Paul LePage has said many times that his life really began when he was accepted to college. Escaping a violent home and moving away to college saved his life and moved him forward. This is why the Governor places so much importance on education.
The Mills’ Administration followed the lead of other Blue State governor’s and ignored scientific data, relied on political theater, and aggressively shut down Maine’s in-school instruction to the detriment of Maine children. This misguided policy created a catastrophic ripple effect affecting an entire generation of children, their financial future, and the overall impact to Maine’s economy.
Recent study results suggest that more first and second graders ended this year two or more grade levels below expectations than in any previous year. This educational crisis lands squarely on the shoulders of the Mills’ Administration and their political cronies in the teachers’ union. It is imperative that the next Governor address these disparities and do whatever it takes to improve the future opportunities for this generation of children.
- During the pandemic, thousands of parents across Maine were forced to step in and essentially home school their children. The parents experienced first-hand the positives and negatives of our public-school curriculum. The experiences revealed the absolute need for more opportunities for learning for all Maine children, whether they be public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, parochial schools, virtual schools, or home schooling.
- We should immediately repeal Maine’s permanent 10-school cap for the number of charter schools that can operate in Maine, and repeal the law that limits the number of students that can attend virtual charter schools.
- Maine parents deserve a Parents’ Bill of Rights. It is time to let the parents decide their child’s future, not educational bureaucrats. Parents need the option for their children to choose a one-year free pass for students to receive an additional year of schooling to make up for the educational failures over the past two years (the parents’ choice, not the schools) because of the serious learning gaps caused by the disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A student’s academic future should not be impacted in any negative way whatsoever, (for example access to scholarships or entry to college).
- Because not every student will attend a 4-year university, we must best prepare students for good paying careers. It is imperative that Maine increase our focus on technical, trade and vocational educational programs for both middle and high school students. Maine should look to the State of Tennessee, which has a great community college model that focuses on a K-14 educational path for students.
- The cost of Maine’s K-12 education especially administration, facilities, transportation and maintenance has risen sharply over the past few decades while student enrollment has dropped. Our educational dollars should be focused on the classroom and directly helping students achieve their goals and outcomes. We must redirect our educational dollars to the classroom, where they belong, and address the rising cost drivers that are not in the classroom.