The following is a news release from the Maine Charter School Commission.
AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission has the responsibility to approve up to 10 public charter schools in the state in 10 years. Tuesday, the Commission met to consider five applications for a public charter school.
Each application was reviewed by a team of Commission members and was reviewed for its education plan, the proposed organizational and operational plan, and its governance, business and financial and education service providers information. The review teams made recommendations to the full Commission regarding each application as to whether it appeared to demonstrate their competence in each element of the Commission’s approved criteria. The applicant also had to demonstrate that they were likely to successfully open and operate a charter school.
The application for the proposed Harpswell Coastal Academy was approved by the Commission to proceed to the next stage of the application review. This will include an in-person interview and a public hearing to be held on Jan. 18, 2013, at the Cundy’s Harbor Community Center, in Harpswell. The interview will begin at 10 a.m., and the public hearing will start at 1 p.m. The public hearing will allow the Commission to receive comments from the public on the expected impact of the proposed charter school on students, parents, the communities to be served and public education in the state.
The other four applications considered by the Commission were denied. In general, the reasons for this action were that the applications did not sufficiently address portions of the application criteria. In three of the applications there was a failure to present persuasive evidence that they had met the governance requirements. The fourth applicant lacked persuasive evidence that their financial structure could support the school. The four that were denied include the proposed Heartwood Charter School of Visual and Performing Arts in Kennebunk, the Maine Virtual Academy, a statewide virtual charter school, the Maine Connections Academy, also a statewide virtual charter school and the Queen City Academy Charter School, in the Bangor area. These applicants are eligible to apply for a public charter school in future.
Maine Charter School Commission Chair Jana Lapoint, in reflecting on the Commission’s action today, said, “Decisions for approval or denial of an application requires a rigorous review as the ultimate responsibility of the Commission is to ensure that a quality education is provided to all students attending a public charter school. The Commission looks forward to receiving future applications that will provide more choices and opportunities for success for Maine students.”
For more information about the Maine Charter School Commission, visit: www.maine.gov/csc or call 624-6729.