AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Education Association and state education officials are at odds over how the state's share of money generated from Oxford Casino should be spent in Maine's public schools.
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allocate funds from Oxford Casino to help pay 55% of the total cost of K-12 public education.
The Maine Education Association supports the bill, and MEA President Lois-Kilby-Chesley said the money should go directly to schools for them to use in the classroom as they see fit.
"Every nickel that comes to education should be going directly to the student in the classroom," Kilby-Chesley said. "It really shouldn't be put out for pet projects that the governor and the education commissioner might have."
Department of Education Spokesperson David Connerty-Marin said part of the money generated from the casino for education is factored into the state's biennial budget and is set to be used for targeted education initiatives.
"Part of the two-year budget that's been proposed by the governor and the commissioner for education includes funding to support schools as they transition to a proficiency-based diploma," Connerty-Marin said. "Teacher evaluations required by the legislature last session, this provides funds to allow them to do that."
While lawmakers are considering a bill to allocate the Oxford Casino money to pay for 55% of the state's total K-12 education costs, they are also considered another bill that would make the 55% funding model a constitutional amendment.