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

Advertisements

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

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

Yes On 3: Why You Should Vote Yes on 3 to Repeal Consolidation

Skip Greenlaw of Yes on 3 has released an announcement supporting a repeal of the current consolidation late.  Greenlaw outlines why the law has failed, why it is unfair, how it is too rigid, how it has not saved money but cost communities more, and what the solution to the current law is.  Please read Greenlaw’s full statement after the cut and remember to vote early if you can or on November 3rd. Continue reading

Weekly Blog Round-Up: Gubernatorial Inerviews, Marriage, & More.

A  round-up of stories published Oct 11th – Oct 17th at The Maine View and from other Maine blogs 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