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Resolutions of the State Board of Education

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Regionalization/Consolidation Resolution

Adopted 8/21/02

Whereas, there are significant needs statewide for new, renovated, or expanded school facilities to serve students well; and

Whereas, the State Board of Education and Department of Education must designate the available resources for school facilities in a manner that best meets the needs of students, parents, and taxpayers statewide; and

Whereas, the passage of Maine’s Learning Results and of the federal No Child Left Behind Act have significantly raised expectations for equity in students’ opportunity to learn as well as for the breadth and rigor of academic programming; and

Whereas, the available census and other demographic data indicate significant current and prospective declines in student enrollments in Maine, with some regions experiencing massive, long-term decreases; and

Whereas, there are limited resources to address school facilities needs and ongoing costs of school operation and programming; and

Whereas, limited resources should be focused to the extent possible on the academic and co-curricular programming needs of students rather than administrative support such as maintenance and operating expenses; and

Whereas, extremely small schools and declining enrollments compound the issues both of effective breadth and rigor of academic programming for students, and the lack of economies of scale and financial sustainability of facilities and programs; and

Whereas, collaboration or regionalization of school facilities will in most cases continue to provide Maine children with schools that are small by national standards, consistent with the research that shows small schools can offer effective, positive learning environments for students,

Therefore, be it resolved by the State Board of Education

That the State Board of Education together with the Department of Education will continue to use the school facilities priority list to assess a school unit’s needs to address student safety, learning space, and programming issues, but the placement of an applicant on the priority list does not pre-determine that solutions to identified needs will be based on the replacement of the existing school building described in the application or constrained by existing school governance boundaries; and

Be it further resolved that the State Board of Education in conjunction with the Department of Education will enforce in the major capital construction program the expectation that all projects that seek Board approval under Chapter 61, Rules for School Construction Projects, will undertake meaningful, serious efforts and comply in good faith with the existing requirements in Maine Revised Statutes Title 20-A and in Chapter 61, that each applicant and project must determine (1) the suitability of renovation, expansion, or reconfiguration of existing buildings; and (2) the availability and accessibility of solutions utilizing space at existing facilities or new facilities in the region; and  

Be it further resolved that the State Board of Education reserves its authority on a case-by-case basis to decline approval, insist upon modifications, or take other appropriate action for concepts that do not satisfy these existing legal requirements; and

Be it further resolved that the State Board of Education together with the Department of Education will continue to provide a flexible, common sense approach that will lead to creative, effective, and efficient solutions to existing needs on a case-by-case basis.  

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RESOLUTION OF THE MAINE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Urging the United States Congress to Meet its Obligations in the Funding of Special Education

 Whereas, a Congressional mandate rightly and fairly requires public schools to provide for the education of children with disabilities; and

Whereas, the State of Maine has diligently and faithfully lived up to this mandate, providing appropriate education for all children with disabilities, and integrating those children into regular classrooms to the maximum feasible extent; and

Whereas, the State of Maine provides for the inclusion of such students as a part of the state’s assessment and accountability system; and

Whereas the State of Maine also provides accommodations and alternative approaches for the assessment of students with disabilities; and

Whereas, teacher certification requirements provide for all teachers to have instruction in the education and management of students with disabilities; and

Whereas the State of Maine is taking every possible means to assure the education of students with disabilities and is doing so at great expense to the state and to local school administrative units; and

Whereas the federal government funds less than 20 per cent of the cost of special education, notwithstanding the fact that it has promised to pay 40 per cent of the mandated costs;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Maine State Board of Education that the United States Congress be and is hereby implored to provide full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as it considers the reauthorization of that act, and to do so without deducting funds from other aspects of education.  Such full funding will enhance education for all students and will greatly relieve the burden placed upon our state and all states by this mandate and will constitute a more equitable sharing of obligations between the states and the federal government; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution shall be transmitted to all members of the Congressional delegation of the State of Maine, to the Governor, the Commissioner of Education, the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, the President of the Maine Senate, the Chairs and members of the Legislature’s Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and to the National Association of State Boards of Education and that a copy shall be posted on the web site of the State Board of Education.

Adopted by the Maine State Board of Education:  January 15, 2003

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Peru and SAD #21 District Consolidation

Statement of Fact:  School Administrative District #21 consists of the towns of Dixfield, Canton, and Carthage.  Peru is a stand-alone municipality and operates a K-8 elementary school.  Secondary students from Peru now attend the high school of their choice.  Most students either go to Dirigo High School (Dixfield) or Mountain Valley High School (Mexico-Rumford).  Peru is contiguous with both Dixfield and Canton.

RESOLVE

That the State Board of Education, in keeping with its policy on regionalization (Resolution of the State Board of Education, adopted 8/21/02), strongly supports the municipality of Peru joining with School Administrative District #21. 

That the State Board recognizes the high priority need for improved school facilities in Peru and in Canton and supports a school construction project that addresses the school needs of these communities once Peru has joined SAD #21 and SAD #21 has been placed on the Special Priority List.  The Canton Elementary School (SAD #21) is presently #12 on the Priority List and the Peru Elementary School is presently #13 on the Priority List.

Adopted February 12, 2003

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RESOLUTION FROM THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ENDORSING THE HEALTHY LEARNERS PROJECT RECOMMENDED BY THE GOVERNOR’S CHILDREN’S CABINET

 In it’s determination to:

  • Ensure that Maine schools provide a learning environment that allows and encourages all students to reach their fullest potential.

  • Affirm the worth of all children and their families through an integrated program of mental and physical wellness and social services.

The Maine State Board of Education strongly endorses the “Healthy Learners Project”, a preventative, research-based program that helps children adjust to and succeed in school at an early age and enhances their ability to achieve Maine’s Learning Results.

Research demonstrates patterns of school failure often begin in the first three years of school.  The research also emphasizes the critical importance of providing positive, early school experiences to young children.  When children’s life experiences can be fortified at an early age, this support helps them, as they grow older.  Thus, we believe that a child’s initial experience in school is often a determinant of future failure or success.  Healthy Learners Project seeks to help young children profit maximally from the school experience educationally, emotionally, and socially.

To this end we also believe it is critically important to take a preventive stance by systematically screening all children for appropriate adjustment to school.  The screening is particularly helpful in differentiating children who can benefit most from a prevention program from those in need of more intensive help.

Therefore, we, the State Board of Education strongly endorse expansion of this project beyond the current pilot sites and urge the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, the Legislature, and those in positions of leadership at the local level to take appropriate steps in policy development, to enable this project to expand and to make it available to all Maine children, kindergarten through third grade. 

Adopted February 12, 2003

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RESOLUTION

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

September 12, 2003

Support of LD 1629

One of the goals of the State Board of Education is to enhance “learning opportunities and support [education] systems through the efficient use of resources to accomplish essential services.”

In pursuit of this goal the State Board of Education finds that it is in the best interests of the people of Maine to assure equitable and sufficient resources to support each student.

Furthermore, we believe that a responsible education funding plan, phased-in to achieve 55% state funding, will best serve our students without jeopardizing other critical state services. The addition of a limit on the mandated local mill rate to support education will assure greater taxpayer equity. The combination of funding based on Essential Programs and Services and a five-year phase in will achieve equity for both students and property taxpayers.

The State Board of Education believes that LD 1629, A Competing Measure , put forward by the Governor and Legislature, best achieves the needed balance. Therefore, the State Board supports this proposal which will appear on the ballot in November 2003.

Vote: 9-0-0 (Unanimous)

Adopted 9/12/03

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