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LePage: High schools should pay for remediation

Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants high schools to pay for graduates’ remedial college classes, reports the Portland Press-Herald.

Fifty-four percent of students entering the Maine Community College System need to re-learn basic skills, as do 20 to 25 percent of students at the state’s four-year universities, LePage said.

“The parents of this state pay taxes for public education, then they have to pay a second time when their kids enter college,” LePage said. “That’s inappropriate.”

Maine students spend an estimated $13 million on remedial college courses, earning no credit. ”It’s going to be controversial, but you’ve got to hold their feet to the fire if you’re going to get these kids educated the way we expect them to be educated,” said LePage, who pledged to introduce a bill in the next legislative session to put the remedial burden on school districts.

Remediation is a costly burden for students and colleges, reports Education News.

Scott Knapp, president of Central Maine Community College in Auburn, said that his school feels like it has no choice but to spend its limited budget on remediation instead of capital and infrastructure upgrades or improving their programs or hiring more instructors. Even if the expenses were fully reimbursed by tuition payments, on the whole, he’d rather that his school was out of the remediation business, Knapp added.

Some 36 percent of young people in Maine hold an associate degree or higher, reports Complete College America. That’s slightly below the national average but low for New England.