President Jackson’s bill to support Maine School of Science and Mathematics clears Senate on initial vote

AUGUSTA – Today, the Maine Senate unanimously approved legislation from Senate President Troy Jackson to increase funding for the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. LD 2118, “An Act to Provide Funding to the Maine School of Science and Mathematics” would provide ongoing funding to the renowned public, residential high school located in rural Maine to meet operational expenses and provide financial support to in-state students who demonstrate the need for room and board assistance.

“The Maine School of Science and Mathematics is an incredible public high school that offers an affordable, first-class STEM education to eligible Maine students. More importantly, it engages gifted but disenfranchised students, unlocks doors and helps students find who they are and chart their own path,” said President Jackson. “This modest increase in ongoing funding will keep room and board affordable for working-class families and ensure MSSM can continue to offer award-winning programming for years to come. I’m grateful for the strong bipartisan vote in the Education Committee and on the Senate floor. I’m hopeful the House will follow our light.”

The proposed funding is in addition to the flat funded amount the school receives annually in the state budget to cover tuition for in-state students. This stagnant funding has forced the school to make critical staffing cuts to remain operational and keep room and board affordable for families.

“I attended MSSM in my junior and senior years of high school, seeking a rigorous education in math and science, at a price my family could afford (room and board was less expensive back then). I found the curricular options and rigor to be beyond my imagination. I worked harder than I had ever needed to before and gained real knowledge and a new confidence in myself and what I could achieve,” said Sen. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth, an MSSM alumnus and bill cosponsor. “I am grateful that the state had the vision to create such an institution of excellence. I know that it was life-changing for so many of my peers who came from small, rural schools that lacked large enough student bodies to support high-level courses available at MSSM. Now in its 29th year, the school needs our financial support to continue to help Maine students reach their full potential. Investing in these students and the school is an investment in our state’s future.”

Founded in 1995 by the Maine Legislature, MSSM is a public, residential magnet school with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) that serves high school students from across the state. In 2019, U.S. News and World Report named MSSM the #1 High School in Maine, the #2 High School in the U.S., and the #2 Magnet School in the U.S. Later that year, Newsweek further recognized MSSM by placing it in the top ten STEM high schools in the country and Boston’s ABC affiliate released a video highlighting the schools’ excellence.

LD 2118 faces additional votes in the House and Senate. 

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