MEA is always looking to ensure the voices of its members are represented at the state and national level as lawmakers make decisions that impact your work. As an MEA member, you benefit from the Association being a constant voice for the profession in Augusta and beyond. This legislative session, the MEA will work with Governor-elect Janet Mills and the new state legislature to create a positive environment for our students in our schools. Below are some of the top tier priorities identified by members for the MEA to work toward this year.

$40k – Teacher Salaries

MEA will revisit the bill it worked on for the last two legislative sessions that would lift starting teacher salaries up to $40,000. The bill provided stipends to districts to guarantee a minimum salary of $40,000. The total cost to the state to provide this stipend for all teachers was estimated to be less than $15 million. The MEA believes this effort could also help attract and retain qualified teachers and attract others into the profession.

55% – School Funding

The MEA will work this legislative session to finally realize the promise of 55% state funding for schools. In 2004, voters approved a ballot initiative that asked the state to pay 55% of the total cost of public education. This has never been realized, and MEA has never given up the fight to make it happen. MEA will advocate for adequate funding for our public schools, and the Association encourages members to continue the conversation about this issue in your communities.

60% – Increase Retiree Healthcare

MEA knows retired teachers have suffered enough-their pensions have been cut, and the state share is not keeping up with the cost of health insurance. MEA will work with lawmakers to try and lift the state amount from the current 45% by 5% more each year until the state share reaches 60%.

MEA strongly believes in supporting our retired educators who dedicated their professional life to the students of Maine.

100% Universal Pre-K

The MEA supports universal, high quality pre-K for all Maine’s 3 and 4 year-olds. The MEA is committed to helping the new administration realize this goal. Research continues to show that access to free pre-K is the best way to provide an opportunity for all children to success in school and in life. In addition, evaluation of universal pre-K programs in states like Massachusetts and Oklahoma, all show that they increase academic achievement and in some cases strengthen social and emotional skills.

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