Governor’s education reforms back in front of the legislature

As the current legislative session winds down, two more initiatives supported by Governor Paul LePage have successfully made their way back from the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee .

The committee voted 10-1 in favor of LD1865, a statute to allow high school students access to hi-tech and career curriculum outside of secondary schools. This statute outlines the process for students to take classes at colleges, universities and community colleges while still in high school.

The committee voted 10-3 against LD1854, a proposal to create an open enrollment system in public schools. In comments published by the committee they said, “the bill came up too late in the session to get thorough consideration.” They also suggested that the Department of Education should come back earlier in the process next time and with more information about the proposed system.

But as the committee reviewed a final education proposal, they voted 12-0 to approve LD1858, an initiative that changes the way public school teachers and principals will be evaluated. The statute calls for school districts to establish a formal evaluation process and gives them the power to terminate “ineffective” teachers and principals.

The statutes are now in front of the complete legislature and they must decide what to do next.

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