Maine awards $4.6M in latest push to spur schools to collaborate
Maine is handing out 11 more grants aimed at encouraging new, creative models of school consolidation.
Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has said the grants are designed to be incentives for districts to collaborate, shifting the school consolidation focus from coercion and penalties, as was the case under LePage’s predecessor, Democrat John Baldacci, to voluntary cooperation.
The Maine Department of Education announced the latest round of EMBRACE regionalization grant recipients in a Wednesday news release. In total, they amount to $4.6 million. The districts involved in these projects are largely in rural areas where prolonged enrollment declines and budget challenges have prompted officials to weigh fresh approaches.
— Houlton-based RSU 29 will partner with RSUs 50, 70 and 84 to create a Southern Aroostook Area Regional Alternative Center in an effort to increase access to career and technical education for the districts’ students.
— Fort Kent-based SAD 27 will work with schools in Madawaska, St. Agatha and Frenchville to create a regional center that will allow the districts to share administrative services. Resulting savings will be allocated to student programs, such as career education and world languages.
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