As a mother and former school board member, I understand firsthand the problems associated with adequately funding our education system. And, as a business owner and co-chair of the Maine Economic Growth Council, I know how critically important good education is to economic development.
Education funding is one area where the federal government is not meeting its obligation to a rural state like Maine; I support full funding of mandates like special education. By funding those programs adequately, Washington can help ease the burden of local property tax.
Maine has one of the best high school graduation rates in the country but one of the lowest percentages of students heading off to college -- and the biggest reason is the cost of higher education. I support increased funding and support for our institutions of higher education, better oversight of student loan practices and tax credits for college tuition. We must also do something to help ease the debt burden that students have to carry when they leave college.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has been a failure and has overwhelmed schools with testing that often leaves little time for teaching. Maine has had a standard of evaluation that was appropriate for us and allowed realistic assessment of school performance. Maine should be allowed to create our own standards and test and not be required to adopt the NCLB standards.