Maine Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would require Maine schools to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. He didn’t veto them because they were bad, but said they were too costly for the state.
The Portland Press-Herald reports:
“While I support the desire to ensure that Maine students are well equipped with the best science and engineering education to prepare them for future careers that demand this vital knowledge, this bill would require every school in Maine to rewrite its science curriculum to adapt to a new set of standards without allocating a single dollar either to the Department of Education or to the schools that must carry out this significant, time-consuming work,” he wrote in his May 22 veto message.
LePage said the bill, L.D. 464, would put an “additional burden on our schools while they are already dealing with a new system of annual assessment, working to raise the standards of proficiency needed for graduation and adjust to new teacher evaluation rules all in the same year.”
The Governor’s administration pointed out the difficulty they were having implementing Common Core.
Acting Maine Department of Education Commissioner Tom Desjardin said there was no objection to the standards themselves, just the timing.”A major project like this takes a lot of work and we’re maxed out now,” he said, echoing the governor’s veto message. “It’s too much.”
Desjardin pointed to what has happened to implementing the Common Core English and math tests as a cautionary example.
“This is year four of Common Core and the feedback (this spring) is that the test is too hard. The reason is that they didn’t have time to teach to the level the standards require. The same thing would happen with science,” he said.
The new science standards will be up for a vote again so this veto, in reality, is a delay.