Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mainers want to repeal school consolidation law

Maine legislators heard from rural residents upset over a loss of control over their schools, as they re-evaluated a 2007 law consolidating school services. If history is any indication, the state will probably face a referendum in November on repeal of the law.

The law was aimed at saving money, but "referendum supporters see consolidation as an assault on local control, especially in rural areas known for moose-crossing signs and vast forests separating small towns," writes Associated Press reporter Glenn Adams. "They say the law has failed to deliver savings to local districts." Rep. Peter Edgecomb, who sponsored a bill to reform the law, called consolidation was a "strong-armed tactic that has no place in our rural state."

Supporters of consolidation, including Gov. John Baldacci, say that the bill has saved $36 million each year by eliminating duplication of services. The bill reduced 94 school administrative units to 24. (Read more)

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