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Maine Gov. LePage Wants Locals to Pay More Education Costs

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he wants local districts to pay for superintendents' and principals' salaries, hinting at a budget proposal next year that will incentivize district consolidation, according to the Maine Sun Journal.

Maine voters next month will vote on Question 2, a ballot measure that will tax those making over $200,000 in order to provide districts with millions more dollars over the coming years.  It's being led by the state's teachers' union and touted as a way to get wealthy citizens to pay their fair share of skyrocketing education costs.  

But opponents say pouring millions more dollars into a flawed funding formula will only result in widening the gap between poor and wealthy districts in the amount of money they get from the state. 

They also say it will run off the state's job providers and that those whose households bring in more than $200,000 a year aren't necessarily "rich," though the ballot measure is being slugged as a "tax the rich" proposal.  

LePage told the Sun Journal that Question 2 was the "scariest" of all the measures on this year's ballot. 

"Why would I go to Maine for the privilege of paying a higher income tax when I could go to New Hampshire, where there is no income tax?" LePage asked, according to the Sun Journal.  

The state legislature and governor for years have griped that the state's local districts spend entirely too much money on education and almost a decade ago forced several of their largest districts to consolidate. That effort appeared not to have saved the state that much money after all.  

LePage, who has had a topsy-turvy tenure, said Tuesday that he wants local school board members to scrutinize their education costs more and pay on their own the salaries of principals and superintendents.  

"I have been the most pro-education governor in the history of this state," LePage said. "I have undone a lot of stuff that was poorly done by other governors."  

School finance experts have pointed at teacher salaries, not administrative costs, as what's driving up the costs of education.  Reducing the amount of teachers a district employs is not a very politically

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he wants local districts to pay for superintendents' and principals' salaries, hinting at a budget proposal next year that will incentivize district consolidation, according to the Maine Sun Journal.

Maine voters next month will vote on Question 2, a ballot measure that will tax those making over $200,000 in order to provide districts with millions more dollars over the coming years.  It's being led by the state's teachers' union and touted as a way to get wealthy citizens to pay their fair share of skyrocketing education costs.  

But opponents say pouring millions more dollars into a flawed funding formula will only result in widening the gap  between poor and wealthy districts in the amount of money they get from the state. 

They also say it will run off the state's job providers and that those whose households bring in more than $200,000 a year aren't necessarily "rich," though the ballot measure is being slugged as a "tax the rich" proposal.  

LePage told the Sun Journal that Question 2 was the "scariest" of all the measures on this year's ballot. 

"Why would I go to Maine for the privilege of paying a higher income tax when I could go to New Hampshire, where there is no income tax?" LePage asked, according to the Sun Journal.  

The state legislature and governor for years have griped that the state's local districts spend entirely too much money on education and almost a decade ago forced several of their largest districts to consolidate. That effort appeared not to have saved the state that much money after all.  

LePage, who has had a topsy-turvy tenure, said Tuesday that he wants local school board members to scrutinize their education costs more and pay on their own the salaries of principals and superintendents.  

"I have been the most pro-education governor in the history of this state," LePage said. "I have undone a lot of stuff that was poorly done by other governors."  

School finance experts have pointed at teacher salaries, not administrative costs, as what's driving up the costs of education.  Reducing the amount of teachers a district employs is not a very politically saliable nor, in some cases, feasible feat.  

The New York Times and the Diane Rehm show both have some good material out this week on the problematic nature of ballot measures and referenda.  


Don't miss another State EdWatch post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox. And make sure to follow @StateEdWatch on Twitter for the latest news from state K-12 policy and politics. 

 nor, in some cases, feasible feat.  

The New York Times and the Diane Rehm show both have some good material out this week on the problematic nature of ballot measures and referenda.  


Don't miss another State EdWatch post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox. And make sure to follow @StateEdWatch on Twitter for the latest news from state K-12 policy and politics. 

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