Dear Legislators: What’s the point of issuing education mandates that you’re not going to fund? | Rethinking Education

…a question that cries out for an answer.  Many thanks to Kathreen Harrison for posing it, and outlining what so many of us may not know about what requirements entail:

Snail house. French children's bookhttp://rethinkingeducation.bangordailynews.com/2014/02/16/home/unfunded-mandates-when-will-the-state-and-federal-governments-put-their-money-where-their-mouths-are-when-it-comes-to-education/

 Dear Legislators: What’s the point of issuing education mandates that you’re not going to fund? | Rethinking Education.

“…The Maine Legislature passed LD 1422 in 2012. This is the law that mandates that schools transition to a standards-based education system. The transition does not come cheap. One superintendent estimated the total costs involved in standards-based education were at least approximately $60,000 per year; another district administrator said they had spent roughly $500,000 on professional development regarding standards-based education implementation. Yet the state decreased its financial contribution to education just at the time it passed this expensive mandate. The intent is for the local taxpayer to pay more……”

http://rethinkingeducation.bangordailynews.com/2014/02/16/home/unfunded-mandates-when-will-the-state-and-federal-governments-put-their-money-where-their-mouths-are-when-it-comes-to-education/

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16 responses to “Dear Legislators: What’s the point of issuing education mandates that you’re not going to fund? | Rethinking Education

  1. The local taxpayer is going to pay more and have less control especially if we stay an RSU – We have no idea how little control is left to local town governments since the institution of the RSU’s! Check out the State laws governing RSU’s. Common Core is just another way to spend taxpayer’s money and help big companies get richer!

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    • You pinpoint why the RSU model is so terrible — it creates “winners and losers”; the “losers” see their tax dollars go to one school and their children to another. The “winners” get to spend YOUR tax money in THEIR community; in THEIR children’s school, or to lower THEIR taxes while yours go up — and you can’t vote them out!

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  2. 15% THIS YEAR COMING, and only a hand full cares.
    Sherman is the only one carrying this shit. Starting to believe that 95% of tax payers in sherman would rather pay the money then deal with this problem. They talk big, but the votes prove it all. [YOU NO OUT OF SITE OUT OF MINE ] Buy kids your out of hear.

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    • Indeed, Sherman’s taxes have gone up, while those in communities to the North have gone down. SACS has seen investment, while Katahdin has been deliberately starved. The hope is that Sherman residents, buckling under a disproportionate tax burden will willingly close Katahdin on the false promise of recovering lost programs and services by bussing students to SACS. Research says it won’t happen, because there is no scale advantage and the costs involved will more than eat up any “savings”. This RSU should be an AOS — share whatever you want, but keep your finances separate. But you have to fight for that. Sherman, Patten, Mt. Chase… will never get control of their money back without a fight because, in the words of the “Humble Farmer”: “…there is too much money at stake, and it’s fun to spend other people’s money.”

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  3. concernedparentalso

    Well don’t laugh on that, that’s why they came up with in house suspension . 3/4 of the students don’t have any body home. Thats why its not a big deal to ship them over there. Out of site out of mine. So when your kids are riding the bus over 2 hours a day, and being bullied and not learning nothing. Think this ITS a real good deal.
    Go down to the shell and have coffee, talk big, do some swearing and then DON’T VOTE.

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    • You make a good point about people taking control. It’s a “real good deal” for Board representatives from the SACS side of the district who get to spend YOUR money. It’s a good first step to have coffee at the Shell, but please, don’t stop there. If you don’t like speaking publicly, that’s fine, but write a letter, pick up a phone and call your Board member – better yet, invite him/her to the Shell for coffee with you. This blog was intended to give people insight into the sort of things people are talking about anyway. I have to say I am surprised that people — especially Board members who represent the Katahdin side of the district — have been as tolerant as they have with the way the Superintendent has been spending their money; deliberately starving Katahdin, and behaving as though all the money belongs to SACS now….. When the RSU Law was enacted, many predicted this phenomenon! All the money would belong to one school, and the other would be starved; cue the ugly fights over distribution of local tax dollars between communities/schools. I had hoped that the fact that this Board is pretty even would prevent it, but this is worse. Why would any Board member go along with this? I clearly underestimated the ability of a Superintendent to shift the power of a trusting Board.

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  4. That is right, just like trying to get the votes over there. Why would they vote there tax’s would go up then, if we were out. Because you no he will never stop spending. Its going to happen and there is no body to help or enough people to stop it .

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  5. Yep, some talk the talk and some walk the walk. And some walk alone.

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    • You won’t walk alone for long, once you take those first steps. Do whatever is comfortable. People will follow suit, and you will be pleasantly surprised. This blog has 67 or 68 readers now? The number of people who want control of their tax money in the hands of a Board that represents them is growing all the time.

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  6. concernedparentalso

    The money is worth a good education, you have to pay your tax’s, but when you home school you no there getting what they need. Not
    a bunch of clowns that don’t speak up for education. You no the common statements, Well my spouse works there, i do not want my kid targeted , i don’t want him looking at me. As long as these fears
    are alive, it will never happen

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    • At the moment, your money is not being spent optimally for “…a good education”, with the money going from Katahdin to SACS and from Faculty to administration, management, consultants and other items that don’t benefit kids. I’ve heard all those “common statements” too, and that’s why this is down to us; parents and community members over whom this administration has no authority. Were you at the Public Forum by the way?

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  7. concernedparentalso

    No, and what i heard, i did not miss nothing. Things like that really get me up set. To write your views but don’t sign your name. Cant talk about our concerns only whats on the agenda. Only speak when
    your called on. This is not the freedom of speech i was born with.

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    • Many people share your complaint — way too controlled; questions were collected on the way out the door, with no way for them to be answered. That said, I’m glad I went. I did not see the mandate he was looking for, to close Katahdin. Will you join me in putting together a REAL public forum?

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  8. concernedparentalso

    What do you suggest ? How do we get the word out? Allot of people
    have a sour taste on meetings.

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    • There is plenty people can do if they have a sour taste on meetings. (If we can, somehow, get a forum together moderated by someone people trust; that isn’t controlled…. I hope they would give it a chance.) A letter to the editor of the Bangor Daily and/or Houlton Pioneer, copied to the administration and Board members, whose contact information is available here: https://docs.google.com/a/rsu50.org/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=cnN1NTAub3JnfHd3d3xneDo3NzUwMTg0YzhjNWQyZGMx Call your Board member, and let them know how you feel, and what you want him/her to do — they represent you after all. Involve your representative in the Maine legislature; let them know how the RSU law has affected you, and your community. Everything helps more than you think. I’m sure the word gets out quite well over coffee at the Shell, in the aisles of local grocers’, and people encouraging each other to do what they feel they can. You won’t see results from your efforts for awhile, but they ARE there. Look. Do you want your tax money spent in your community on your children? ….or are you O.K. with your children going to one school, your tax money to another and your taxes going up up and away? The RSU Board seats people who don’t pay taxes in your community, whose children do not attend your school, yet they spend your tax money — on their schools and their children. You’ll be happier if you do what you can, and probably, pleasantly surprised by what ensues:)

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