AUGUSTA (AP) — A key legislative committee has voted against a bill to create a uniform teacher contract across Maine.

The Portland Press Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2rgcQQN ) the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee opposed the bill, 6-5, even after concessions from the bill’s sponsor on Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says the idea would help rural districts compete for teachers. The sponsor, Republican Rep. Matt Pouliot, called it a “wage equality” bill.

The teachers’ union says it takes away local control and doesn’t guarantee an increase in salaries.

The average teacher’s salary in Maine is about $50,000, compared with the New England average of more than $70,000.

The bill will now be considered by the full Legislature.

Maine State House is the state capitol of the State of Maine in Augusta, Maine, USA.

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