Testimony opposing LD 1283: An Act To Allow Students Choice in High School Enrollment

Testimony in opposition to

LD 1283: An Act To Allow Students Choice in High School Enrollment

Joint Standing Committee  on Education and Cultural Affairs

Monday, May 2, 2011, 1:00 PM



Senator Langley, Representative Richardson, Distinguished Members of the Joint Standing Committee  on Education and and Cultural Affairs, my name is Brian Hubbell and I am the chair of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System, a school district of 1700 students  comprising the towns of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Trenton, Cranberry Isles, Frenchboro, and Swan’s Island.  I am before you today as their representative.



LD 1283: An Act To Allow Students Choice in High School Enrollment, Representative Maeghan Maloney (D-Augusta)

...requires school administrative units to allow school choice. Each school administrative unit must allow up to 20 8th grade students choice in public high school enrollment. Receiving schools are required to take the students as tuition students.



While this bill is limited to public school choice, it fits into a larger discussion within the state about school choice and private education.  While we don’t think MDI HS is threatened by public school choice (and, in fact, our enrollment might benefit from an extension of choice), the bill as written is insufficiently clear about reconciling the differences between sending and receiving schools’ per-pupil expenditures. For a high school where the costs of programming are above the state mean, that issue would be a concern for our taxpayers. The MDIRSS board voted on 4/25/2011 to oppose all provisions of this bill.