s and ‘60s. They found that from 1950 to 1980 administrative costs escalated 406 percent.

From 1960 to 2003, 45 major studies of 792 school consolidations nationwide reported savings for just four systems.

So why consolidate? Power. Consolidation centralizes control in Augusta. Fewer school boards, superintendents and local education advocates mean more state control of education policy and funding. Continue reading

Setting The Record Straight On Question 3

From Yes on 3

Why Maine should vote YES to Repeal the School Consolidation Law

Repealing the law will not cost Maine any money. There was a $36 million reduction in the state budget for education. That money was cut from schools last year and it’s not coming back to the classroom or going anywhere else.

55% of Maine students are in 66 school districts that are unaffected by this law. They are exempt from consolidating because of size, geography, or other special exemptions granted by the DoE. Continue reading