“We need to build an education system around what each student needs,” LePage said. “Each student learns in different ways; we need to provide multiple pathways, and CTE plays a significant role in that.”

Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, said the latter proposal has promise. However, he said, he was disappointed that the governor’s education roll-out focused mostly on controversial proposals and little on initiatives outlined in a recently developed¬†strategic plan designed to provide guidelines to improve Maine education.

Alfond said LePage’s proposal “crushes the momentum” of the plan, Education Evolving, because it alienates and divides the stakeholders who drafted it.

“Overall, the governor and the commissioner have taken the most divisive parts of the strategic plan and said these are the most important objectives for the state of Maine,” Alfond said. “Some of these objectives have been rejected by this Legislature two or three times, including using public funding for private schools.”

He added, “I’m disappointed and shocked that he and the commissioner have decided to take this route.”

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