AUGUSTA—Governor LePage vetoed a measure that would have kick-started the rebuilding of schools in disrepair.
“For many communities, our schools are a source of community pride and also serve as our neighborhood centers. Unfortunately, many schools are old, crumbling and unsafe for our students and our community members,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “This bill would have cut the red tape to get our schools rebuilt and safe again.”
The measure would have allowed the top 12 schools on the Major Capital School Construction Priority List, which have not yet been approved for state aid for reconstruction, to begin the pre-planning process for building or rebuilding their schools.
Schools seeking state aid must apply with the State Board of Education and are ranked based on need. The schools are awarded funds as the funds become available. Schools not approved for funding by the State Board must wait for assistance. Seventy-one schools applied for aid, and only six were approved. The remaining sixty-five schools, all with various levels of need, will be penalized by the State Department of Education if they move forward with their projects.
“It’s important to see progress both inside the classroom and outside. This bill was an integral step in allowing schools to move forward with getting their construction plans on paper and move one step closer to being shovel-ready,” said Senate President Alfond.
Action on the Governor’s veto of LD 1235, “An Act Regarding School Construction,” will be taken up by the Legislature when it reconvenes on July 9th.