Published Date Written by Staff ReportMaine Gov. Paul LePage proclaimed Tuesday, July 31 as "Milton Friedman Day" to commemorate the 100th birthday of Milton Friedman (1912-2006), the well-known economist who proposed school choice vouchers in his 1955 article, "The Role of Government in Education." The governor's office reported the proclamation late Tuesday.
"Maine's educational goals align with Friedman's vision: all children should have the right to the highest-quality schools possible," stated a press release from the governor's office. "Research suggests that providing children with multiple schooling options improves academic performance.
Friedman and his wife established the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in 1996 to promote all parents being able to choose the best learning environments for their children. This year marks the fifth annual Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day.Friedman was the recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, taught at universities throughout the world, and published many notable books and articles.
"We are striving to put students first and help them gain access to the best educational opportunities possible," Gov. LePage said. "Today's commemoration is a reminder of one more strong voice in support of solutions that support families and students when it comes to education."
The governor has clashed with the Maine Education Association over the direction of public education in Maine.
Following a report released by Harvard University's Program on Education Policy and Governance, LePage and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen held a media conference noting education reform initiatives. Maine was ranked 12th in overall test scores — the lowest of the participating New England states, LePage reported.