Maine governor defends school consolidation drive

Posted March 14, 2009, at 5:43 p.m.

AUGUSTA — After arguing in his State of the State address for reform of public school administration, Maine Gov. John Baldacci said he’ll be active in an effort to defeat a referendum proposal to repeal the state’s school consolidation law.

Baldacci said the form of an anti-repeal campaign must still be worked out. But he said Maine should not return to a widely decentralized network of separate school systems.

A 2007 law requires Maine’s 290 school administrative units to be reorganized into about 80 regional units. Local voters have remained lukewarm.

Last month, Maine’s secretary of state gave a green light to a ballot question aimed for repeal.

Skip Greenlaw, the Stonington activist leading the repeal drive, said he’d love to debate the governor about estimated savings.