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TO:                 Superintendents of Schools and Principals


FROM:           J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE:            October 29, 2002


SUBJECT:     Legislative Youth Advisory Council



The 120th Maine Legislature established the Legislative Youth Advisory Council in PL 2001, Chapter 439, Part PPP.


The Council has 21 voting members, appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, and 5 non-voting members (Children’s Cabinet) established by statute.  Representative Michael Quint, the sponsor of the legislation that established the Council, is Co-Chair.  Senator Lynn Bromley and Representative Carol Weston also serve on the Council.


The other eighteen (18) voting members are Maine youth consisting of twelve (12) students in secondary schools or secondary students who are enrolled in programs that lead to a secondary school diploma, or a general equivalency diploma; two (2) students who are enrolled in an equivalent instruction program; and four (4) students at post secondary educational institutions located in the State.  (See list of secondary school members attached.)  Molly Feeney, a student at Mt. View High School, is co-chair of the Council.


The general purpose of the Council is to advise the Legislature and joint standing policy committees on policy and budgetary matters related to youth, and to conduct annual seminars for its members regarding leadership, government, and the Legislature. 

The Council has also been charged to work cooperatively with the Department of Education on the integration of Council experience with the intent of Maine Learning Results standards relative to involved citizenship and career preparation.  To the best of our knowledge, this Council is the only such youth advisory group in the United States.  It offers our youth a real voice and holds promise as an experience that can provide Maine with the teachers of tomorrow.


The Department is working with the Council and is particularly impressed with the insightfulness and commitment of the student members of the Council. 


This is a unique learning opportunity for these youth as they contribute to the Legislative process and assist in the integration of the Learning Results standards.  I join you in recognizing this important opportunity for these young people, and I thank you in advance for supporting them and for making any necessary scheduling and attendance arrangements to allow for their participation.