Legislative Update and Education Epitaph


Jon Reisman

I submitted the following testimony to the Education and Cultural Affairs committee in support of LD1129, An Act to Enact the Curriculum Transparency Act and LD 1589, Resolve, Directing the Department of Education to Adopt Rules Prohibiting Teachers in Public Schools from Engaging in Political, Ideological and Religious Advocacy in the Classroom.

Senator Rafferty, Representative Brennan, members of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee:

Thank you for accepting this testimony in support of LDs 1129 and 1589. My name is Jon Reisman. I have recently retired after 38 years at the University of Maine at Machias as an associate professor of economics and public policy. For a decade, I was chair of the Professional Studies division that housed the Education program. In the 90’s I served as a special projects manager in the King administration, getting rid of car testing and rejecting school administration consolidation. I am a Selectman for the

Town of Cooper, a columnist for two Washington County weeklies and a Statler and Waldorf intern.

My support for both LDs stems from a conviction that quality public K-12 education is critical to sustaining our Republic, our economy and cultural cohesion, and a reluctantly drawn but increasingly obvious conclusion that current “best practices” including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Critical Race Theory, Social and Emotional Learning and other Marxist indoctrination shibboleths are destroying both the quality of public education and parental and taxpayer support. Greater transparency and a directive to stop indoctrinating students and teaching them to hate their country is an essential first step to sustaining public K-12 education. It will not be sufficient however. 

The source of the rot is higher education and the education and teacher training programs that have produced a cadre of educators and an associated institutional community committed to a Marxist narrative of oppression and victimhood. Unless and until this rot is excised, our public schools and Republic will continue to decline. 

I leave you with the sage words of Justice Brandeis: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Meanwhile, the Education Committee issued a divided report on LD 489, the bill to give Education Commissioner Makin the authority to formalize via rule-making racial, gender and sexuality preferences in our public schools to assure that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mantras are followed, with Democrats voting ought to pass and Republicans voting ought not to pass. The House and Senate then passed the bill on a party line vote. We can expect Governor Mills to sign the bill before the expected US Supreme Court ban on racial preferences in higher education (otherwise known as affirmative action and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in action).

As the “special session” drags on through warmer days towards June, the Veterans and Legal Affairs committee has still not scheduled a public hearing on LD 1578, An Act to Adopt an Interstate Compact to Elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote. LD 1578 is  the League of Women Voters/Progressive hopes and dreams bill to neuter and disenfranchise deplorable Trump voters in the 2nd CD, effectively abolish the electoral college and do an end run around the Constitutional amendment process. The Democratic majority will almost certainly pass it, and Governor Mills will almost certainly sign it.

On Friday May 19th in the afternoon  a work session for LD 1578 was scheduled for Monday 5/22. There has been no public hearing or an opportunity to submit testimony.It is unclear whether this is an error or a  deliberate strategy.

Jon Reisman is an economist and policy analyst who retired from the University of Maine at Machias after 38 years. He resides on Cathance Lake in Cooper, where he is a Selectman and a Statler and Waldorf intern. Mr. Reisman’s views are his own and he welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at [email protected].

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