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Brand-new teachers who enter Maine’s public school classrooms this fall will be paid at least $30,000 annually, an increase of more than $3,000 from what had been the state’s average starting salary for classroom rookies.
Gov. John Baldacci and state lawmakers struck the $4.2 million deal on teacher pay raises earlier in the summer as the legislative session drew to a close, according to the governor’s office.
Having passed Maine’s two-year, $5.5 billion budget last year, the legislature and Mr. Baldacci this year continued toward the goal of raising the state’s share of local education costs to 55 percent by approving $48 million in additional state aid for local districts. That boost will put the state’s share of K-12 funding at 50 percent for fiscal 2007, the governor’s office said.
Lawmakers also gave the green light to other education-related spending when it approved the governor’s $219 million supplemental budget, including $5.8 million in new funds for Maine’s university and community college system.
A $500,000 appropriation in the supplemental budget allows for the expansion of an early-college program that had been serving 750 high school and community college students. The extra money will pay for a total of 1,250 students to participate.
Gov. Baldacci, a Democrat, is running for re-election in November.
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2006 edition of Education Week