Maine Governor Seeks Sweeping Consolidation of Districts
Gov. John E. Baldacci of Maine has called for a dramatic restructuring of his state’s education bureaucracy in a proposal that would eliminate hundreds of locally elected school boards and scores of superintendents and replace them with 26 regional boards and schools chiefs.
Gov. Baldacci, a Democrat re-elected to a second term in November, is pledging that his overhaul would save nearly $250 million in the first three years—money that the state would steer back to local schools to hire principals, buy laptop computers for students, award college scholarships, and expand professional-development programs for teachers.
“It’s saving money and improving our strategies for raising achievement,” said Susan A. Gendron, the state education commissioner. “For example, by having only 26 districts rather than 290, we could meet on a monthly basis with all the superintendents and with all the curriculum coordinators to talk about our standards and best practices, and to get agreement on what our academic...
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