Ed board approves charter commission members

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

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Board of Education has appointed four members to the State Charter School Commission, opening a path for the approval of charter schools in Maine.

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.

The State Board approved:

  • Richard Barnes of Kennebunkport, a retired, part-time consultant and educational researcher and former superintendent of schools in York;
  • Donald Mordecai of Scarborough, who has worked as a head of school and financial officer at private schools;
  • Shelley Reed of Wayne, recently retired from the Maine Department of Education, where she headed the department’s truancy and dropout prevention efforts, as well as work on programs aimed at at-risk youth; and
  • William Shuttleworth of Camden, a superintendent at school systems in Maine, including Bath, RSU 1, and, currently, Five Town CSD and MSAD 28.

The four will join two State Board members previously approved by their colleagues: James A. Banks, Sr., and Jana Lapoint. Marilyn Temple Tardy, a State Board member who was previously appointed to the Commission, resigned recently. The State Board will appoint a third person from its own ranks, as called for in the state law establishing charter schools.

The Commission will hold its first meeting Jan. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Augusta.

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.

For more information about the state charter school comission, visit: www.maine.gov/education/charterschools/commission.html.

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