Saturday, May 03, 2014
News to Know MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
It was suggested that sending along information on how to make your voice heard in the legislature might be helpful. I do hope you can find time to read about Bill H-883 as it would effect everyone, whether or not you have kids in school. It's scary to read "it was shown that merely the process of remaking the state’s educational districts would cost tens of millions of dollars." I personally think everything I've seen so far indicates there will be cost shifting, for if you make larger school districts, not only is there the initial cost to make all the changes, unless there are superintendents who are sitting around with a lot of free time on their hands (I don't think there is), they would need to hire additional people in order to take on more work. Having not only local schools but local school boards is vital for quality education and for our communities.
Below there is a bit of information I found in Rep. Donahue's Legislative Update regarding this topic.
Bill H-883 has gone to the Senate but I did include the Rep. contact info also and what information I could find from Rep. Donahue in regard to why there were people who voted Yes.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott email@example.com
SENATE BY DISTRICT
Washington District (3)
Cummings, Ann firstname.lastname@example.org
Doyle, Bill email@example.com
Pollina, Anthony firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
REPRESENTATIVES BY DISTRICT
Donahue, Anne firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Lewis, Patti, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
In the Legislative Update that Rep. Anne Donahue sent out today,
May 3, 2014 http://representativeannedonahue.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html,
she included information on the School Consolidation:
I think we need to move in the direction of larger districts so that our students have access to more opportunities and we gain from economies of scale and more consistent planning. I was therefore tempted to support this bill to get that conversation going.
We have the smallest districts in the country at 299 students per district.
districts of 1,200 students and New
Hampshire 818. We know we have one of the highest
per pupil costs, rising at an unsustainable level. Maine
However, this bill does not address the fundamental problems of the dynamics of cost and of the property tax burden, and I fear that if it passes (having “done something”) we will lose focus and pressure on addressing these more critical underlying issues.
I voted no; the bill passed on a relatively close 75-62 vote, and it is now up to the Senate to react in the short time remaining this session."
April 5th, 2014
"New School Governance?
A pending House bill would create much larger school districts, thereby reducing local control, to the extent that any remains. A single school board with representation from all of the towns would decide the district-wide budget.
The idea supports both economies of scale and broader opportunities for students.
It would not be fully implemented until 2020, with opportunities initially for towns to present voluntary proposals for expanded districts. It is late in the year for such a major change to get through both House and Senate, so perhaps it is only being floated as a trial balloon.
Nonetheless, Rep. Patti Lewis and I touched base with some of the
and Northfield school board members, and the general
sense is that this is ultimately something that needs to happen, so the process
should begin." Berlin