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Maine Education Commission Issues Recommendations

A state education task force wants Maine to increase teacher pay, expand preschool programs and change the state’s funding formula to improve education.

The state’s blue ribbon education commission laid out those recommendations in a report adopted on Wednesday. The report also includes recommendations to explore a statewide teacher contract as well as create new programs to recruit teachers for poor and rural schools.

The commission, created by lawmakers last year to improve student performance and look at funding reforms, now sends the report to the governor and legislature for the upcoming budget session.

Voters approved a 3 percent surtax last year to increase education funding. However, in his budget proposal released last month, Gov. Paul LePage proposed decreasing education funding, consolidating schools and eliminating state funding for superintendents.