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Thursday, April 19, 2012: Getting Maine off welfare, working for an education

School psychology at USM

As a community we have a shared interest in seeking the best possible outcomes for our children. School psychologists work to achieve positive outcomes by consulting with parents and educators to assess and identify appropriate interventions for students with academic, behavioral, cultural, social or emotional needs. Maine is fortunate to have an excellent doctoral level training program in school psychology at the University of Southern Maine.

This program was launched in 2005, has 14 graduates and 26 current students. A majority of doctoral programs in school psychology are accredited by the American Psychological Association. The USM program formally states that it is “fully committed to obtaining APA accreditation as soon as possible” (

The USM program was prepared to submit a request for accreditation in the fall of 2012. However, in early April we were informed that this must be tabled indefinitely as the university has decided not to replace a full-time tenure-track position opening at the end of this term.

Why is accreditation so important? Accreditation ensures program quality and offers Maine’s citizens confidence that program graduates are in the best position to serve Maine’s students by effectively contributing to quality academic, behavioral and occupational outcomes.

We implore your readership to support us in advocating for continued funding of the existing tenure-track faculty position in USM’s school psychology program. Contact USM Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. John Wright, at or 207-780-4485.

Susan Jarmuz-Smith

Beth Lubetkin

Student representatives

Psy.D. Accreditation Task Force

LePage welfare vision

I applaud Governor LePage in his efforts to get inject realism and honor into the state’s role in people’s lives. Maine has gained notoriety for its nurturing of a welfare mentality, which is a tragic farce. While subsidizing dependency is productive politically, it is unconscionable and I thank the governor for trying to change that paradigm. Would that other legislators shared his courage and vision.

Tony Jenkins


Taxes and welfare

I just sent in my “payment due” to the state of Maine for taxes for 2011. I wonder how many out there feel as I do. How many out there wonder why so few working people are paying for so many nonworking? I am not talking about the people who have lost their jobs — even since 2008. I lost mine in 2003. I wonder how much we are willing to keep giving the thousands of Mainers who think that a welfare check is owed them, even if they have barely worked in their life! I had to take a job for a lot less pay when I was laid off. I still survived. I do not know how much longer many of us are willing to put up with a government that is bent in serving a group of people who I feel just do not want to work, and never have.

Edward Thibault


Education priceless

This is in response to a letter by graduate student Lauren Kowalczyk. I knew many

nontraditional students back in the ’80s and ’90s attending school with me while I received my MSW and MBA. All of them, including me, worked full-time and went to school at night or on weekends. We studied whenever there was time and took care of our families. There was no government assistance and it usually took a bit longer to complete our programs because of our obligations. Yes, we took out a few loans, but those are all paid back now. Of course the cost of education was lower then, but so were wages.

According to Ms. Kowalczyk, now students need taxpayer assistance in order to pursue higher education. What happened to working your way through school? There is nothing more powerful and satisfying than working hard to achieve a goal, independent of help from the government. It was routine 20 years ago — why is it not now?

Ms. Kowalczyk needs to understand that her future clients should be encouraged to go out, be independent, find their dream — it’s the best therapy in the world. Am I a “conservative?” No, just a true believer that anything is possible if you work hard for it.

Katharine Evans


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