Governor, Commissioner to tour County
Feb. 12 listening tour will focus on school restructuring plans
February 9, 2007
AUGUSTA –Governor John Baldacci and Commissioner Susan Gendron have announced the schedule for their listening tour in Aroostook County on Monday, Feb. 12. They will meet with business, community and school leaders as well as students in Presque Isle and the St. John Valley.
The tour is in place of a forum that had to be cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. The goal of the day-long visit is to speak with various groups about the Governor’s Local Schools, Regional Support Initiative and other education restructuring plans under consideration by the Legislature.
Baldacci said in place of a single forum in Presque Isle, he wanted the chance to meet with people face-to-face in more than one location in Aroostook County. The schedule for the day is as follows:
- 7:45-9:30 a.m., Eggs N’ Issues, with Aroostook Partners for Progress, LEAD (Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development), and members of various chambers, at the Maine Community College, Edmonds Conference Center.
- 9:45-10:45 a.m., meeting with students at Presque Isle High School.
- 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., meeting with superintendents, other school administrators, school board members from Aroostook County, Presque Isle High School Regional Career & Technology Center (attached to Presque Isle High School).
- 1:45-2:45 p.m., meeting with students at Fort Kent High School library; teachers are welcome.
- 3:00-4:00 p.m., meeting with business community, Lions Club, University of Maine at Fort Kent, Nadeau Hall.
The Local Schools, Regional Support Initiative, which is included in the governor’s proposed two-year budget, would reduce the number of administrative units in the state from 290 to 26, while increasing investment in the classroom. The focus is on improving student outcomes through a better-organized educational structure.
The plan would also save $241 million in the first three years of operation, much of that going to direct property tax relief.
Also included in the governor’s budget is $170 million of new funding that fulfills the voters’ mandate to fund 55 percent of K-12 education. In four years, $800 million of new funding has been provided for education.
David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education, 207-624-6880