Teachers union balks at push for unlimited charter schools

By Noel Gallagher, Morning Sentinel

Gov. Paul LePage plans to introduce legislation to allow an unlimited number of charter schools in Maine, and the proposal is coming under fire from the state’s teachers union.

Cornville Regional Charter School teacher Danielle Beaman helps student Barret Walker last fall. The school opened in October with 60 students and plans to expand to 90 this fall.

The state law that was passed in 2011 to allow charter schools set a limit of 10 in the next 10 years. Only two charter schools are fully approved and open in Maine, with fewer than 150 students between them.

But seven applications are being evaluated by state officials, and organizers of several schools hope to open as early as this fall.

The LePage administration wants to lift the cap in this legislative session to expand access to charter schools, said David Connerty-Marin, spokesman for the state Department of Education.


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