“Super School Union” amendment to LD1932 advances in Senate


At long last, the state Senate took up LD 1932 last night, the first bill seeking to amend the controversial school district consolidation law passed last year. The majority report of the Education Committee was adopted, as well as Senator Mitchell’s amendment (put forward by MDI’s own Sen. Damon) which would allow for the creation of “super” school unions as an alternative to the fully consolidated Regional School Units in the current law.
Brian Hubbell, the MDI school board member who maintains the comprehensive and indispensable mdischools.net website offers a detailed account of last night’s actions in the Senate.
Supporters of accountability and transparency in government should be very concerned that one of the provisions of the amendments adopted last night postpones the budget validation process mandate for a year. I recently highlighted the successes of this school budget approval process in a new report. Under current law, every school district is to use the budget validation process this year, allowing all Maine voters to approve their school budgets through referendum vote. If LD 1932 passes as it was adopted by the Senate last night, it would be another year before the process goes into effect, no doubt costing taxpayers millions in lost property tax relief from school budget savings never realized.
Let’s hope the House of Representatives does a better job when the bill gets to them.