MEA "Stand Up For Students"
FYI from MEA
Today is a big day for the MEA and all of its members. With your help, and those who support public schools and students, we are one step closer to infusing $157 million more dollars into our public schools-and that's just the beginning.
The game-changing amount of money would come from a ballot initiative called Stand Up for Students. The MEA is happy to announce today the initiative gathered nearly 95,000 signatures, far more than the 61,123 needed to put the issue on the ballot in November 2016. Nearly 350 members from around the state helped gather signatures in 489 cities and towns across every county in the state.
Collecting all the signatures necessary to put this funding issue before voters was not easy, and the MEA wants to say THANK YOU to all those who supported the cause.
The MEA, along with retired educators, will turn in all the petitions to the Secretary of State for final approval on February 1st. Once validated, the question to increase education funding by an estimated $157 million in the first year alone by creating a 3% surcharge on Maine's top 2% of income earners will be placed on the ballot. The ballot initiative, bringing the state to the required 55% funding level, requires funding from the surcharge be used for direct classroom instruction, including teachers, and other critical public school personnel.
Stand Up for Students has a lot of support already in the community, from members of the Maine Small Business Coalition to the Maine PTA to students like Malachai Willey who shared his thanks with the community in a press release about the petitions.
"Thank you for all those 95,000 signatures. If you think about it, that's a lot of people. We have 95,000 people who support us. If we don't have the proper tools or education to learn we will be held back from our potential. We need new textbooks, mine are literally falling apart! I was talking to someone from the 1960's and they want their textbooks back...and I want them to take them!" said Malachai Willey a 7th grade student from Caribou.
If you would like to get involved in the campaign please contact MEA Government Relations Director, John Kosinski at firstname.lastname@example.org. The MEA and its members will also work to talk with lawmakers about this initiative and is planning a day at the State House to have those conversations on February 18th, during school vacation week. We would love if you could join other members for this important cause. Learn more and RSVP here.
The MEA hopes you will continue to support this initiative and spread the message with your friends and family about how this funding will impact our students so come November Mainers vote YES and Stand Up for Students at the polls.
Just how much will this mean for our schools?
Impact on school districts if the referendum becomes a reality:
- Auburn $2,784,294
- Augusta $2,137,657
- Bangor $3,507,275
- Biddeford $3,301,761
- Ellsworth $1,493,538
- Lewiston $3,154,086
- Portland $10,813,871
- Sanford $2,019,675
- Scarborough $5,044,590
- RSU 17 (Oxford Hills) $3,189,550
- RSU 54 (Skowhegan) $2,321,485
- RSU 39 (Caribou) $649,179
*Figures based on a mill rate expectation of 6.8
FMI, including full text of the initiative: www.standupforstudents.org