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Educators and Students Speak Out in Opposition of Education Budget

Maggie Stokes a fifth grader from Oakland, Maine testifies on the impact education funding cuts have had on her public school experience."Bullying has been a problem in my school because we don't have enough money to hire aides and counselors to help those students with behavioral issues. I was physically attacked, literally, by the same student numerous times because there weren't enough adults around."
- Maggie Stokes, Oakland 5th Grade Student


The Governor’s budget claims to “flat fund” education for the next two years. This is not accurate. The budget proposal cuts public education funding by nearly $40 million. The “flat funding” is at the current curtailed amount which is a cut to our public schools. “Our schools can’t take any more cuts. We’ve said it a thousand times but clearly the Governor didn’t listen. Now, we hope the Appropriations Committee will hear the stories from our educators across the state and recognize that these cuts are having drastic impacts,” said Lois Kilby-Chesley, teacher and President of the Maine Education Association.

As school districts prepare for the worst with the Governor’s budget many districts are already talking about laying off dozens of teachers and cutting even more programs. In Brewer, the superintendent estimates, with the Governor’s budget the district will lose $1.4 million dollars. That amounts to 24-27 positions, mostly teachers which he says will have a “serious impact on our schools.” The example in Brewer is just one of many from across the state.

“From Kittery to Fort Kent, these cuts are going to have a negative impact on our schools, our communities and our property taxpayers,” said Kilby-Chesley.

On Monday, March 18th, many of our members, parents, students, superintendents and principals came together to tell legislators the Governor's proposed budget will hurt our schools and students. The MEA along with Maine School Management held a press conference prior to a hearing to discuss the cuts in funding. Every TV station in both the Portland and Bangor markets attended as did MPBN and newspapers.



Media Coverage on Education Budget Testimony

Proposed Budget Cuts will Sting, say Maine School Officials, Students - MPBN

Educators, Students, Parents Testify Need for Continued School Funding - WFVX Fox Bangor

Teachers & School Administrators Speak Out Against LePage Budget - WABI

Budget Battle Over Education Begins in Augusta - WCSH 6

Educators, Students Voice Opposition to LePage's Education Budget - WMTW 8

Teachers Union Say Proposed Cuts to Maine Education Go Too Far - WGME 13

Teacher Retirement Cost-shift Foes Line Up in Protest at Monday Hearing - Kennebec Journal

MEA Benefits Trust

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