•All Mainers should have access to public pre-k education in Maine for free, just like K-12.

•The University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System should also be universally accessible.

•The state should—at a minimum—appropriate another $106 million to fully fund local public schools.

•All of this should be done with an eye towards job creation and creating more equitable education outcomes for all Mainers—especially Mainers of color and new immigrants that need English Language Learning Classes.


•There is a skills mismatch between the jobs that are open and the education qualification of those that can fill those jobs—especially in health care and technology.  

•The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that by 2018, 59% of Maine jobs will require some level of post-secondary education.  This includes an estimated 136,000 jobs that could be made available to people providing they have at least an associate’s degree.  Unfortunately, Maine currently ranks 49th nationally in high school dropouts, and 39th in Associate’s degree obtainment.

•Additionally, racial disparities in educational achievement prevent Mainers of color from reaching their full potential.  For example, black fourth graders in Maine have tested at below basic math skills at nearly three times the rate of white children.


•Studies are clear on the enormous benefits of pre-k education.  It’s good for kids, parents, businesses, and taxpayers.

•For many, a four year college is the best ticket to the middle class.  For others, community college is essential for learning practical skills necessary for find good paying, steady work.

•New immigrants to Maine want to learn English and transfer their licenses and certifications from their home country.  Ensuring access to quality, affordable education is necessary to make sure the economy can work for all of us.Answers to Common Objections:

•See the Fair Share Revenue Plan to see how this increase in education access can be easily funded.  

•Jobs that don’t require post-secondary schooling should pay well and confer as much respect as jobs that require more education.  At the same time, the demand for workers with higher levels of education is clear.  It is impossible for Maine to have a fair share economy without eliminating barriers to education and aligning those opportunities with current and emerging jobs.

Links to more information

•Maine Futures Institute Report on Job Openings in Maine:

•State level analysis of Jobs in 2018: Projections from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce:

•Maine Racial Justice Policy Guide:

•Gateway to research on value of Pre-K from Pew Charitable Trusts: