Testimony on LD 1488 An Act To Create Innovative Public School Zones and Innovative Public School Districts

To: Senator Brian Langley, Chair, Representative David Richardson, Chair, Members of the Education Committee

From: Gail Marshall, Mount Desert, ME

Re: LD 1488, An Act to Create Innovative Public School Zones and Innovative Public School Districts

I am serving my ninth year as a school board member in the Town of Mount Desert. My town is part of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (AOS 91). I have served in numerous leadership positions throughout my tenure. I currently serve on our Legislative Subcommittee.

I present testimony neither for nor against this bill. Our AOS board considered this bill and it too opted to not take a position either for or against at this time.

As I understand this bill, it seeks to provide opportunity for public schools to pursue educational innovation. For all practical purposes, in a State with the demographics and resources of ours, this is exactly where innovation belongs. Rather than attempting to encourage parallel or competing school systems when we are barely able to sustain the ones we already have, it makes infinitely more sense to facilitate innovation in our existing schools.

In the schools I serve there is no shortage of desire and experience among our professional staff to innovate and create new and better opportunities for all of our students. We would welcome the opportunity to grow and develop in ways that would be far better suited to our students’ and communities’ needs.

However, we think it’s very important to understand bills like this within the larger context of other efforts towards educational innovation.

Thank you.