Testimony on LD 1316: An Act To Expand Magnet Schools in Maine

Testimony neither for nor against

LD 1316: An Act To Expand Magnet Schools in Maine

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 1316: An Act To Expand Magnet Schools in Maine, Representative Stephen Lovejoy

Concept draft ...proposes to give school districts across the State authority to create magnet schools, either within their communities or in partnerships with other districts. Magnet schools that are created under this bill will be eligible for state funds under the essential programs and services funding formula.

This bill remains a concept draft. While we’re open-minded about the possibility for innovative new educational programs, we’re wary of potential consequence if narrowly specialized schools were to sap the impetus and resources for similar broader programs in local schools.  Also, as minimum receivers of state aid, the MDI schools would have particular concerns about the details and mechanism of how state and local funds would transfer under this bill. The MDIRSS board has NOT taken a position either for or against this bill.