Education

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After months of delays, the Maine Department of Education has finally released hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to local districts to assist homeless students.

Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

More than 10 percent of students in Maine Public Schools have "chronic health conditions," such as asthma, type-1 diabetes and seizure disorders. Some local school officials say they believe the numbers of students with serious health needs is growing. This can lead to a particularly difficult problem in small, rural school districts, which may not have a full-time school nurse.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public File

According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Education, Maine schools are in need of teachers in all kinds of subjects, from math and science to Spanish and special education. The state Department of Education has proposed loosening some of its certification requirements, which some school officials hope can address the shortage.

School officials in the town of Swanville apologized to parents and students last Friday night after a shortage of bus drivers earlier this week forced them to close the town's elementary school for a day - but assured families that the problem wouldn't happen again.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

School officials in Skowhegan heard from dozens of local residents, students, and tribal members Tuesday night about whether to retire the high school’s Indians mascot. While several other districts have retired and replaced Native American mascots in recent years, Skowhegan High School is the only school in the state that still uses the name.

Julio Cortez / Associated Press

A lack of bus drivers forced an elementary school near Belfast to cancel classes on Monday.

Some Maine schools districts were shocked last fall to discover that they had been denied federally funded grants designed to help support homeless students.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Gov.-Elect Janet Mills will nominate a veteran teacher and administrator to serve as the state's next Commissioner of Education. Mills Wednesday announced that she has selected Brunswick Assistant Superintendent Pender Makin.

A new coalition of business and education groups says it hopes to expand and improve computer science education in Maine. The group — which includes the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the University of Maine system and Microsoft — is calling itself CS4Maine.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

School districts in Maine are in desperate need of bus drivers. The problem is particularly serious in some rural communities, where custodians and office assistants are being asked to get behind the wheel, and some districts are trying to avert a crisis.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

To become certified as a teacher in Maine candidates must pass certain tests of skills and knowledge. But some critics of the system say that there are cultural biases in the tests that are potentially keeping many applicants, including immigrants, from becoming teachers. The state has changed some its requirements in an attempt to address the issue.

Mainers are struggling to pay off their student loans, with their debt impacting everything from car purchases to health care.

Student loan debt is leaving borrowers in Maine in financial distress, with many putting off basic needs due to student loan payments. That's according to the results of a new poll from the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Cape Elizabeth High School became the latest school in the state to pull out of the federal school lunch program last week. District officials say the decision was made due to federal guidelines that it feels are too stringent.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The average student loan debt for Mainers who graduated from college last year is more than $30,000, one of the highest rates in the country.

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