ME PTA endorses consolidation repeal

From: Ginny Mott
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 3:36:48 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: ME PTA and referendum questions

The state board of Maine PTA has taken the following positions on three of the referendum questions.  We will be happy to discuss ME PTA's positions on these three issues. We urge all PTA members to become informed and vote. Informed voters are essential to a successful democracy!

As always, please feel free to be in touch.

Virginia Mott
Legislative Chair, Maine Parent Teacher Association
42 Damon Pasture Lane
Lakeville, ME 04487

Question 1: People's Veto
An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
"Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?"

ME PTA takes no position on Question 1. Although the ads being run are trying to portray this as an education issue, it's not. Maine's Learning Results does not include instruction on marriage and all schools are supposed to teach respect for everyone regardless of differences, real or perceived.

Question 3: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Repeal the School District Consolidation Laws

“Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?”
ME PTA supports the repeal of mandated consolidation. Any school administrative units which will be improved by consolidation should be free to do so. Commissioner Gendron has said that if this referendum passes repealing the consolidation law, she will act quickly with the Legislature to enact legislation allowing existing RSU's to remain consolidated if they wish and, presumably, new RSU's to form. By the same token, school administrative units for which the currently mandated consolidation won't work need the right to choose the paths most appropriate for their students and communities.
Question 4: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Provide Tax Relief

“Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?”
ME PTA takes no position on the tax initiative but urges voters to study this issue carefully. The potential impact on school budgets is significant.