Op-ed on Consolidation in today’s KJ
Competing consolidation plans? No problem. Consolidate them.
Stephen L. Bowen
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel Thursday, May 10, 2007
Time is running out for the Legislature to develop a broadly acceptable plan to squeeze some administrative savings out of Maine’s school systems. The education and appropriations committees have produced two plans to choose from, but neither seems to have widespread legislative support.
The education committee’s plan would do little more than maintain the status quo. The appropriations subcommittee plan takes a more aggressive approach and ultimately gives the unelected State Board of Education the final say over which school districts will be merged or eliminated. That plan focuses too much power and influence in Augusta.
The solution, therefore, is to find an approach that generates budget savings but does so without sacrificing local control — one that will improve educational services and increase accountability without saddling the state with enormous regional school districts.
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