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

How You Can Help Yes On 3

A post at the Augusta Insider shows that No on 3 has been getting help from corporate interests.  Yes on 3 is largely a grassroots movement.  This is why they need your help.  With a week left until Maine votes, it is important Yes on 3 drums up as much support as possible.  Corporate interests, in an effort to kiss up to Governor Baldacci, have thrown in their weight against the interests of Maine communities.  It is time to stand up for the little guy, the communities who didn’t have the influence to talk their way into exemptions, and help repeal the current school consolidation law.  There are some simple things you can do to help in this final week. Continue reading

Yes On 3: “We can’t afford these kinds of savings.”

Dick Dyer, a member of the Maine Coalition to Save Schools, believes the current school consolidation law should be repealed.  Large districts, with possibly the most room for savings, were given exemptions because the state government knew they would refuse reorganization.  Small communities’ concerns were brushed aside and they were slapped with penalties like disobedient children.  Governor Baldacci promised large savings from consolidation.  The estimated $36.5 million savings has not been seen.  Many communities have seen unfair cost increases.  Dyer highlights in his release why this sort of “savings” is not something cash strapped communities can afford.  Please read Dick Dyer’s full statement after the cut. Continue reading

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.

Town Officials Speak Out in Opposition to Question 1

Town officials met in Bangor today in support of No on 1.  They reiterated yet again that LD 1020 will end discrimination in civil marriage and continue protecting religious freedoms.  The officials representing communities in several eastern and central Maine counties.  The officials, some of whom were former school board members, reiterated that there is nothing in LD 1020 that would impact what is taught in public education.  “I also taught Sunday School at Hancock Congregational Church for many years.  Teaching about marriage and moral values belongs rightly in church and in the home.”, said one speaker.  Read the full statement after the cut. Continue reading

Yes On 3 Reply to Gov. Baldacci’s Email

The following is Yes On 3’s reply to Gov. Baldacci’s recent email urging Democrats to vote to uphold school consolidation.
Stonington-  Repeal of the school consolidation law (question 3 on the ballot) will not cost Maine taxpayers one cent. There is significant information which suggests that there is no net cost savings to school consolidation.
Gov. John Baldacci is making incorrect claims about the cost of repealing his failed school consolidation mandate.  He is trying to confuse voters by saying the $37 million which was cut from state aid to schools as part of the school consolidation law is really savings.  “Even his own staff knows that is not correct,” said Skip Greenlaw, head of the Maine Coalition to Save Schools, which collected 61,193 signatures needed to put repeal on the Nov. 3 ballot.  “Basically, the governor needed to cut $37 million in expenditures to balance his budget last year,” Greenlaw said. “Now he’s trying to influence the outcome of the referendum vote by rewriting history.”  The reality is that by voting Yes on question 3 to repeal consolidation, Mainers will save money now and in the future.  Voters in 125 communities understood the issue of costs and savings when they rejected the mandate despite the threat of penalties that are scheduled to go into effect next year.  Consolidation in most areas of the state cost more than it saves. Continue reading

AG Mills Debunks Education And LD 1020 Myths

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has just released her assessment of how LD 1020 (the same-sex marriage law) will impact Maine public school curricula.  AG Mills has gone over Maine laws related to education with a fine toothed comb looking if they have even the slightest mention of teaching about marriage of any sort in public schools.  It should be no surprise that her search turned up nothing.  So why should we believe that same-sex marriage will suddenly be forced upon our children in public school?  We shouldn’t.  Continue reading