Maine Education Association

Lewiston Public Schools

Teachers in Lewiston are urging the school district to reconsider its proposed plan to reopen schools this fall. They're worried about protecting the health and safety of staff and students.

Matt York / AP File

One of the most difficult decisions facing local and state officials in Maine is whether — and how — to reopen schools this fall. The state Department of Education has released its initial guidelines for reopening, with districts around the state likely to release their local plans over the next month.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

A dispute over a new teacher contract in Scarborough is generating national attention.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Dozens of teachers rallied outside the State House in Augusta Wednesday, arguing that they should have more of a say in local decisions and be allowed to go on strike.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Bills to create a uniform teacher contract across the state are set for key committee votes.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says such an idea would help rural districts compete for teachers.

Bills sponsored by GOP Reps. Matt Pouliot and Jeffrey Timberlake are set for work sessions Tuesday.

Pouliot says his bill would maintain local control while creating a uniform compensation system based upon performance results.

Timberlake says Maine shouldn't just throw more money at education.

The Maine Education Association has voted against the concept of a statewide teacher contract, delivering a blow to a policy that’s been heavily pushed by Gov. Paul LePage.

MEA President Lois Kilby-Chesley says the teachers’ union’s board of directors voted against a statewide contract partly because of policy differences, including that her organization didn’t want pieces of the contract to be split up between the state and local districts.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Education Association is coming out in support of a proposal that would require the state to mandate at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity for school children.
 
The proposal was the subject of a public hearing on Wednesday. The teachers union says a survey of its members found that schools were sometimes forced to eliminate recess to complete mandated testing.
 
The union issued a statement that "unstructured play time is as important as the classroom skills.''
 

BANGOR, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage is going after the state teachers' union for its support of two questions that will appear on the November ballot.

"The MEA wants legislators to support a 10 percent income tax on successful Mainers," LePage says in his weekly radio address.

AUGUSTA, Maine - What should high school seniors be expected to master before they are allowed to graduate? Lawmakers on the Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee heard public testimony on a proposal aimed at "proficiency-based" diplomas, which will be required as of 2017.

Under current law, students must show they've mastered the material in mathematics, English language arts, science and technology, and the other five subject areas that make up the state learning standards.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Education Association brought teachers from across the state to Augusta to discuss what they say is a devastating education budget proposal by Gov. Paul LePage.

Acting Education Commissioner Tom Desjardins was quick to fire back, saying support for Maine schools from the state is at record levels.

The MEA says the aid to local schools proposed by LePage is flat funded at a time when the costs of running schools, from salaries to supplies, continues to go up.