February 8, 2013

Progress made on plan to fix Maine budget shortfall

But differences emerge on proposals by the governor on charter school funding and aid to cities and towns.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

and Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

In this file photo, people move through the third floor between the House and Senate chambers at the State House in Augusta. The Maine Legislature's budget-writing committee made progress Thursday on an emergency spending plan to fix Maine's $153 million budget shortfall.

Joe Phelan / Staff Photographer

Democrats on the Education Committee opposed that, and included the state's two operating charter schools -- Cornville Regional Charter School and the Maine Academy of Natural Science at Good Will-Hinckley -- in a small round of cuts.

In November, the Morning Sentinel reported that a total of 107 students went to the two schools, and while the Hinckley school drew students -- and by extension money -- from 27 districts, the Cornville school drew from five.

The committee's decision drew the ire of LePage, Stephen Bowen and Sawin Millett, the governor's education and finance commissioners.

LePage said it was "a failure to put our students first," and Bowen said Democrats "want charter schools to fail."

Millett dubbed the decision "an inequitable overreach" that is "fiscally inconsequential" to the budget process.

The Appropriations Committee has already made some changes to the governor's proposal. The panel has unanimously endorsed a measure to restore $700,000 to the state's adoption subsidy program.

Still under consideration are proposals to eliminate the state's Drugs for the Elderly Program, as well as a $1.7 million cut in mental health services and $4.2 million for state-funded adoption and foster care services.

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 370-7652 or at:

mshepherd@mainetoday.com

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

smistler@pressherald.com

On Twitter: @stevemistler

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)