Sens. Daughtry, Rafferty praise plan to reach 55 percent funding for education for the first time in 17 years
AUGUSTA – Today, Gov. Janet T. Mill unveiled her supplemental budget proposal, which includes $187 million for public education. Under this proposal, the state’s contribution to K-12 public education would reach the 55 percent threshold in state law for the first time in 17 years. This statutory requirement was put in place by Maine voters in 2004.
Assistant Majority Leader Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, member of the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, and Sen. Joe Rafferty, Chair of the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, released the statements applauding this move.
“We all know how important a strong education foundation is for setting young people up for success. That’s why years ago, Maine voters told the state to dedicate enough funding to cover 55 percent of public school costs. I’m thrilled that we will finally be making good on that promise. As a graduate of Brunswick Public Schools, I know just how much time and heart teachers and staff put into making sure their students have what they need to grow, learn and thrive. By making sure the state is meeting the 55 percent funding requirement, we’re stating clearly that we have teachers’ backs, and that we want to make sure they have what they need to do their jobs well. Especially after a trying year of juggling remote learning, increased safety rules and other trials, this increase in funding is coming at a vital moment.”
“After almost two decades, Maine has finally honored the state’s commitment to our students, parents, teachers and local communities. And to be honest, these funds could not come at a more important time for our schools and communities. With this significant investment, Maine schools will have the funds and support needed to reopen safely and get Maine students back on track in the wake of this horrible pandemic. If anything, this pandemic has proven the lengths Maine educators go to serve our kids. I’m hopeful that this increase in funding will ensure that teachers have what they need to do their jobs.
“As a retired educator, a coach, a parent and a property taxpayer, I believe this investment is long overdue, but I am grateful that the state plans to finally keep its word to Maine people.”