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Politics

LePage Pushes for Regionalizing Schools, Blasts Superintendents

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says Maine should regionalize education services to fight what he described as a costly and redundant administration statewide.

The governor unveiled a draft proposal during a press conference in which he again blasted school superintendents.

In addition to his proposal to provide incentives for school district consolidation, the governor says he wants to create about a dozen school management districts to share administrative costs, such as food service planning, transportation and special education.

"If we don't change, all of our kids are at risk because the money, the cost of education in Maine, is going through the roof," LePage said.

The governor's proposal would have to be approved by the Legislature. Lawmakers are already debating details of a $6.8 billion two-year budget, about a seventh of which is education funding.

Democrats and Republicans are also at odds over a 3 percent surtax on wealthy Mainers that voters approved last year. The surtax is designed to increase education funding.