AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Education Department has disbanded a federally mandated panel created to advise the state on issues involving youths with disabilities.
Former members of the panel disbanded Friday say they are concerned the move was retaliation for the panel's questioning of department initiatives.
Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said Monday his decision is part of an effort to satisfy federal requirements.
The primary role of the Maine Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities is to monitor and make recommendations on the state's compliance with the federal disabilities law.
The Bangor Daily News reports that Bowen in a letter expressed disappointment with the 30-member panel. A department spokesman says the panel would be re-assembled in time for the fall and no federal funding was put in jeopardy.
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