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Committee rejects bill to limit School Board authority

The Education Committee voted 10-3 against L.D. 1544, An Act To Improve Teaching Assignments in Maine, in a bipartisan rejection of an attempt to limit the School Board’s legal authority to adopt education policy for their local districts.

The bill dealt with policy as it relates to teacher transfers, but was seen by many as a first step in an attempt to make all education policy negotiable.

In its vote, the committee acknowledged the importance of making teacher assignments that are in the best interest of students, while taking into account teacher preference, but said adopting policy needs to be the purview of the local board.

In addition to the 10-3 vote to reject the bill, the committee unanimously supported a proposal that Maine School Boards Association make known to all its members the benefits of adopting local policy around teacher transfers and share sample policy. Sample policy is shared today by the association, but the committee hopes for greater awareness statewide.

The bill will now go to the full House and Senate for a vote. MSMA will alert school board members and superintendents of the need to contact their legislators prior to the full vote.

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