- Attend the Fund Our Damn Schools rally at the courthouse in Augusta on Wednesday, May 31, from 9 to 10 am.
- Contact your Maine legislators and tell them that you want them to honor what the voters decided in Question 2. If they refuse to do that, tell them that you expect them to find another way to fund 55% of our school budget. If you know your legislator is opposed to Question 2, ask him or her what his/her alternative plan is.
Education Working Group and Maine Education Association C2A
Republicans in the legislature are balking at the voters’ repeated demand that the state fund 55% of the public school budget. Demand that the will of the voters be heard by attending the Fund Our Damn Schools rally in Augusta on Wednesday, May 31 and contacting your legislators to make sure they know that 55% state funding is critical to our state’s future.
In a 2004 referendum, Maine voters established a 55% state funding level for schools, but legislators have never achieved that level in the budgets they have approved, meaning that local property taxes have been making up the difference. Poor and rural districts have been hit especially hard by the shortfall. In 2015, the gap was $240 million. In 2016, voters approved Question 2, which established a 3% tax surcharge on incomes higher than $2o0K to help bridge the gap. Legislators, especially Republicans, are opposed to that measure and are considering repealing it. Speaker of the House Sara Gideon has called for those opposed to Question 2 to come up with another plan for how to fund our schools at the 55% level desired by voters. Democrats have introduced the Opportunity Agenda, a counter budget that calls for reducing property taxes and fully funding schools.