Members sought for State Charter School Commission

The following is a press release from the Maine State Board of Education.

FARMINGTON – The Maine State Board of Education took the first steps toward creating a State Charter School Commission, as called for in the public charter school law that passed the Legislature earlier this year.

At a meeting today, the Board appointed James A. Banks, Sr., Marilyn Temple Tardy, and Jana Lapoint as the initial members of the Commission. The three are now charged with finding and nominating four more members. The full State Board will vote on those nominations.

The Commission will help shape public charter schools in Maine, the 41st state to adopt legislation to allow them. Maine’s law allows the Commission to authorize up to 10 public charter schools statewide during the law’s first 10 years. Local school boards can authorize additional public charter schools that don’t count toward the Commission’s 10-school limit.

In Maine, public charter schools will be governed and operated independently of the traditional public school system and are to be publicly funded. They have more flexibility than traditional public schools over decisions concerning curriculum and instruction, scheduling, staffing and finance. Public charter schools, however, are accountable to the terms of the contracts, or charters, which authorize their existence and the academic standards to which all other public schools are accountable.

The initial members of the Commission say they hope to serve with people who want to play a role in shaping the startup of public charter schools in the state. As described in the law, they are seeking nominees with diverse professional experiences in education, social services, youth training, business startup and administration, accounting and finance, strategic planning, and non-profit governance.

For more information about the public charter schools law, visit: http://www.maine.gov/education/charterschools/.

People interested in serving on the Commission should mail or hand deliver a letter of interest and a current resume to:

Jennifer Pooler
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Letters must be sent by the close of business on Oct. 31. In their letters, applicants should describe how their experience and strengths will contribute to the work of the State Charter School Commission. For questions, contact Jennifer Pooler at 207-624-6638 or jennifer.pooler@maine.gov.

Mary Becker | Maine State Board of Education | 207-624-6616

5 responses to “Members sought for State Charter School Commission

  1. Any word yet on the names of the 4 remaining charter school commission members?

    • The four nominees to serve on the State Charter School Commission will appear before the Legislature’s Education Committee on Monday, Dec. 12. The State Board of Education is then expected to formally appoint the nominees when it meets on Dec. 14. The nominees are: Richard Barnes, Shelley Reed, William Shuttleworth and Donald Mordecai. The State Board will issue a press release when it makes the appointments.

  2. The appointments have been made – the rejection letters have been sent. Now roll the dice …

  3. What four people were ultimately chosen for this group?

    • The State Board of Education has not yet appointed anyone to the State Charter School Commission. The candidates must appear before the Legislature’s Education Committee before they can be appointed to their posts. (See the statute for an explanation of the Education Committee’s responsibility: http://bit.ly/uRb1sv.) The candidates’ appearance before the committee has yet to be scheduled.

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