Maine Statute: An Act To Develop a Grant Program To Establish a Teacher-Powered School Model
High five to the Maine Legislature for passing the first bill to develop a grant program to establish a teacher-led school model.
Here’s one thing state policymakers can do to encourage teacher-led schools:
In 2013, the Maine legislature passed “An Act to Develop a Grant Program to Establish a Teacher-led School Model”. This bill encourages teacher-powered schools by allowing such schools flexibility under the innovative public school section of Maine education law (L.D. 1006) and eligibility for development funding from the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Education Services. Local school boards would have to approve any proposals that teachers develop.
Notably, this came after teachers at Howard Reiche Community School in Portland, Maine converted to a collective teacher autonomy governance structure in 2011 with approval from Portland Public Schools. In 2014, Portland Education Association formalized their autonomy by arranging an MOU with Portland Public Schools. The MOU allows for their site to have a lead teacher instead of a principal to represent the school on the district’s Administrative Team. It also allows autonomy in the areas of teacher evaluation, professional development, learning program, school policy, and school site budget.
The Maine legislature passed this statute with an interest in opening the opportunity for more teachers to replicate Reiche’s work, and the work of so many teachers who have formed teacher-powered schools across the country.