Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Issues: Education

The most important decision makers in any child's education are his or her parents. That is why it is important that we empower parents with many choices as they pursue an educational path properly suited to the individual needs of their children.

As a volunteer homeschool Co-Op teacher, teaching computer literacy to children through the SEEDs Homeschool Program in New Gloucester, Eric Brakey knows that different children learn differently, and "one-size-fits-all" educational plans are doomed to fail.

That is why Eric Brakey believes it is important that we promote local control: empowering parents, teachers, and local school boards to be the primary decision makers in local public schools (instead of state and federal bureaucrats).

Eric Brakey also believes that it is important that we empower parents to have choices outside of public school system, to find the solution that best meets the needs of their child, including private and homeschooling.

Local Control

Today, many in government are pushing for a greater centralization of decision-making in educational, handing over authority to the state and federal government. This is the wrong way to go. The centralization of educational decision-making robs parents, teachers, and local school boards---those who work most closely with students---of their authority to make individualized decisions for how to serve the educational needs of children.

Instead, public education decisions should be made on the local level whenever possible. Local control in education means empowering parents, teachers, and local school boards to have a real say when it comes to setting curriculum and tailoring an education to fit the unique, individual needs of children.

School Choice

In addition to providing a quality public education option for Maine's children, we must also ensure that alternative educational options are available for parents who choose them. Every child learns differently, so we must protect the right of parents to choose alternative schooling for their children, whether that be through private schools, charter schools, or homeschooling.

Currently, parents who choose to pursue alternative education paths are punished by being forced to pay twice for their child's education: once through their taxes, and again through the costs of private school tuition or homeschooling expenses. As your next State Senator, Eric Brakey will pursue legislation to give a tax credit for education expenses to parents who opt-out of the public education system.

Parents who choose an alternative education path for their children should not be punished with added out-of-pocket expenses when they are already paying for a public school education. Eric Brakey will work to solve this problem.