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Maine School Consolidation

March 17, 2009

Here’s what [Maine Governor] Baldacci said:

“We must continue forward with the reform of K-12 administration. We cannot allow Maine to be dragged backwards by a referendum [that would repeal recent school consolidation laws] that seeks a return to the expensive past. The way forward — the way to protect local schools and resources for the classroom — is to stop wasting money on unnecessary bureaucracies and administrations.”

[Kennebec Journal: On Maine Politics: Baldacci blasts school consolidation repeal]

YES REFORM K-12 administration. Stop wasting money on unnecessary bureaucracies and administrations. Consolidate school districts so that they can share administrative costs. But, how should a state go about doing such a thing? Who sits in the best position to make the difficult decisions in how to eliminate redundant administrative personnel, slash administrative budgets and weed out bureaucratic administrative inefficiencies? Who among us has the wherewithal to wield the hatchet and the scalpel?

School administrators. Superintendents and Principals. They surely know best which of their own will make the ultimate sacrifice. They, who reside high above the selfish antics of organizational politics, they alone, possess the fortitude and courage to slash their own budgets, to demote and fire themselves.

Wait, what? Is that in any way like fixing the economy by handing out billions of dollars no strings attached that can then be paid out in bonuses to the thieves and imbeciles who wrought the economic disaster in the first place?

What I am getting at is this: As budgets tighten in sparse economic times, and bureaucratic and administrative inefficiencies don’t magically economize themselves under School Administrative Reorganization (consolidation) laws, Art and Music teachers better hang on to your hats!

  1. March 17, 2009 9:02 AM

    The administrators of my wife’s school district spent $35 million to build a new district headquarters, which has been dubbed “The Taj Mahal”. Now her district has a $15 million budget gap and they’ve laid off 500 teachers and staff. All so the administrators could have a new palace from which to do their dirty work. The education system is FUBAR.

  2. March 17, 2009 1:08 PM

    your wife’s district is much larger than ours, by the sounds of it. but we too have a brand new Superintendent’s office under construction, and 20 people (9 of them teachers) with targets on their back in next year’s proposed budget.

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