How Are School Districts Preparing For LePage’s Proposed Education Cuts? Listen to Superintendent Dr. Mary Nash respond to this question: http://www.tinyurl.com/mm46f82

How Are School Districts Preparing For LePage’s Proposed Education Cuts?

Listen to Superintendent  Dr. Mary Nash respond to this question: http://www.tinyurl.com/mm46f82 

How Are School Districts Preparing For LePage’s Proposed Education Cuts?

By ROBBIE FEINBERG • 2 HOURS AGO

Listen Listening…    http://www.tinyurl.com/mm46f82

3:04 / 3:13 How Are School Districts Preparing For LePage’s Proposed Education Cuts?

In his budget proposal released earlier this year, Gov. Paul LePage vowed to drastically transform how schools are funded. The most notable change was the removal of roughly $40 million that the state gives local districts to help pay the salaries of administrators.

In his State of the State address, LePage hammered home the point that he thinks there are far too many administrators in Maine’s schools. Most notably, he pointed to the more than 100 school superintendents across the state.

“We are the biggest outlier in the country when it comes to superintendents,” he says. “We are just out of control. We need to seek accountability.”

Among many changes, LePage’s new budget would remove all state money for those administrators — about $40 million.

The new funding formula would boost allocations for some districts. Lewiston, for example, would receive an additional $4 million, and districts in Wells and Kittery would see at least another $100,000. However, other districts are looking at deficits that have them worried.

“There’s a point where you can’t do it with what you’ve got,” says Mary Nash, superintendent for MSAD 35, which covers Eliot and South Berwick.

Under the new budget plan, Nash says her district is looking at a loss of more than $750,000 in state funds. She says the district would have to cut teachers and increase class sizes across every grade in order to balance its books.

Nash says she understands that the governor wants to decrease administrative costs and direct more money toward student instruction, but she says his plan would likely wind up hurting students in her district instead.

“These cuts are so significant. They will impact every single one of our students next year. There’s no question,” she says. “And that’s what’s at stake for us.”

In RSU 18, in the Belgrade Lakes region, Superintendent Gary Smith is looking at similar losses.

“We are getting too good at cutting,” he says. “Each year, and this year’s no different.”

Smith says for the past eight years, his district’s budget has increased by only about 2 percent. But this year, he expects to reduce the staff by the equivalent of five-and-a-half positions.

On top of that, Smith says he’s asking local voters to put up extra money this year to help cover losses from the state. But he’s unsure how much more they will agree to pay in property taxes.

“I’m expecting, because we have some of the lowest mill rates in Kennebec County, I expect some very good questioning about a 3.25 percent budget increase,” he says.

While the cuts in these districts are severe, they aren’t set in stone. The Legislature will continue to debate the budget over the next few months.

Earlier this month, dozens of educators packed a budget hearing to testify against the proposal. Many were critical of the fact that the plan ignores a referendum approved this past fall that boosts education funding through a surtax on wealthier households.

Ultimately, school officials say they are optimistic that the Legislature will include more funding for education in its final budget. But in the meantime, they have to be prepared.

Great Works School is Participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) “Pennies for Patients” Program.

The students on the BIONIC (Believe It Or Not I Care) Team are spearheading this fundraiser.
A kick-off assembly was held on Wednesday, March 8. Derek, a representative from LLS, shared a very brief overview of blood cancers. Students began collecting on March 9 and they will be collecting money through March 24. On-line donations are also welcome. The classroom that raises the most money will win a pizza party. Each classroom has a goal of $100 and the school goal is $1400. Last year students raised $3200- double the school goal!
This is the link to the web page for on-line donations:
http://events.lls.org/pages/ma/MarshwoodGreatWorksSchool-2017

Marshwood Great Works School Events and Dates

March 22 Parent Conferences

March 29 Authors and Artists’ Night 6:00-8:00 pm

March 31 Penny Sale 5:00-8:00 pm

April 4,5,6 Grade 4 to Augusta

April 17, 2017 – Schools and Offices Closed April 18-21, 2017 – April School Vacation

Pinkham Notch Trips Begin

May 25 Spring Concert 10:00 am and 7:00 pm

May 26 Solar Car Races

June 2 Step-up Day

Budget Timeline for Budget for Fiscal Year 2018

January 30, 2017 – Principals and Directors submit preliminary budget sheets to Superintendent

March 1, 2017 – Superintendent presents the budget to the School Board

March 15, 2017 – Two hour School Board and Public Budget Workshop with the Superintendent and Administrative Staff – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Learning Center at Marshwood High School (Middle School / High School / Athletics)

April 5, 2017 – Two hour School Board and Public Budget Workshop with the Superintendent and Elementary School Administrators – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Learning Center at Marshwood High School (Eliot Elementary School / Central School / Marshwood Great Works School)

April 12, 2017 – Two hour School Board and Public Budget Workshop with the Superintendent and Middle and High School Administrators – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Learning Center at Marshwood High School (Central Office / Special Education / Technology / Facilities / Transportation / Federal Grants / Adult Education )

April 26, 2017 Two hour School Board and Public Budget Workshop if necessary

May 3, 2017 – School Board approves the FY18 Budget

May 17, 2017 – District Budget Meeting:  The public approves the district budget warrant articles

June 13, 2017 – Budget Validation Referendum

The Marshwood Grade 5 & 6 Math Teams traveled to Portland for the Southern Maine Elementary Math Meet

The Marshwood Grade 5 & 6 Math Teams traveled to Portland for the Southern Maine Elementary Math Meet last week with Ms. Roy and Ms. Jacobs .  It was a great experience for our students! There were  50+ teams from Southern Maine competing in 3 rounds of challenging math problems. The 6th grade team took home a trophy for 3rd place in the 6th grade meet ! The 5th grade team placed 19th in the meet.  We look forward to 2 more meets this year. The next meet is scheduled for March 14th (Pi Day) The fifth grade team includes: Ryan Howell,Kenai Diaz, Rowan Nabel, Libby Houghton, Annika Oberg, Aoife Coomey, Camden Marcotte, Kayley Lin.  The sixth grade team includes: Grace Ducharme, Sophie Lusenhop, Leah Maddison, Ryan Pote, William Sandusky, Abby Simonelli, Riley St. Pierre, Mitchell Vlcek, Sean Williams, Helen Willoughby and Jonah Nobel.

Beckett Barlow Wins Marshwood Great Works School Level National Geography Bee

Beckett Barlow, a grade 5 student won the school competition of the National Geographic Bee.  The school bee, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee.

The second place finisher was fifth grader, Luke Nelson. Fourteen GWS students participated in this national competition. 

Kiersyn Boyle

Colin Barker

Tyler Hussey

Ella Bogh

Lucy Brogan

Shannon Pino

Teagan Kennedy

Chyanne Simms

Stella Case

Luke Nelson

Sarah Galvin

Beckett Barlow

Hayden Wakefield

Thousands of schools around the country participate in this competition. The school winners, including Barlow, will now take a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on March 31, 2017. All state champions are then eligible to win the national championship and its first prize, a $50,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. The national competitions will be held May 15-17 in Washington D.C.

Everyone can test their geography knowledge by downloading the GeoBee Challenge, National Geographic app, with more than 1,000 questions culled from past bees. 

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations.  The Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888.

Additional bus stops for Central School and Great Works Schools students will be added in the most highly student populated areas of downtown South Berwick.

Just prior to the Thanksgiving break and again just after the break, Principal Nina D’Aran requested that parents use the South Berwick library parking lot on Young St. to drop off and pick up their children that attend Central School.  Although we appreciate efforts of those who have complied with …

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