Sunday, July 25, 2010

Values Deficit

The Sun Journal seems to be the only Maine daily that's willing, now and then, to write about the state's senators as if they were mere mortals rather than sainted celebrities. Just saying.

Former Poland music teacher Lee Libby is one of many Maine teachers who lost their jobs this year due to budget cuts.

On Wednesday, she did something about it.

She went to Washington, D.C., and met with U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, urging her to vote for federal legislation that would give money to the states to help schools retain teachers, among other things.

The legislation is a $10 billion fund projected to save 138,000 education jobs, said Cynthia Kain of the National Education Association. Maine would receive $39 million from the proposal, which has support from President Barack Obama and has passed in the U.S. House, Kain said.


Collins...said Wednesday she would not support the new legislation.

"Sen. Collins does not support President Obama’s proposal to borrow and spend an additional $23 billion to send back to the states and local governments because it is not paid for and would add to the already enormous deficit," her office said in a prepared statement.


Libby, 50, taught at Poland Community School for 23 years. She was laid off when the Poland-Minot-Mechanic Falls school district had to cut $1 million from its $18.1 million budget...

At Poland Community School, students used to get music class once a week. This year, the school will have one elementary music teacher for three schools.
If only Maine teachers were launching security-sapping foreign wars, showering money on billionaires or hawking a battlefield vehicle--then Sen. Collins might find a way to get behind their agenda.

But they just do boring stuff like educating kids. So we obviously can't afford it.

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