MEPRI publishes research on Maine’s PreK-12 schools

The Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) published three reports this spring, all of which are now available on the MEPRI website. MEPRI is a partnership between the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development and the University of Southern Maine. The studies were jointly funded by the Maine State Legislature, and the University of Maine System.

The three publications include “How Students with IEPs and Their Teachers Are Faring in Maine Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic” by research associate Patricia Lech and MEPRI co-director Amy Johnson. The study looks at the impact of remote learning on students with IEPs during the last year.

MEPRI co-director Janet Fairman, associate professor of educational leadership Catharine Biddle, and doctoral student in PreK–12 education with a literacy concentration Ming-Tso Chien published their report “School-Community Partnerships in Maine”. This study focused on “how partnerships are supporting the physical, mental, and social health and wellness of students and their families, given that these have been areas of growing concern for Maine schools and education policymakers in recent years and even more so during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The third report, “School Leadership Development Programs in Maine: Building Statewide Capacity and Addressing Challenges” was authored also by Fairman, associate professor of educational leadership Ian Mette and lecturer in educational leadership Maria Frankland. The study examined current educational leadership development programs in Maine, including initial preparation and on-going development or support programs and networks, and aimed to identify strengths and gaps or challenges.

MEPRI was established by the Maine Legislature in 1995 to provide policymakers, including the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and the Maine Department of Education, with objective data, policy research and evaluation of educational needs, services and impacts in Maine’s PreK–12 schools.

Similar to MEPRI, the UMaine Portland Gateway works across Maine through partnerships among a variety of organizations to make Maine the best place to live, work and learn. If you are in southern Maine and would like to connect with UMaine research and education, please contact us at

Written by Tilan Copson