Entries Filed in 'Education'
A measure to increase transparency in student transfers between school districts will be considered during the second legislative session that begins in January.
Rep. Brian Hubbell, successfully appealed the Legislative Council’s initial decision on LR 2478. The governing body on Thursday voted 9-0 to allow the proposal to advance after Hubbell explained that it was needed to clarify the intent of a bill, LD 530, that was passed in the previous session.
“Last session, the Legislature unanimously passed a bill that would require school superintendents to document why they made the non-resident student transfer decisions they did,” said Hubbell, a member of the Education Committee. “But since then, the administration has reinterpreted the law – wrongly, I would say – to mean that superintendents are required to approve transfers unless they prove the move is not in the student’s best interest.”
This misinterpretation undermines local control and would lead to increases in the tax burden for the community receiving the transferring student, Hubbell said.
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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree worked to get the $100,000 grant for Maine schools. photo by Ramona du Houx
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today that Healthy Communities of the Capital Area in Kennebec County will receive a $100,000 Farm to School grant from the USDA.
“Maine schools today want to buy more food locally, but there aren’t many systems in place to help them do it easily. This investment will help fund innovative efforts to help schools overcome those barriers,” said Pingree. “Maine schools have shown such an incredible commitment to supporting local farmers and connecting students with the food they eat—and the results have been strengthened economies and healthier school meals. I’m excited that Healthy Communities of the Capital Area has this opportunity to help strengthen and expand those impacts.”
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Five years after the end of the Great Recession, 100,000 Mainers remain either unemployed, working only part-time, or have given up because employers won’t hire them. Yet there are Maine companies that can’t find workers with the skills they need. The proposed bonds will both create jobs and enable Maine workers to acquire the education they need for good paying jobs.
The Maine Center for Economic Police (MECEP) analysis shows that the five bonds totaling $149.5 million will attract another $177 million in matching federal funds, support approximately 4,400 jobs and generate $570 million of local spending, adding fuel to Maine’s economy.
For several towns, this will be the first election using the DS200 tabulators.
The five bond proposals that appear on the ballot include:
• Question 1: $14 million to repair Maine’s armories
• Question 2: $15.5 million to enhance classrooms and laboratories at the seven UMaine campuses
• Question 3: $100 million for roads and bridges, and other transportation improvements
• Question 4: $4.5 million for a new science laboratory at the Maine Maritime Academy
• Question 5: $15.5 million to enhance classrooms and laboratories at the seven Maine Community colleges
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Tags: Voting in Maine
A measure to help students make higher education and related borrowing decisions will be considered by the Legislature when it reconvenes in January. The bill would take advantage of the vast amounts of data available to the state. The measure would provide students, their families, educators and school counselors with easy-to-access information on employment rates, average wages and other useful measures tied to specific majors.
“Student debt is a real issue for Mainers,” said House Majority Leader Seth Berry, the bill’s sponsor. “Access to user-friendly data about earnings in various fields can help students make informed decisions as they pursue higher education.”
In Maine, 71 percent of college graduates have higher education debt, with the average debt standing at $26,046, according to the Project on Student Debt. Berry’s “Know-before-you-go” bill would help parents and students make decisions based on having more information.
The Legislative Council on Wednesday voted 7-3 to allow the measure, LR 2238, in for the second regular session of the 126th Legislature.
A bill aimed at leveling the playing field for low-income students in public schools was given the green light earlier today with a vote of nine to one by a panel of legislative leaders.An Act to Improve Educational Outcomes for Students in Poverty in Maine’s Public Schools, (LR 2486) seeks to align the way Maine disburses certain federal education dollars with its intended purpose: improving the academic achievement of disadvantaged youth.
“By boosting funding to districts that receive Title 1 dollars, we will give the neediest schools an opportunity to offer the kind of programs that are proven to help students–like after school and tutoring programs, extended day programs and family engagement programs,” said Senator Gratwick, a Democrat from Bangor. “We need to give all students a chance to succeed, not just those who come from wealthy zip codes.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, Title 1 funding is to be granted to “school districts to improve educational programs in schools with high concentrations of students from low income families.” Currently, Maine’s Department of Education allows the state to offset Title 1 funds from the state’s contribution to a school district’s funding. 65% of Maine’s public schools receive Title 1 funding.
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With a unanimous vote from the state’s legislative leadership panel, a measure to increase access to higher education will move forward for full consideration before the legislature.In Maine, 78 percent of college graduates from public four year colleges have higher education debt, and the average debt is nearly $27,000, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.
Sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond, An Act to Promote Higher Education, LR 2246 would allow students to attend college tuition-free if they pay a fixed percentage of their income back to the state over a 20 year period.
“More and more jobs require a college degree, yet college is increasingly becoming out of reach for more Mainers,” said Alfond. “We need a new approach to make college more affordable.”
The measure would explore a number of different options including a “Pay it Forward, Pay it Back” system where the State of Maine could provide student loans to students enrolled in the University of Maine System, which would then be repaid when the students enter the workforce.
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Tags: Affordable college in Maine
Public school employees will have suicide awareness and prevention training, thanks to a law that goes into effect today, Wednesday, Oct. 9.
“Suicide knows no boundaries,” said Rep. Paul Gilbert, the measure’s sponsor. “It can happen to anyone, at any time. No one is immune to depression. This new law is going to have a positive impact reaching far beyond the classroom.”
The new law requires Maine public school personnel to receive training in suicide awareness. The size of the school district would determine the number of employees who also undergo more advanced prevention training.
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A new electrical and computer engineering laboratory just opened at the University of Maine in Orono. The laboratory features new tools, which includes analog integrated circuits and embedded processors, students will have the opportunity to work in a hands on particle learning environment.
“The opening of this lab will be a true showcase for both the ECE department and TI,” said Don Hummels, ECE department chair for the University of Maine. “The tools will be invaluable in helping to develop engineers who are ready to tackle the world’s challenges.”
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Tags: Innovation in Maine
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will award more than $13 million in grants to Maine community colleges to improve access to training opportunities in information technology (IT) in order to meet the growing demand for skilled IT workers across a range of industries.
“This is exactly the type of investment in our economy that we need right now. This initiative will not only help workers in our state take that next step in their careers, but it will provide training that can be directly applied to positions that Maine employers are desperately trying to fill. This is truly a win-win for Maine workers and businesses, and it’s a model that should be built upon moving forward,” said Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, Rep. Mike Michaud and Rep. Chellie Pingree in a joint statement.
The funding will go to a consortium made up of Maine’s seven community colleges in strategic partnership with employers, workforce development agencies, industry associations, and other institutions of higher education. The statewide initiative is called “Maine is IT!” and is expected to serve over 2,000 unemployed and under-employed Mainers. Recent studies show that the fastest growing sector is in IT but Maine has lacked behind in training opportunities. These grants will help fill that void.
Maine’s Community College system started in 2003 when Governor John Baldacci took the technological colleges and turned their system into a community college network. By doing so new programs in a wide ranging variety meeting the needs of an every changing marketplace have been introduced. Now Community College credits can be transferred to the Maine University system.
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Tags: Maine's community colleges
“This afternoon I’m looking forward to welcoming University of Maine students coming to Bangor today for the Bangor artwalk which is a collaborative of several arts and cultural entites in Bangor,” said Bangor City Councilman Joe Baldacci.
A free bus ride from the University of Maine campus to Bangor will be offered to students Friday, Sept. 13 to attend the fall Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative Art Walk.
A Cyr Bus will be available to board in front of the Collins Center for the Arts on campus at 4:30 p.m. with a departure time of 4:45 p.m. Students will arrive at the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor around 5:15 p.m. for a reception, orientation and welcome from various speakers, including MFA graduate student Siglinde Langholz, who has an art installation at the museum, and Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.
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