Maine’s charter school law takes effect

Maine’s public charter school law has taken effect, and the Department of Education is working to implement it.

Maine became the 41st state to allow public charter schools on Sept. 28, when the legislation passed by Maine’s House and Senate in the spring became law.

In the coming weeks, the Department will develop major substantive rules that clarify parts of the law and will provide more information to those interested in founding public charter schools, authorizing them and attending them.

The Department expects to make the rules available for public comment in early November. The draft rules will appear on the Department website. They will require legislative approval before they take effect.

The state’s first charter schools will open, at the earliest, July 1, 2012.

Other recent charter school developments include:

  • The Department of Education has launched an expanded charter schools website at http://www.maine.gov/education/charterschools. The charters school web pages now contain detailed information for potential founders and operators of charter schools, information for and about Maine’s charter school authorizers, and an expanded question-and-answer section about the Maine law.
  • Potential charter school founders recently gathered in Augusta to learn about the new state law and best practices for charter schools. The session was sponsored by the Maine Association for Charter Schools.
  • In the coming months, the Department of Education will deliver a status update on the implementation of the charter schools law to the Maine Legislature’s Education Committee.

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