UPDATEDx2: Another LePage Veto; Another Swipe at MEA’s Support of Mainers United

Posted on May 29, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Governor LePage today vetoed LD 1781, An Act To Restructure the National Board Certification Program for Teachers, citing that he believes a more coordinated state-wide solution is required.

But a simple glance at the press release itself reveals that the Governor’s problem with the bill has more to do with last week’s announcement of MEA’s support for the Mainers United marriage equality campaign than about the bill itself.

In his accompanying veto message (see below), he said: “LD 1781 requires teachers to partially fund the program, while simultaneously paying union dues which are squandered on a host of activities not even remotely related to professional development.”

The press release goes deeper and clarifies LePage’s statement (emphasis mine):

‘Meanwhile, the MEA announced its endorsement recently of the same-sex marriage proposal on the November ballot. This announcement is an example of what the union is choosing to focus on rather than expanding and enhancing opportunities for teacher development.’

A reminder: The 125th Legislature will be back at the State House on Thursday. No word yet on whether this latest action will be brought up at that time.

Update: Sen. Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), member of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee (LCRED) and strong union supporter, sent this statement regarding Gov. LePage’s veto:

It is just another thing that the Governor has said that he has no clue about. We have a saying that goes, “I would like to buy you for what you know, and sell you for what you think you know.” I would be a rich man with this Governor.

The laws of the United States bars anyone from being forced to join a Union. At the same time the Supreme Court has upheld “service fees” to be constitutional. This has been argued to no end by lawyers that were well funded by big business (Koch Brothers). It is well established, but the Governor continues to play in his own playground and argue that it isn’t legal. The Unions have to be very careful when they collect money from non-union, fair share payers that the money isn’t spent on political activities. They are subject to audit at anytime. His claims are just untrue, but that is what he does best.

Updatex2: The sponsor of LD1781, Sen. Justin Alfond (D-Cumberland), had this via a press release:

Maine students deserve every opportunity to succeed. This bill was an investment to ensure we have the best teachers in every classroom. Instead of strengthening our classrooms, improving our teachers, and giving our students a fair shot, the governor complained about the teachers’ union. He is putting politics ahead of what’s best.

Teachers are the foundation for a successful public education and we know that the most effective teachers are also life-long learners. The governor’s veto essentially sends a message to teachers that their learning is not important.

More from the release from the Maine Senate Democrats: “out of an estimated 15,000 public school teachers in Maine, only 158 are National Board Certified. National Board Certification is administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. As part of the certification process candidates complete 10 assessments that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas and spend up to 400 hours completing the program.”

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LD1781 Veto Messagehttp://www.scribd.com/embeds/95200671/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list&access_key=key-29jqudu1e8xbh28k59c3

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