The Maine Education Association is your advocate in the State House. Keep up to date with what’s happening with our weekly Under the Dome Newsletter. Want to receive this information in your inbox? Sign up here for the newsletter today!

Take Action on Teacher Evaluation-Remove Test Scores and More

LD 92 would remove the requirement that local districts use test scores and other student growth measures to evaluate teachers and it would require the local evaluation steering committees to be comprised of a majority of teachers.  The MEA wholeheartedly supports this bill. Click here to contact the Education Committee in support of LD 92.  It is time to make teacher evaluation about professional practice, not student measurements and standardized tests.

Key Bills MEA Supported

This week several key bills had public hearings, including a bill to move Maine into the Next Gen Science Standards, a bill to require greater scrutiny of for-profit colleges, and a bill to move the cost of retirement back to the state and away from local districts.  The MEA testified in support of all three bills.  You can find a list of upcoming public hearings below.

Commissioner Nomination Moves to Senate

On Thursday, the Education Committee voted unanimously to recommend the confirmation of Pender Makin to serve as the Commissioner of Education.  The confirmation will now head to the Senate, where MEA expects it will be voted on next week.  If you have not researched Pender Makin’s background, here it is.  Before serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Brunswick’s schools, she was the principal of the REAL School, a day treatment and therapeutic school for students with great struggles.

Upcoming Bills

Obscene Materials in Schools: On Monday February 4th at 10am, the
Criminal Justice Committee will conduct a hearing on LD 94 which, if
passed, would make it a crime to distribute ‘obscene’ material in
schools. The MEA will oppose this bill. Click here to read LD 94.

Retiree Health Care: The MEA is supporting LD 178, a bill to lift the
amount the state pays towards the healthcare costs for retired teachers
and ed tech III’s. Click here to send a message to the Education Committeeabout this issue.

State Board of Ed: Representative Jan Dodge submitted LD 176 to
remove the prohibition against teachers serving on the State Board of
Education. The MEA will support this measure.  Click here to read LD 176.

Tax Breaks for Pensions: The MEA will support two bills that will
reduce the amount of income taxes on MePers pensions. Read LD 162 and LD 276.  

Vaping in Schools: The MEA will support a bill to prohibit the possessionand use of electronic smoking devices on school grounds, LD 152. The
hearing is on Tuesday, February 12th at 1pm. Click here to read LD 152