Six testify at charter schools rule hearing

The Maine Department of Education held a public hearing on Nov. 22 to receive public comment on its proposed rule chapter governing public charter schools.

Six people testified at Tuesday’s hearing. Several of those who spoke raised a concern that, as written, the rule would make it difficult for any charter school to accept students in time for a September 2012 opening.

The Department will review those and all comments from the hearing, as well as those the Department receives in writing, before submitting a final proposed rule to the Secretary of State.

Since Rule Chapter 140 is a major substantive rule, it will go before the full Legislature before final adoption.

The Department of Education will accept comments on the proposed rule until Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. Comments can be sent via email to Deborah Friedman, director of Policy and Programs, at Deborah.Friedman@maine.gov.

The proposed rule is available for review at http://www.maine.gov/education/rulechanges.htm.

Maine’s law allowing public charter schools took effect Sept. 28, 2011.