AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. John Baldacci used his weekly radio address to focus on education as schoolchildren return to school.

Baldacci said the state’s future depends on a well-educated and skilled work force. And he zeroed in implementation of national Common Core standards and the Educare program’s emphasis on early childhood education as programs that will help Maine’s schoolchildren succeed.

The governor thanked teachers for their efforts and long hours in the upcoming school year, which for most kids begins around Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer.

Baldacci says he knows what teachers deal with. His wife, First Lady Karen Baldacci, is an educator who serves as Chair of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet.