AUGUSTA, Maine — A group of bipartisan lawmakers, a teacher of the year, a charter school commissioner and college officials are among the 15 members of a commission that will search for ways to reform Maine’s education system.
Bill Beardsley, Maine’s de facto education commissioner, announced appointments to the Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine on Thursday.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage appointed Beardsley chairman of the 15-member group. LePage also has said he would be among the 15.
Other members are:
— James Page, chancellor of the University of Maine System.
— Derek Langhauser, president of the Maine Community College System.
— A bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, a Republican from Lisbon Falls; Democratic Sen. Justin Alfond of Portland, who is the minority leader; Rep. Kenneth Fredette, the Republican House minority leader from Newport; and Rep. Sara Gideon, a Democrat from Freeport.
— Jana LaPoint of Falmouth, a member of the State Board of Education, who also serves on the Maine Charter School Commission. She’s also a past trustee for the Maine Community College System.
— Talya Edlund, a third-grade teacher at Pond Cove Elementary School and Maine’s 2016 teacher of the year.
— J. Michael Wilhelm of Casco, a retired administrator from Topsham and 2003 Superintendent of the Year.
— Robert Callahan, director of the Lewiston Regional Technical Center.
— Douglas Larlee of Norridgewock, a second-grade teacher in North Anson’s Carrabec Community School with 40 years’ experience.
— Joshua Reny, South Portland’s assistant city manager and former town manager for Fairfield. He serves on the board of Southern Maine Community College Foundation.
— Richard Colpitts of Peru, superintendent of the Oxford Hills School District.
The commission was called for as part of a tax conformity compromise bill the Legislature passed in March. The bill resulted in $38 million in tax credits and deductions for Maine businesses and residents and gave $15 million more to schools after projected cuts to state aid next year, with the stipulation that the Blue Ribbon Commission come up with ideas for reform.
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