State

Madawaska schools featured on German news program

MADAWASKA, Maine — A journalist and television crew from the German public-service television station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen visited Madawaska schools, March 30, to discuss how concerns about school funding and potential changes at the U.S. Department of Education under President Donald Trump’s new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are impacting rural schools in America. 

The station’s Washington, D.C.-based reporter, who flew in the day before, visited both the elementary and high schools and spoke with teachers, students and administrators. Maine Education Association President Lois Kilby-Chesley, was also interviewed in Madawaska.

The segment highlighted the impact budget cuts have had on the infrastructure and transportation equipment at the Madawaska School Department. Kilby-Chesley also expressed doubts about the qualifications of DeVos to lead the federal department of education, and wondered how the secretary’s previous emphasis on funding private and charter schools could impact state and federal funding for public schools.

The segment is available to vireew, in German, at https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/zdf-mittagsmagazin/pontzen-mim-100.html.  

 Maine Education Association officials had suggested the television producers reach out to Madawaska School Superintendent Gisele Dionne when asked about visiting a small rural school.

The station is also planning to air a second segment focusing on Madawaska Elementary School teacher Vanessa Gagnon and her family. That segment will focus on Gagnon’s role as teacher at a rural school and the family’s four children, who all attend public school.

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