No on 1 Calls for An End to Distortions and Attacks

Speaker Hannah Pingree and former Maine Attorney General Jim Tierney joined together at No on 1 today.  They spoke refuting the education claims made by Yes on 1, as well as other worries.  Speaker Pingree also defended the process by which AG Mills answered Ed Commissioner Susan Gendron’s questions about LD 1020 and education.  “The commissioner did the right thing by seeking an opinion from Maine’s top legal officer on these non-stop claims,” said Speaker Pingree.  “But when they didn’t get the answer they wanted, the Question 1 campaign attacked the messenger rather than finally acknowledging the inaccuracy and harm caused by this non-ending barrage.”  I admire Speaker Pingree and former AG Tierney for coming to the defense of same-sex marriage, but you can be sure that those opposed to same-sex marriage in Maine will say they too are just part of some bigger scheme.  Again, I appreciate their work, but misinformation and speculative “facts” aside, I would imagine most people have made up their minds at this point.  You are either are going to vote yes or no and are pretty solid on that decision.  I think that will be the last I’ve say on this issue, which I’ve decided literally as I type this.  You know how you are going to vote.  If I haven’t changed your mind yet, I wont.  I’ll still post releases from No on 1, but I think I’ve made my case.  See you at the polls. Continue reading

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Vermont’s Education Commissioner Speaks on Consolidation

A few days ago, I brought you the news that Vermont is considering a similar move to consolidate their school districts.  Vermont officials were keeping their sights on Maine’s consolidation efforts so far.  Maine officials, including David Silvernail of the Maine Education Policy Research Institute traveled to Vermont to shed some light on what has been going on here.  Vermont officials had similar concerns as many Mainers.  Chief were concerns that Vermont’s consolidation plans be effective and equitable to all communities involved.

A new update from the Green Mountain State shows that Vermont officials are committed to not making the same misteps that were made in Maine.  Vermont’s Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca stated he was glad communities were discussing consolidation plans, but was not in a hurry to push things, at least not without giving Vermonters the facts.  “Now it’s a positive sign that people are at least having that conversation,” Vilaseca said. “Asking the questions doesn’t mean we are going to do anything. But voters and boards can get the facts.”

Read the whole article(Hat-Tip to MDISchools) which goes in depth on Vermont’s declining enrollment, property tax issues, and possible consolidations in the works.