Former Maine Governor Paul LePage is running for Governor, and he introduced his Student Success Plan and Parent's Bill of Rights Monday along with a group of parents at a press conference in Augusta. LePage says current Governor Janet Mills has caused disastrous outcomes for Maine public school students due to her lack of leadership.
LePage's plan includes:
- Schools prioritize the basics to improve students' scores in math, science, and reading.
- Parents should be notified of all sensitive materials, and parents should also be provided with a parental opt-out option for sensitive materials.
- Provide parents with curriculum transparency. School curriculums should be posted online and easily accessible for parents to access.
- At the local level of education, ensure more public participation. School board meetings should be live-streamed, recorded, and posted with all public proceedings available online.
- Reform the State Board of Education to include parents with children in Maine public schools.
- Establish a parent governing board that will meet twice a year. The board will provide feedback and recommendations to the Board of Education and the Governor's Office.
- True school choice so public money spent on education follows the student to the school of the parent and child's choice. Parents should be able to decide whether a public school, private school, parochial school, or charter school best fits their child's needs.
- The curriculum needs to focus on teaching children how to think, not what to think.
- Introduce vocational and technical education to students in middle school rather than high school because not all students will choose to go to a 4-year college and this will ensure they have good-paying career opportunities as they enter high school.
LePage also plans to prioritize education dollars in Maine to provide after-school care programs in school that would run until 5:00 p.m. He also wants to incentivize teachers with stipends to participate in formal after-school tutoring programs to aid students who fell behind during the pandemic. LePage says parents deserve the right to decide the best education for their children instead of educational bureaucrats.