AUGUSTA — Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen says a bill setting standards for teacher effectiveness and evaluation of teachers is the most important education bill to come out of the Legislature this session.

Gov. Paul LePage is expected to sign the bill into law next week. It requires schools to adopt teacher and principal evaluation systems and makes other significant changes to Maine law with regard to educator training and certification. It also sets statewide standards for teacher and principal evaluation systems.

Bowen says, “The ultimate winners are our students.”

The bill, approved Thursday, is one of four education bills backed by the LePage administration. One of them, to allow funding for religious schools, didn’t pass. Two others, to enhance school choice options and improve career and technical education opportunities, are still pending.

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