AUGUSTA, ME – Governor Paul LePage today outlined an ambitious agenda to put parents and students first in education. He was surrounded by parents of school aged children.
“I was homeless and living on the streets. I slept anywhere I could to find a warm place to lay my head. It was in a horse stable, where I was sleeping, that I met a stable hand who told me the phrase “if it is to be, it is up to me.” If I worked hard and studied even harder, I could climb out of poverty,” said Paul LePage.
“The purpose of this story is to emphasis how important the role education played in saving and redirecting my life to one of success. Frankly, as a society, we cannot afford to give up on a single child. That is why the last three years has been so distressing,” he added.
“Janet Mills’ lack of leadership created disastrous outcomes for Maine’s public-school students,” said Governor LePage.
To address these concerns, Governor LePage today unveiled the The Paul LePage Student Success Plan, available here in a PDF format.
Key provisions include:
- Incentives for teachers and schools to provide additional learning opportunities to help students who fell behind under Mills’ pandemic policies.
- Prioritizing education dollars to provide new after school care up to 5:00 PM to help parents fully get back to work, especially working mothers.
- Starting vocational and technical education options as early as middle school.
Governor LePage also called for a Parents Bill of Rights which includes:
- Having schools prioritize once again on the basics to improve overall scores in math, science and reading.
- Providing curriculum transparency for parents. This includes a parental opt-out option for sensitive materials.
- Ensuring more public participation at the local level with education.
- Reforming the State Board of Education to include parents with children in school.
- Establishing a Parents Governing Board to meet twice per year and provide feedback and recommendations to state education leaders.
- True School Choice so the public money spent on education follows the student to the school of the parent and child’s choice.
“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves on day one and ensure all Mainers have the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families,” said Governor LePage.