Charter commission denies one, tables one

The following is a news release from the Maine Charter School Commission.

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission voted Monday to table one public charter school application and denied another.

Commission members voted unanimously to table the application from the Baxter School of Technology and Science in Portland. They have questions about the applicant’s budget as well as other questions. The applicant has sent two budget revisions since its original application was filed in June. A meeting has been scheduled for July 17 during which the Commission members will ask the applicant for more information.

The Commission voted 3-3 on a motion to approve the Cornville Regional Charter School. It takes five affirmative votes for an application to be approved. Members cited concerns that the school would not be sufficiently innovative or different from the local public school to merit approval.

The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences was approved last Friday by the Commission, allowing it to move to the contract phase. Upon completion of the contract, it will become the first public charter school in Maine’s history.

Two applications for virtual charter schools were previously tabled. A sixth application was submitted Friday for the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences, to be located in Gray. The Commission has yet to schedule a public hearing on the application but has formed a review committee that will meet this Friday to begin the initial review process. Three other groups had indicated their intent to submit applications, but did not do so by the June 29 deadline.

By current law, the Commission can authorize up to 10 public charter schools over the next decade.

For more information about the Maine Charter School Commission, including copies of the applications, visit: www.maine.gov/csc or call 624-6638.

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