Teachers & School Administrators Speak Out Against LePage Budget 

Teachers and school officials were in Augusta Monday to speak in one voice over the governor’s proposed two-year budget.Those who made the trip to the State House held a press conference before telling members of the Appropriations Committee and the Education Committee that the LePage plan would have a devastating impact on education in Maine if they allow it to pass.LePage wants individual school districts to help shoulder the cost of teacher retirement costs. Under his plan, school officials say nearly $30 million in teachers’ retirement costs would be shifted from the state to school districts.School officials also want money from the Oxford Casino that’s earmarked for education to be spent on education and nothing else. “This proposed budget in my opinion is lacking in responsibility,” said Dick Durost, President of the Maine Proncipals Association. “It’s one that simply shifts responsibility from the governor and potentially the legislature on to local communities and their taxpayers. And let’s be honest, this is an unfunded mandate in the truest sense of the phrase.”The group says if the LePage budget goes through, athletics and extracurricular activities might have to go in many schools in Maine. They also say teaching positions could be cut leading to more kids per classroom.