Home >MSMA News >Contact your legislators to protect local control on School Boards – February 28, 2019
Contact your legislators to protect local control on School Boards – February 28, 2019
L.D. 240, the bill that would make education policy negotiable in Maine, has been amended to focus on involuntary transfers, teacher preparation time and a third, very broad category being called teacher workload – all three of which would have a significant impact on educational costs and ultimately local taxpayers.
No advanced notice was given to the public on the amendment despite the significant financial consequences of making those policies negotiable.
L.D. 240, An Act To Allow Public Employers of Teachers to Negotiate Regarding Educational Policies, was heard in the Labor Committee on Feb. 20 and was supported by the Maine Education Association. School Board members and administrators testified against the bill.
It was tabled in the work session on Wednesday, Feb. 27. At that session it was announced the bill would be sent to the Education Committee for a review, but not a vote. A vote will be taken when the bill comes back to the Labor Committee.
While L.D. 240 was amended, its scope still contains major cost drivers.
School Boards and superintendents are urged to contact their local legislators and ask them to vote against L.D. 240.
Ask legislators to oppose L.D. 240 for the following reasons.
Education Policy currently is and should remain a local decision and School Boards are elected by the people.
Through School Board meetings, the public, including teachers, parents, students and taxpayers have a chance to speak. If policy is negotiated, you will have three board members and three people from the union making all the decisions behind closed doors.
Negotiating education policy will cost money. When the two sides disagree and reach an impasse, it will go to arbitration and those carry a price tag of anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 or more.
Negotiating the big three mentioned above i.e. involuntary transfers, workload, and preparation time for teachers, all will raise the cost of education.
Taxes will go up; administrators will be in non-stop negotiation; and, residents will lose local control.
Debate will focus on the adults in the building instead of the students we are charged to serve.
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