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LePage's education agenda and voc ed

The legislation I mentioned in last week's story about girls and the trades, LD 1865, An Act to Enhance Career and Technical Education, was the first of four education-related bills to be heard in Augusta this week. The bill, which aims to make it easier for students to take CTE courses, is the least controversial prong of Governor Paul LePage's education agenda; the education committee and most legislators support improvements to vocational education -- especially those that don't cost anything.

The other, more contentious bills -- which expand school choice, allow tax dollars to go toward religious education, and implement more rigorous teacher evaluations -- will be heard tomorrow and Thursday.

  • In other news related to women and non-traditional careers, the Woolwich-based Shelter Institute has announced tool and building workshops for women, to be held now through the fall. There's a tool-sharpening workshop this weekend, a hands-on sawhorse building class on April 28th, and Power Tool Selection for Women on May 19th (attendees need not be at all classes). The series concludes with the Purely Post and Beam for Women course, in which participants will build and raise a 24'x24' timber frame. This is the first time the course has been offered exclusively for women.

The Institute was the brainchild of Pat and Patsy Hennin, who established the school in Bath in 1974. Blueberry Beeton, the Hennin's daughter and vice-president of the Institute, says in a press release: "The fact of the matter is that women can do anything that men can do in the building trade, they just might go about it a little bit differently. Shelter has created a stress-free environment for women to lift a mallet and take their first bold strike at a chisel."

Maybe this women-in-the-trades thing isn't so far-fetched after all.

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