(NECN: Amy Sinclair) - A bitter feud is underway between Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage and the state's biggest teachers union, the Maine Education Association.
The union is angry about the Governor's curtailment order to cut more than $12 million from the Department of Education this year.
"You berate our schools, attack educators, diminish the self-esteem of students and cut our funding," says MEA President Lois Kilby-Chesley.
They say the cuts will force schools to lay off teachers and may force many communities to raise property taxes.
Meanwhile, Governor LePage says he's furious about Maine educators' reluctance to approve more charter schools, an initiative he believes is a critical to the future.
"They are the problem!" retorted Governor LePage. "They are stuck in the status quo. They are not interested in good education. They're interested in looking forward to retirement and double dipping. They're not interested in doing what's right for the kids."
The governor's comments came the day after the state's charter school commission rejected four out of five applications for new charter schools. Governor LePage has since asked for the resignations of all seven members of that commission.