Maine Charter School Vote

An update on the Maine Charter School Bill

from Boston.com:

AUGUSTA, Maine—A bill to allow charter schools in Maine has gone down to defeat in the Senate and now goes to the House for consideration.

The Kennebec Journal said Thursday’s 22-13 vote split largely along party lines, with most Democrats opposing the bill and most Republicans favoring it.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Dennis Damon of Trenton, touted charter schools as an option for students who are “left out” by the public school curriculum.

Democratic Sen. Deborah Simpson of Auburn argued that it would be bad public policy to take money from public schools to try a different approach at a time when municipal budgets are strained.

I still hope there is some way to get virtual charters through. Not allowing virtual charters would be a huge setback for Maine education.

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10 Responses

  1. "I still hope there is some way to get virtual charters through. That would be a huge setback for Maine education."

    I'm confused about why the blogger is hoping for a huge setback in Maine education.

  2. "I still hope there is some way to get virtual charters through. That would be a huge setback for Maine education."

    I'm confused about why the blogger is hoping for a huge setback in Maine education.

  3. Oops. Bloggers can have typos too. I meant to conclude "Not allowing virtual charters would be a huge setback for Maine education."

    That's why I get for trying to write an update while my family is pulling me out the door.

  4. Oops. Bloggers can have typos too. I meant to conclude "Not allowing virtual charters would be a huge setback for Maine education."

    That's why I get for trying to write an update while my family is pulling me out the door.

  5. There. Problem solved.

  6. There. Problem solved.

  7. I agree that taking the virtual option off the table was not the best move for a rural state.

    The house on Friday June 5th voted in favor of the bill. It will go back to the Senate early this week. A big unknown is what our lack of charter school legislation will do to our obtaining Federal 'Race to the Top' funds. Seems it would be prudent to delay the vote until we know more about it.

    http://www.dfer.org/posts/blog/

    — In Illinois, both the House and Senate over the weekend responded to Duncan's criticism of the state's charter school laws by passing a major charter reform law. SB 612 goes to the Governor's office. The law doubles the charter cap, eliminates a geographic cap and sets up a 6 month process to design an independent authorizer for charters in Illinois.

    — In Rhode Island, State Education officials on Friday approved the first of an exciting new kind of charter school which would be operated by suburban mayors. Cumberland Mayor Daniel J. McKee won support for the mayoral academy concept from the General Assembly in 2008, but had to wait for the state Department of Education to review his proposal in order to open the elementary school this fall in Cumberland. (Disclosure: I am on the board of the flagship school, which will be run by Democracy Builders, the CMO that runs Democracy Prep in Harlem.)

    — In Tennessee, after Duncan suggested to reporters that a recent move to kill charter school legislation by a bloc of Democrats in the Legislature could cost the state $100 million in Race To The Top funds, some electeds are now having second thoughts. Remarked House Democratic Caucus Leader Mike Turner in the Tennessean: "No one has said a word to me about this… Obama ought to call us and tell us this stuff. If he would have called us and told us this, we might have had a different outlook.

  8. I agree that taking the virtual option off the table was not the best move for a rural state.

    The house on Friday June 5th voted in favor of the bill. It will go back to the Senate early this week. A big unknown is what our lack of charter school legislation will do to our obtaining Federal 'Race to the Top' funds. Seems it would be prudent to delay the vote until we know more about it.

    http://www.dfer.org/posts/blog/

    — In Illinois, both the House and Senate over the weekend responded to Duncan's criticism of the state's charter school laws by passing a major charter reform law. SB 612 goes to the Governor's office. The law doubles the charter cap, eliminates a geographic cap and sets up a 6 month process to design an independent authorizer for charters in Illinois.

    — In Rhode Island, State Education officials on Friday approved the first of an exciting new kind of charter school which would be operated by suburban mayors. Cumberland Mayor Daniel J. McKee won support for the mayoral academy concept from the General Assembly in 2008, but had to wait for the state Department of Education to review his proposal in order to open the elementary school this fall in Cumberland. (Disclosure: I am on the board of the flagship school, which will be run by Democracy Builders, the CMO that runs Democracy Prep in Harlem.)

    — In Tennessee, after Duncan suggested to reporters that a recent move to kill charter school legislation by a bloc of Democrats in the Legislature could cost the state $100 million in Race To The Top funds, some electeds are now having second thoughts. Remarked House Democratic Caucus Leader Mike Turner in the Tennessean: "No one has said a word to me about this… Obama ought to call us and tell us this stuff. If he would have called us and told us this, we might have had a different outlook.

  9. Thanks Arlene. From what you've posted and what I've read it certainly seems Duncan and Co. are pretty much saying "follow what we recommend or no money". That is an old federal tactic, used in the past to enforce state speed limits and the drinking age.

    As I've said, the bill looks good. Keeps corporate charters out and those in closely watched by outside academic sources. Plus you can't beat those virtual charters.

  10. Thanks Arlene. From what you've posted and what I've read it certainly seems Duncan and Co. are pretty much saying "follow what we recommend or no money". That is an old federal tactic, used in the past to enforce state speed limits and the drinking age.

    As I've said, the bill looks good. Keeps corporate charters out and those in closely watched by outside academic sources. Plus you can't beat those virtual charters.

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