The Mark Cayer Education Plan for the City of Lewiston, Maine

  • Enhancing Pre-K
  • After School/Summer Programming
  • Adult Ed/Post-Secondary Education
  • Technical Education

When thinking of a mayor’s responsibility, it’s easy to imagine that a typical day is filled dealing with constituent complaints, potholes, public safety, and finding ways to create good jobs in our community. While these are all important responsibilities, a mayor must also work to improve the city’s school system.

Education is the very foundation – indeed the catalyst – to ensuring future success in Lewiston. Simply stated, education is the most important factor in cultivating prosperity for all. A community determined to provide great education can also create a level playing field for all citizens.

My recently released Cayer for Mayor Prosperity Plan focuses on strengthening our educational foundation. I truly believe it is the responsibility of all elected officials to understand how important education is to the future of our city.

I have also crafted a plan specific to achieving our education goals in Lewiston. This plan builds on input from community members, elected officials, and business leaders. More importantly, the crucial voice of teachers, parents, and students is embedded throughout.

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

A Mayor who Champions our Students & Schools!

The public school has long been at the center of any vibrant community – a place where children learn but also where neighbors meet for community events, to vote, or to enjoy the arts or sporting events. We also gather in schools to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and community members.

Our youngsters must be challenged to be the best they can be. After all, they are our future leaders! In addition to teaching them the three Rs, we should also teach leadership and civic responsibility; respect and tolerance; and the importance of being part of a community. A mayor’s words and actions can help inspire pride in a student body and a broader community. A mayor must actively encourage our citizens to become active participants in the education of our children.

As a community, we should hold ourselves accountable while we address the many challenges we face in our schools. We should have the tough discussions but approach them in a way that takes ownership of our mistakes, listens to opposing views, and is ready to make the difficult decisions.

Let’s all understand the vital role our educators play and the difficult challenges they face every day. Let’s understand the corrosive effects of poverty on the health of our schools. Let’s understand the importance of innovation so we can empower our teachers to lead the charge toward excellence in our schools.

If you have followed my campaign at all, you know that I believe the path to success is to work together as a community. A mayor cannot – and should not – do this alone. That is why I plan to create a “City Education Task Force.” Using best practices and data-driven evidence, this task force will work to promote partnerships with the mayor’s office, city councilors, school committee members, elementary, secondary, and adult educators, parent-teacher organizations, and the business community.

The task force would be charged with identifying educational goals that align with economic development goals, building a workforce for the community’s needs of tomorrow. We must meet the needs and nurture the talents of all our children in order to prepare them for the future.

The task force would also focus attention on the following areas:

Enhancing Pre-K

Ensuring that our children are ready to learn before they start school is crucial to long-term success. We should build upon proven initiatives such as Promise 1 and expand quality daycare and pre-school programs. Our libraries are another excellent resource in promoting early literacy and a love of learning.

After School/Summer Programming

Learning doesn’t stop when the dismissal bell rings! We need more after-school programming that can enrich children’s lives and expose them to a wider world. Working with our partners, we should identify and encourage those children in greatest need to participate in these programs.

Adult Ed/Post-Secondary Education

Lewiston has one of the best adult education programs in Maine, and CMCC in Auburn provides over 40 career and technical majors. Continuing to find pathways to employment and education for adults is an important goal I will strongly support.

Technical Education

Lewiston has one of the best technical education programs in the state. Can it be even better? Are we able to offer enough opportunities for students to explore careers before they graduate high school? Internships, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities should be available to our youth as they go through their school years.

So, let’s maintain this important dialogue about the importance of education. Let’s understand that our schools are key to our community’s quality of life, maintaining an educated workforce, and continued economic growth and prosperity. And let’s understand that good schools are vital to good neighborhoods.

Please consider being a part of the change coming to our community starting November 5, 2019.