Letter: LePage funding plan supports education

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Edgar Allen Beem claimed Gov. Paul Lepage has shown nothing but contempt for public school teachers, students, administrators and schools (The Universal Notebook, Jan. 14). Gov. LePage has consistently made funding public education a priority. He increased funding for public education by $63 million in his first two-year budget.

Gov. LePage increased funding for Maine’s public schools in his recent budget proposal by increasing funding for five-year schools for public school students to get high school diplomas and community college degrees in five years and by proposing increased funding for efficient delivery of educational services and providing more than $1.5 million in increased funding for the Aspirations and Jobs for Maine’s Graduates programs. Gov. LePage also proposed providing more than $13 million directly to school districts to invest in initiatives that support school accountability, best practices and educational options.

As a veteran educator, when I heard Gov. LePage had spoken out about Maine’s teachers being underpaid and expressed concern that teachers across this state are forced to buy supplies with their own money, I understood first hand what he means when he says “We need to get more money into the classroom” and then back it up with funding proposals that reflect his promises.

With all due respect to Mr. Beem, let’s have the courage to approach the governor’s proposals from the perspective of Maine’s parents, students and teachers. That is, in my opinion, what they deserve.

Karen A. Gerrish