As an educator and as a parent who has worked hard to ensure that her two children attend college, Pat LaMarche values education and knows that a good education is the key to getting ahead in life. In addition to teaching college students at the New England School of Communications, Pat also has taught at the elementary and high school levels.
Pat has an innovative plan to make sure that more Mainers than ever before are able to attend college.
Pat wants to increase the educational opportunities available to Mainers. On July 6, Pat announced plans to establish graduate schools in Maine to train M.D.'s, dentists and pharmacists. None of these schools exist in Maine today. These graduate healthcare schools will provide new educational and employment opportunities for our kids who will study in Maine, work in Maine, and stay in Maine. Pat wants this year's freshman college class to have the option, when they graduate, of attending schools right here in Maine, where they can earn a degree as an M.D., dentist or pharmacist.
Pat also has an innovative plan to make sure that more Mainers than ever before are able to attend college. Modeled after a successful Alaskan program, which uses that state's oil resources to fund education, Pat has called for a similar program using an extraction fee on Maine's pure and precious water to help pay for college. This program will generate sufficient revenue to produce more college graduates than ever before, even though it will only be assessed on large commercial uses of this valuable Maine resource.
Reducing Property Taxes
Pat knows our public school employees (teachers, ed techs, nurses and cafeteria staff ) all work hard and deserve more pay. When Pat's universal healthcare program is adopted, teachers' health benefits — a huge expenditure — will no longer be a burden borne by municipalities. This will make a pay raise feasible.
To further streamline the process and make more funds available for teachers rather than for bureaucratic entanglements, Pat would like to see teachers' salaries paid by the state, instead of municipalities. At present, each municipality must negotiate salaries separately. Pat's proposal will greatly simplify the negotiation and contracting processes, and ensure that all teachers are paid well and uniformly.