Maine Education Project

The Maine Education Project explores student-centered learning from early childhood through college and beyond. The project is funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, which is working to encourage a transformation of public schools toward places that create learning opportunities to engage and inspire all students to meet challenging standards.

Spearheaded by Robbie Feinberg, education news producer, and Dave Boardman, education program coordinator, the project seeks stories about innovative learning in Maine’s classrooms and educational institutions and connects with the voices of students, educators and policymakers as they look at solutions to the challenges facing education today. We highlight the perspectives of students and educators, and provide curriculum resources for writing about education and finding success through our Raise Your Voice! initiative.

Have a story suggestion? Contact the team at MaineEducationProject@mainepublic.org.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

There are still no reported cases in Maine of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. But as cases have increased nationwide, state and local officials have started to prepare. Schools around the state are stepping up their hygiene and emergency practices in preparation, with some even using the situation as a learning experience.

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Portland School officials say a voter-approved $64 million bond is no longer enough to cover the costs of renovation for four of the district's elementary schools.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is asking the federal government to reverse changes that have put more than $1 million in grants for rural Maine schools in jeopardy.

Maine’s Department of Education is alerting districts that the state could lose more than $1 million in federal grants for rural and low-income schools. The change could reduce funding that has helped pay for technology, art and physical education teachers, and mental health counselors across many of the state’s small rural districts.

Charles Dharapak / Associated Press file

Maine's Department of Education has decided to end a program called AP4All, allowing high school students to access college-level classes online that they otherwise might not be able to get locally.

Maine Public

The Maine legislature is considering a number of measures aimed at expanding public pre-K programs.

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A high school in northern Aroostook County has been named the second-best in the country. A recent ranking from U.S. News & World Report placed the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, a small public magnet school in Limestone, as the best public high school in the state, and behind only one other school nationwide.

The University of Maine System announced on Tuesday that nearly a quarter of in-state undergrads at its public universities are receiving enough grants and scholarships to entirely cover their tuition and fees this semester.

Brett Plymale / Maine Public

The challenges of poverty and homelessness affect thousands of young people across Maine and create barriers that extend far beyond school walls. But some districts are trying approaches aimed at keeping those kids engaged in learning by also helping them with basic needs. A new program that takes such an approach in York County is showing early signs of success.

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.

In many rural towns across Maine, schools are on the front lines of the effort to identify students who are homeless or displaced, and to help them with basic needs like clothing, food and health care.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Recent financial trends have not been kind to some organizations serving homeless youth, especially those in rural Maine. Programs and youth shelters in Rockland, Skowhegan and Rumford have all closed over the last dozen years. With fewer resources, teens in rural areas have had to face a tough choice: stay within the community they know or move to an unfamiliar city that might offer more support.

Brett Plymale / For Maine Public

Maine is seeing a growing number of young people, from preschool through 12th grade, who are homeless or displaced. They are moving into shelters, couch surfing with other families and, in rare cases, camping or living in cars. According to the National Center for Homeless Education the number of homeless youth increased by 30 percent in just two years.

Brett Plymale / For Maine Public

The rising incidence of youth homelessness can stay hidden in a rural state like Maine, yet just two years ago, more than 2,500 public school students in the state were reported as homeless or displaced — a significant increase from the numbers seen just two years prior.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The school board for RSU 21 in Kennebunk is hiring legal counsel to help it select an independent investigator to look into racist incidents in the district and the response by administrators.

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