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Maine Teachers Union Take on School Committee Candidates



Conservative school board candidates reportedly objected to critical race theory or books containing LGBTQ related-content in Maine


A student at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California called out the local school district for allowing a biological male with history of instability to access women's spaces because he identified as transgender.

The largest teacher union in Maine praised the "rejection of culture war" candidates in their recent school board race.

John Kosinski, director of government relations for the Maine Education Association (MEA), told the Beacon that the election results for conservatives in local school board races within the state indicate a rejection of culture war issues from voters.

The Beacon reported further that conservative school board candidates in Maine objected to critical race theory or books containing LGBTQ related-content in the election races. Many of those conservative candidates performed poorly when the school board races wrapped up on June 13.


John Kosinski, director of government relations for the Maine Education Association (MEA), told the Beacon that the election results for conservatives in local school board races within the state indicate a rejection of culture war issues from voters. (iStock)

"There’s been too much ink and too much press time dedicated to the places where we’ve seen a small number of parents who are bringing up maybe culture issues or they want to ban books," Kosinki said.

He added, "I think that was soundly rejected around the state in school board races."

Kosinski went on to say that Mainers "voted to support school board members who are best positioned to move public education forward."

To explain further, Kosinski cited a loss of an incumbent school board member, Cherie Faulkner, who voted in favor of allowing only the U.S. and Maine flags to be displayed in classrooms, barring other flags such as "pride" flags.

Faulkner lost to a write-in candidate, Amy Hart, in the RSU 63 school district.

These types of policies have caused much strife between school board officials and community members not only in Maine but across the U.S.

Furthermore, Kosinkski praised voters in MSAD 6 who supported candidates who focused on providing "inclusive education practices."

However, not all the elections swayed in MEA’s favor. Kosinski expressed disappointment in the election results in the Hermon Public Schools District board where a slate of conservative candidates was elected.

Back in January, Fox News Digital interviewed a parent who spoke about parents banding together to challenge books in the Hermon Public Schools District [HPSD]. Parents in HPSD banded together to create a sample book policy that would help sort out material that is deemed inappropriate.


Parents in Hermon Public Schools District banded together to create a sample book policy that would help sort out material that is deemed inappropriate. (Hermon School Committee Meeting 10-3-2022)

"We’ve got to do a better job making sure that communities are informed," Kosinski said. "And I think in that situation, we could have done more, we should have done more and in the future hopefully we will do more to make sure voters understand the differences between candidates."

Shawn McBreairty, a parent who has been active in challenging books in Maine and is leading the Forgotten Parents Initiative for Maine First Project, pushed back on Kosinski's comments.


"What is the MEA’s reaction to The Nation’s Report Card, where more than two-thirds of Maine students are consistently below proficiency levels in reading and three-quarters of Maine students are below proficiency levels in math?" McBreairty told Fox News Digital.

"These types of horrible results have been going on for the past 20 years, with Maine now seeing the worst results since they started keeping track in 1998! I wonder what Mr. Kosinski thinks about the MEA's abject failure inside the classrooms?"

Kosinki’s comments underscore that issues in education have become a top concern among voters. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, school board meetings have often become battlegrounds between parents and school board officials, reigniting the debate on how much control parents have over their children's education.


John Kosinski, the director of government relations for the Maine Education Association, made comments about school board election results that underscore that issues in education have become a top concern among voters. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Joshua Q. Nelson is a reporter for Fox News Digital.

Joshua focuses on politics, education policy ranging from the local to the federal level, and the parental uprising in education.

Joining Fox News Digital in 2019, he previously graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Political Science and is an alum of the National Journalism Center and the Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.

Story tips can be sent to joshua.nelson@fox.com and Joshua can be followed on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Meeting dates

I have scheduled the following dates for our next meetings: December 13, January 10 and February 7 at the Town council chambers 6:30 PM each meeting. Agendas to follow.

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