In December LePage threatened to close schools April 1; last night he made same threat for May 1
On January 20, 2012 At 3:00 pm
Responses : 4 Comments
At an event organized so that residents of Aroostook County could express their concerns about Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed Medicaid cuts, Gov. LePage threatened to close Maine schools on “April 1″:
Last night at the Androscoggin County Town Hall meeting held in Lewiston, Gov. LePage again threatened to close Maine’s schools, this time on “May 1″:
In response to these threats, Sen. Justin Alfond (D-Cumberland) issued the following statement:
It is unconscionable that the Governor is using school children as leverage for his agenda. Maine’s Constitution is clear. The Governor does not have the authority to shut down Maine’s schools. Apparently the Governor is out of touch with what’s really going on. Democrats and Republicans in the Appropriations Committee are working hard to solve the state’s budget issues. By making false accusations, the Governor is instigating, bullying, and ultimately distracting from the process. If he really wants the committee to ‘get going’ then he needs to let them do their work.
Education is so highly valued in Maine that the subject enjoys its own section in the Maine Constitution: Article VIII. – Part First. From it, this section that reserves jurisdiction over public education to the Legislature:
Section 1. Legislature shall require towns to support public schools; duty of Legislature. A general diffusion of the advantages of education being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people; to promote this important object, the Legislature are authorized, and it shall be their duty to require, the several towns to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public schools; and it shall further be their duty to encourage and suitably endow, from time to time, as the circumstances of the people may authorize, all academies, colleges and seminaries of learning within the State; provided, that no donation, grant or endowment shall at any time be made by the Legislature to any literary institution now established, or which may hereafter be established, unless, at the time of making such endowment, the Legislature of the State shall have the right to grant any further powers to alter, limit or restrain any of the powers vested in any such literary institution, as shall be judged necessary to promote the best interests thereof.