Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler told the Waterville Rotary today that he would lengthen the school year, allow charter schools, tie teacher pay to student performance and merge the university and community college systems to improve education in Maine.

In a speech focused largely on education, Cutler said Maine can no longer afford to have under performing students.

“We need to reform education in Maine from top to bottom,” he said to the crowd gathered at the Alfond Youth Center.

He also praised Waterville for its new Educare facility that focuses on early childhood education and said there needs to be more of those types of programs across the state.

Cutler is one of five people running for governor on Nov. 2. Waterville Mayor Paul LePage, a Republican, and Senate President Libby Mitchell, D-Vassalboro, have already spoken to the Waterville Rotary. Independents Kevin Scott and Shawn Moody have been invited to speak to the group in the coming weeks.

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