LePage administration quietly dissolved ties with Jeb Bush’s education foundation

Aug 17, 2015 by

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A couple of weeks before Christmas 2012, two mid-level staffers from the Foundation for Excellence in Education – a Florida-based education reform organization founded and chaired by Jeb Bush – were preparing to fly up to Maine for meetings with state education officials here.

It was awkward timing, as Gov. Paul LePage’s administration was under fire after revelations that it had allowed foundation officials to ghost-write many of the state’s virtual charter school policies – including draft legislation, strategic policy goals, and the text of one of LePage’s executive orders – even though their organization was deeply entwined with many of the companies that stood to cash in on the proposed changes.

LePage insisted they stay and dine at the Blaine House and, weeks later, invited them to help organize and execute his March 2013 education summit, where foundation officials had prominent speaking spots. In the coming months, Education Department officials continued to work closely with their foundation counterparts, coordinating their media strategies, meeting at conferences, and securing grant funds to further shared goals in Maine.

Source: Facing blowback, LePage administration quietly dissolved ties with Jeb Bush’s education foundation – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

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