The citizens of Maine passed a referendum to decide how to pay for public education. We decided that 55% of the cost should come from the state taxes we pay, and the remaining 45% from local taxes (mainly property taxes).
Please ask our legislators to enact legislation and pass a state budget that will provide the full amount of state funding for public education so that we can maintain excellent public schools without raising our local property taxes.
Once we have full state funding for public education, we can consider all-day pre-kindergarten for all families in Brunswick, not just a lucky few.
Starting public school at age four or five, instead of waiting until age six or seven, will give every child the best start in life. Some families are able to provide excellent educational opportunities outside of public schools for their young children, so pre-K should not be mandatory. But the option should be available to every family regardless of economic circumstance.
Please ask our legislators to enact legislation and pass a state budget that will allow Brunswick and school districts across Maine to offer a high-quality all-day pre-K option to every family.
All-day vocational training is not currently available in Brunswick for middle school and high school students. It should be.
We should strengthen our program for people who would like a career building or fixing things as a member of the skilled trades. This will require significant investment of time and money, including the construction of a new facility.
I believe a vocational training center for students starting at age 12 or 13 should be available here in Brunswick at Brunswick Landing (the former Naval Air Station), in proximity to companies that need skilled workers and our community college.
Please ask our legislators to enact legislation and pass a state budget that will enable Brunswick to offer a better vocational program to our students of middle and high school age.
We can improve the transition between school and society by changing the final two years of high school to be a structured program of public service, internship or apprenticeship. Our goal for every student should be to prepare them to be able to earn a living starting at age 18.
If we start public school at age four or five, two years earlier than now, we will have the same number of years of classroom instruction by the time a student is 15 or 16. We can then provide a different educational experience outside of the classroom for students until they graduate at 17 or 18.
A two-year opportunity to pursue public service, an internship, or an apprenticeship, will give all students the chance to work with adults on real-world challenges, applying what they've learned in school. Our current program of public education does not effectively manage this transition between school and society, leading many students to college without a clear plan or to the workforce without the necessary job skills to succeed.
Please ask our legislators to enact legislation and pass a state budget that will enable Brunswick and school districts across Maine to offer a two-year period of transition at the end of high school so students are better prepared for life after school.