Maine high school students will get to read interviews

In the coming week, high school students across Maine will be given a new tool to help them with decisions about higher education, careers and other life choices.

Navigating the Real World, a nonprofit in Portland, will distribute the first printed version of its website, which features video interviews with more than 50 people in their 20s, most of them Mainers. The young people talk about what they have done since high school, what they wish they had been told back then, and what they would do differently.

The nonprofit plans to deliver 70,000 copies of its 16-page tabloid newspaper to high schools and some middle schools across Maine, said Tom Tracy, founder and executive director of Navigating the Real World.

Tracy, a former alternative-education teacher at Bonny Eagle High School, plans to make the newspaper a twice-yearly publication and involve high school students in conducting interviews. His organization has received financial support from Hannaford Bros., Wright Express and the University of Southern Maine.

The website, NavigatingTheRealWorld.org, also features interviews with employers, who talk about what they need from workers and what they’re getting in the current job market.


School Committee considers reducing proposed budget

The School Committee will meet Monday to consider a $109,000 reduction to the $90 million budget proposed for the next academic year.

The City Council’s Finance Committee has asked the School Committee to reduce expenses so that property taxes will increase less than 1 percent from the municipal and school budgets.

If school and city officials reduced budgets equally to achieve that goal, the schools’ portion of the cut would be about $400,000.

The School Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in Room 209 at City Hall.

The proposed cut would reduce money available for professional services such as consultants. The proposed school budget would be $89.9 million.

The council is expected to vote on the school budget on May 3. The budget will go before voters on May 11.


Portland High sophomores to visit colleges next week

All sophomores at Portland High School will spend Wednesday visiting colleges in an early effort to whet their appetites for higher education.

The students will visit one or two of these colleges: Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, the University of Southern Maine and the University of New Hampshire.

“The purpose of the visit is to get students excited about college and to have them start comparing and contrasting schools,” said Theresa LaPlante, a Portland High guidance counselor. “Students who start thinking about their career plans early in high school are more motivated to work hard and to dream big.”

The visits will include student-led tours, information sessions with admissions representatives and lunch in the college dining halls. The MELMAC Foundation will cover the cost of bus transportation and lunch.

Sophomores at Deering High will make college visits on May 3.


Baldacci tells state agencies to adapt to health care law

Gov. John Baldacci is ordering state agencies to begin implementing the national health care law that was signed by President Obama last month.

Baldacci said Friday that a steering committee with local, state, federal and tribal representation will plan the state’s implementation of the reform law, but he said the state has already adopted many of its components.

One of the first things the steering committee must do is find out how to access federal funds to maximize affordable coverage and plan for the creation of a state health exchange.

Maine’s Dirigo Health agency already does many of the things envisioned by the exchange, such as contracting with insurers and negotiating rates.


— From staff and news services


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