October 29, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates address education

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4.Should Maine create statewide standards for special education programs?


Approaches to special education and rates of identification vary significantly throughout the state and our special education costs are soaring. We need to learn from those practices that are best serving our students who need services and examine whether statewide program standards will help us better meet this challenge at costs that we can sustain over time.


5. Do you believe the state should reach 55 percent in GPA funding? If yes, how long expect to get there and if no, what's the appropriate level of state funding?


The state has never reached (the 55 percent target) and we certainly will not be able to do so in the next few years. We first need to get overall state spending under control and then we need to enact comprehensive tax reform. In the process of doing so, we should revisit our approach to funding public education across the state. It is not at all clear to me that local property taxes can or should be the principal mechanism for doing so.


6. Is Maine's current per pupil spending too much, too little or just the right amount?


It is too high for the results we are getting, but it's not simply a question of how much we are spending, it's also a question of how we are spending it.


7. Do you support collecting students' Social Security Numbers to help develop Maine's longitudinal data system?


I think the studies can yield important data, but it should be up to the parents of each child to decide whether they want to share the child's Social Security data.


8. Should there be consolidation between the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System? What do you think it should be?


I want to merge our university and college systems. Having one governing body for both systems will improve efficiency and planning for the various campuses and reduce unnecessary duplication of programs. Broadband technology exists to accommodate video conferencing and asynchronous distance learning.



Kevin Scott on education


1. Do you support creating a charter school system in Maine?


Yes. Charter Schools represent competition, a key component to innovation and success. My plan calls for a partnership with Maine's vibrant, private secondary & post secondary schools. having the charter held by these private schools we can build on the economic contributions of an establish Maine industry as well as advance public charter schools performance and oversight.


2 . Do you support initiating a system of merit pay for public school teachers?


I would consider this on a pilot basis, not a one size fits all, statewide plan. It could then be analyzed based on real world experience.


3. Do you support further administrative reductions in the K-12 public education system?


This requires more study and listening time with the stakeholders. This issue is a community, student, teacher, administrator issue and I respect that. I do believe every community in Maine must have at minimum a K-5 school to avoid travel time, fatigue, and uncertainty on our most vulnerable students, those that are K-5


4 . Should Maine create statewide standards for special education programs?


No. Children should not be standardized; special education should be based on results sought by each family and teacher, not results imposed by government. This practice has failed in the past and I am seeking election to bring innovative, proven solutions to these problems.


5. Do you believe the state should reach 55 percent in GPA funding? If yes, how long expect to get there and if no, what's the appropriate level of state funding?

(Continued on page 5)

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Shawn Moody,  Eliot Cutler, Paul LePage, Kevin Scott, Libby Mitchell
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