AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission has voted to enter into contract negotiations with the backers of what will be the state’s second virtual public charter school.
At a meeting in Augusta today, the independent commission voted 6-1 to enter into contract negotiations with Maine Virtual Academy, which plans to start serving as many as 297 students from across the state in the fall of 2015.
The school will contract with K12, a national virtual learning leader, but be governed by a local board of directors and have a physical presence in central Maine.
In its opening year, the school will enroll students in grades 7-9 but expand to grades 7-12.
In 2011, Governor Paul R. LePage signed legislation making Maine the 41st state to allow charter schools and establishing the seven-member Commission as an authorizer of up to 10 public charter schools through June 30, 2022. Local school boards can additionally authorize public charter schools.
Currently, there are six charter schools enrolling a total of nearly 900 Maine students including Cornville Regional Charter School, the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland, Fiddlehead School of Arts and Science in Gray, Harpswell Coastal Academy and Maine Connections Academy. A third of those students are attending Maine Connections Academy, the state’s first public virtual charter school which opened this fall and is serving students from 86 school districts across Maine.
For more information about the Maine Charter School Commission or learn more about the proposed Maine Virtual Academy, visit www.maine.gov/csc.