States

Maine Gov. LePage Wants Locals to Pay More Education Costs

By Daarel Burnette II — October 05, 2016 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he wants local districts to pay for superintendents’ and principals’ salaries, hinting at a budget proposal next year that will incentivize district consolidation, according to the Maine Sun Journal.

Maine voters next month will vote on Question 2, a ballot measure that will tax those making over $200,000 in order to provide districts with millions more dollars over the coming years. It’s being led by the state’s teachers’ union and touted as a way to get wealthy citizens to pay their fair share of skyrocketing education costs.

But opponents say pouring millions more dollars into a flawed funding formula will only result in widening the gap between poor and wealthy districts in the amount of money they get from the state.

They also say it will run off the state’s job providers and that those whose households bring in more than $200,000 a year aren’t necessarily “rich,” though the ballot measure is being slugged as a “tax the rich” proposal.

LePage told the Sun Journal that Question 2 was the “scariest” of all the measures on this year’s ballot.

“Why would I go to Maine for the privilege of paying a higher income tax when I could go to New Hampshire, where there is no income tax?” LePage asked, according to the Sun Journal.

The state legislature and governor for years have griped that the state’s local districts spend entirely too much money on education and almost a decade ago forced several of their largest districts to consolidate. That effort appeared not to have saved the state that much money after all.

LePage, who has had a topsy-turvy tenure, said Tuesday that he wants local school board members to scrutinize their education costs more and pay on their own the salaries of principals and superintendents.

“I have been the most pro-education governor in the history of this state,” LePage said. “I have undone a lot of stuff that was poorly done by other governors.”

School finance experts have pointed at teacher salaries, not administrative costs, as what’s driving up the costs of education. Reducing the amount of teachers a district employs is not a very politically

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he wants local districts to pay for superintendents’ and principals’ salaries, hinting at a budget proposal next year that will incentivize district consolidation, according to the Maine Sun Journal.

Maine voters next month will vote on Question 2, a ballot measure that will tax those making over $200,000 in order to provide districts with millions more dollars over the coming years. It’s being led by the state’s teachers’ union and touted as a way to get wealthy citizens to pay their fair share of skyrocketing education costs.

But opponents say pouring millions more dollars into a flawed funding formula will only result in widening the gap between poor and wealthy districts in the amount of money they get from the state.

They also say it will run off the state’s job providers and that those whose households bring in more than $200,000 a year aren’t necessarily “rich,” though the ballot measure is being slugged as a “tax the rich” proposal.

LePage told the Sun Journal that Question 2 was the “scariest” of all the measures on this year’s ballot.

“Why would I go to Maine for the privilege of paying a higher income tax when I could go to New Hampshire, where there is no income tax?” LePage asked, according to the Sun Journal.

The state legislature and governor for years have griped that the state’s local districts spend entirely too much money on education and almost a decade ago forced several of their largest districts to consolidate. That effort appeared not to have saved the state that much money after all.

LePage, who has had a topsy-turvy tenure, said Tuesday that he wants local school board members to scrutinize their education costs more and pay on their own the salaries of principals and superintendents.

“I have been the most pro-education governor in the history of this state,” LePage said. “I have undone a lot of stuff that was poorly done by other governors.”

School finance experts have pointed at teacher salaries, not administrative costs, as what’s driving up the costs of education. Reducing the amount of teachers a district employs is not a very politically saliable nor, in some cases, feasible feat.

The New York Times and the Diane Rehm show both have some good material out this week on the problematic nature of ballot measures and referenda.


Don’t miss another State EdWatch post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox. And make sure to follow @StateEdWatch on Twitter for the latest news from state K-12 policy and politics.

nor, in some cases, feasible feat.

The New York Times and the Diane Rehm show both have some good material out this week on the problematic nature of ballot measures and referenda.


Don’t miss another State EdWatch post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox. And make sure to follow @StateEdWatch on Twitter for the latest news from state K-12 policy and politics.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Bill to Restrict How Race and Racism Is Taught in Schools Headed to Texas Governor
If the "critical race theory" bill sounds familiar, that's because lawmakers passed a similar one during the regular legislative session.
Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
4 min read
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Eric Gay/AP
States Infographic Which States Are Reporting COVID-19 Cases in Schools?
Some states are reporting the number of COVID-19 cases in their schools and districts. Use this table to find your state's data.
Image shows the coronavirus along with data charts and numbers.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
States From Our Research Center Map: A-F Grades, Rankings for States on School Quality
Here’s a map showing grades for all the states on this year’s Quality Counts summative report card, on which the nation gets a C overall.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
Illustration of students reading with pie chart.
Getty
States Nation Gets a 'C' on Latest School Quality Report Card, While N.J. Again Boasts Top Grade
A slight increase in this year's Quality Counts score isn't enough to boost the nation's school system above last year's middling grade.
8 min read
Illustration of students reading with pie chart.
Getty