Gov. LePage taking steps toward establishing 5-year high school plan in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Following up on a campaign promise, Gov. Paul LePage is announcing the first step toward giving Maine students the option of a five-year high school education.

The governor's executive order Tuesday will create a 19-member task force to study and set the stage for the change.

The Republican repeatedly raised the idea of a five-year high school option during the campaign.

He says it would prepare students better for college, noting that many students entering community colleges and the university system need remedial courses. LePage says the courses add to college tuition costs.

During the campaign, LePage floated the idea of having high school students take introductory-level college courses so that in five years of high school, they could graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree, or two years of transferable college credits, all for free.

The proposal was part of LePage's campaign report "Turning the Page: New Ideas to Get Maine Working." The report said the proposal for an extra year of high school was borrowed from a similar program in North Carolina.

Earlier this year, Education Commissioner Steven Bowen said an inventory was being conducted of schools in Maine that could serve as models for other districts in offering college-level work.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



 's picture


wasnt meant as an insult....just pointing out some things that you incorrectly stated....and expressing my OPINION isnt that what this forum is for and I'm not hiding behind an AKA I've been verified so I'm not hiding anywhere.....again he is not making it MANDITORY.. If there are so few students to take advantage of this program like you say then where is the over crowding going to happen. Also to correct your statement about AP classes.. yes they offer AP classes but They STILL offer College coarses too and NOT at the CC like you say.. We have a tech center (at least in my district)I think in my OPINION...Your assesment of students wanting to move on with thier classmates is so Brady Bunch like. In my OPINION I dont think that there is going to be that many students, given the choice would move onto college like thier classmates Sounds like to me and after reading some of your other posts you just like to bash Lepage.. I'm not a Lepage fan like I said before even if it were'nt Lepage I STILL think its a good idea..

Jim Cyr's picture

5-year option

sounds like a great theory to us! with our American kids lagging in education compared to other developing countries, our current "schrools" and their methods are certainly falling behind and fast in achieving the level playing field.

 's picture

Read alittle closer

Terry, maybe you should've had the option to go 5 years of high school cause apparently you need it... The key word in the story was OPTIONAL.. He wasnt forcing kids to go to High School longer, If kids want to leave after 4 years they can.... My district already offers kids college type coarses. Speaking as a tax payer I would love it if my kids had the opportunity to get one step ahead and have college credits when they got out of high school, Id would much rather see my tax dollars going to kids getting a head start on life than it being spent on fighting law suits about a dam mural...But some kids would give thier right arm to be able to leave school with college credits and or an associates degree, have you looked at the up swing in the price of college tuition, I have cause I have 3 kids in college and next fall I will have 4. I am by no means a fan of Lepage but I think this is one of his better ideas...

 's picture

Thanks for the insult, you

Thanks for the insult, you just jumped into the pool of people online who can't help giving their opinion, and insulting others doing the same thing.
You should look over what you are saying, you talk about how great it would be if you could save money by getting your kids some college credit in a 5th year of high school. save money?? really??? think the schools could do this for free? could they wedge in some more students, bring in some more teachers offering college level courses in the school without asking you for more tax money?? think the task force and study will be free??
More importantly, you say your district already offers college type courses, yup they all do, called AP, it's been around for decades, don't need a task force to find that.
also the community cllege system in our state offers high school seniors the option of going to their branches to take college level courses. they can even do it during regular school hours of the day. it's done all around the state.
LePage doesn't need a task force, he needs a wake up call, his study is a waste of time and money.
and I still assert you'll be hard pressed to find high school students interested in picking up a 5th year in high school rather than moving on to college with the rest of their classmates.

Mark Elliott's picture

Terry you said: "Thanks for

Terry you said: "Thanks for the insult, you just jumped into the pool of people online who can't help giving their opinion, and insulting others doing the same thing."

Now that's the pot calling the kettle black isn't it!? Take a look at how you started this string.

 's picture

Duh Paul!

This has to be the most idiotic idea he's had yet, and there have been some stupid ideas.
He's appointing a 19 member task force, cha-ching, to do a study, cha ching, to look at establishing an optional 5th year of high school.

I can solve the whole question right now.
1) name one high school kid who wants to stay in high school for an extra year.
2) name one town that would want to pay for an extra school year for their students.
3) Or name a school district that would be willing to add a student in for an extra year without getting extra money.
4) How much would it cost to add teachers to teach college level classes.

Dear Mr LePage, kids want to get out of school, not stay in another year.
Didn't you say we were broke? Or was that another one of your lies?
If a high school students wants to get college level courses at a bargain price we have a wonderful community college system that offers a wide variety of academic classes at very good prices.
Please, take this back to the drawing board, and place it in the round file

Mark Elliott's picture

Most college bound students

Most college bound students would LOVE the opportunity to earn 2 years worth of college credit during 5 years of high school. But do you know what would answer all your questions for you Terry????.....a task force and a study! If kids don't want to stay another year then they wont have to!

Take off your blinders Terry, open your mind! Learn something new, be innovative!

Mark Elliott's picture

A student that doesn't want

A student that doesn't want an opportunity like this is probably NOT a college bound student.


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...