AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage signed an executive order Wednesday that prevents Maine schools from adopting federally mandated educational standards.

“Higher standards play an important role in that, but the federal government does not,” wrote LePage in a prepared statement. “With my executive order, Maine is making clear that we set the standards for our state, that implementation of those standards is locally controlled.”

The executive order mandates that local school districts are responsible for setting rigorous educational standards consistent with state standards. Neither the state nor federal governments can set “specific curricula or instructional approaches,” according to the executive order.

And standards set by the state, which can be only instructional and technical assistance, are subject to public review and comment.

Also, the Maine Department of Education is barred from applying for any federal grant that “requires, as a condition of application, the adoption of any federally-developed standards, curricula or instructional approaches.”