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Past Events of Note:


Wednesday, June 16

Tonight the Maine House voted in favor of LD 1553, 89 to 55, An Act to Create a Charter School Program in Maine!

Like the 21 to 13 Senate vote yesterday the House vote was bipartisan.

The debate lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes, with seven Democrats and six Republicans speaking in favor, and four Democrats in opposition.


NOW is the time to Act! 

         Please contact your Representative a.s.a.p. and ask them to vote ...

"Ought To Pass" for LD 1553, An Act to Create a Charter School Program in Maine.

·       Please leave messages for Representatives at:  1-800-423-2900.  

·       Your messages should be very brief (they are transcribed and delivered to the legislators at their desks). 

         If you can, please join MACS in Augusta and watch the proceedings in the House Gallery tomorrow morning!  Call our cell phone (542-0370) for updates on the exact times.

To Find YOUR Representative
Click Here!



Charter School Day in

The Hall of Flags

    Thanks to everyone who helped make our day at the State House "Hall of Flags" such a success! There were displays by schools, alternative programs, online programs, and folks envisioning an entirely new charter school.

   There were students and staff from Blue Hill Harbor School and The Community School.  A number of supporters from around Maine joined MACS in keeping conversations lively!  

   We had great discussions with Ed Committee Members, with various Senators and Representatives, the media, and others who stopped by.  We met with Governor's staff and some students got an interview with Governor LePage himself.

Fall 2010

Charter School Forum Report
MACS hosted a very successful, well-attended Forum on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at the Augusta Civic Center, presenting the latest draft of our proposed 2011 Charter School Bill. 
Participants heard national experts and MACS describe the key components of the bill and were able to give us feedback about how the bill might affect their interests.  Attendees were also able to network with people statewide and nationally who support public charter schools.

Charter Schools are now on the
Big Silver Screen:

"Waiting for Superman"

Now Playing!
Click on Theater for Up-to-Date Info:
Rockland - Strand Theater
Thomaston - Flagship Cinemas
Portland - Nickelodeon Theater
Waterville - Railroad Cinema
Boothbay -

Coming soon to a theater near you - stay tuned!

Click here to learn more from the film's official website


Nov. 12 - Alternative Education Conference

Nov 12 & 13 - Juice Conference - See MACS' Juice Handout "Outside the Box!"


Fall Tour of New Hampshire Charter Schools
On Friday, October 16 MACS representatives visited The North Country
Charter School in Littleton, NH.  To visit their website yourself, Click Here!

October Forum

On October 14 MACS hosted a Maine Education Forum on Public Charter Schools - For Maine Legislators & Policy Makers, Maine Colleges & Universities, and Maine Educators
Co-hosts and Presenters Included:

For a Summary of the Forum Click Here

For the Agenda & Information about the Presenters Click Here

Greenville Public Meeting
to Discuss Charter Schools

Sponsored by:  The Greenville School Committee
All members of the public were invited to attend and learn about the Charter School Movement in Maine, and how charter schools may help rural, isolated school units such as those in Greenville. 
Guest Speaker:  MACS Director Judith Jones

Wednesday, June 29, 6:30 p.m.
Greenville Middle/High School Library


MACS Organizing Meetings:

Portland - July 20 - USM
Belfast - August 3 - Hutchinson Center

(Our guest was Dr. Joe Nathan, Center for Educational Change, University of Minnesota, founder of the Charter School Movement in 1991.)
Bangor - TBA
Lewiston/Auburn -
Presque Isle -

Ed Law Conference

July 20 - USM - Portland

12-1 pm - Charter School Luncheon & Discussion
1:30-3 pm - MACS Portland Area Meeting

FMI:  or email MACS

We were refreshed by attending the National Charter School Conference in Washington DC in June, along with 3,300 other participants, and since then we have been gearing up to promote a new charter school bill for the next legislative session next January.
Stay Tuned!

Meanwhile ...

To learn about charter schools, please check out our links to the left.

For news of our more distant past,

read on...

Portland Press Herald - Maine Sunday Telegram

MAINE VOICES - July 2, 2009

Progress in Maine education blocked once again.

A coalition of public school officials and unions kept charter schools at arm's length.

Read the OP ED by Joe Gauld, founder of the Hyde Schools.

Click Here!

Maine News Direct,  MAINE
Released 6/30/09

US Ed. Secretary Duncan Chides Maine Legislators

Click Here!

Senate Votes Charter School Bill Down

In a sad commentary on our Government's concern for the children not currently served well by public education in Maine, the Senate voted 20-14 to "adhere" to their previous decision, not to allow public charter schools in Maine.

We thank all of you, our supporters in the Senate and House, in Administration, in Public and Private Education, and in all walks of life across Maine, for your continuing efforts to bring charter schools to Maine.

MACS is already debriefing our campaign this session and looking ahead to the January 2010 second session when we'll have a new opportunity to pass a charter school bill.

We plan to keep fighting for the rights of all students and parents, of all income levels, to have choices within Maine's system of public education.

Click Here for the Senate Role Call

Friday, June 5, Noon: happily, unexpectedly,
The Maine House voted in favor of LD 1438!
Now the bill is back to the Senate where the opponents are waiting!
Click Here for the House Role Call

Thursday, June 4:  Sadly, but not unexpectedly,
The Senate Voted Against LD 1438 - "Ought Not to Pass"
by a vote of 22 to 13.

Click Here for the Senate Role Call

The Maine Senate is expected to vote on LD 1438 on Monday! 
Now is the time to contact your Senator and encourage them to support public charter schools in Maine!
Contact MACS if you need help addressing any of their concerns.

May 20 Poll by Critical Insights of Portland shows
70% of Maine People support charter schools. 
Click Here for the Report (see p. 35).

Kennebec Journal Editorial
May 28
Charter schools vote: Schools are for kids

Click Here

 Portland Press Herald Editorial May 22
Legislature should back charter school law.
Maine stands to lose too much by resisting
this reasonable reform effort.

Click Here

The Education Committee, reacting to the fears of opponents, voted 8-5 "Ought Not to Pass" at its second Work Session on LD 1438 on May 20.
The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote, which could be any time within the next two weeks.
Please call or write your Senator to support Charter Schools in Maine!

Click Here for Senate Contact Information

Voting for LD 1438 were Rep. Casavant, Sen. Weston, Rep. Johnson, Rep. Nelson, Rep. Wagner  -  Thank You!

Sound Bytes vs Sound Data
Steady yourself with
Answers to Opponents' Spin

Click Here

May 8, 2009
Portland Press Herald Editorial

Casco Bay High's future should be secure

Portland's alternative high school has produced superior results for less.
"Casco Bay High is a perfect example of what can be achieved through public charter schools, and figuring out how to make the funding for such schools work better across districts would be a great help."

For Full Editorial, Click Here

New York TimesPublished: May 7, 2009
The Harlem Miracle

Op-Ed Columnist
For Full OP-ED, Click Here

May 7, 2009
MPBN Report
Education Committee Considers Charter Schools    
Click Here to Read (or Hear) Tom Porter's Report

Report on the Public Hearing before the Legislature's Education Committee May 5
Click Here

Support Grows! Read Below:

Kennebec Journal Editorial Supports Charter Schools in Maine - April 27
Click Here

School Reform Means Doing What's Best for Kids

Let's have an honest assessment of charter schools.
OP Ed in Wall Street Journal  - April 22
by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Click Here

Bangor Daily News Article - April 20
Click Here

LD 1438 is Here!
 "An Act to Permit Public Charter Schools in Maine"
Senator Dennis Damon is the prime sponsor, and co-sponsors are Senators Justin Alfond and Peter Mills and Representatives John Piotti, Alan Casavant, Gary Knight, Kathleen Chase, and David Richardson.  If any of these live in your district, please take a moment to send them a note of thanks!

LD 1438 Highlights
LD 1438 Text

President Obama Quote - 2/25/09
In his address to a Joint Session of Congress Tuesday night,
the President declared,
“… we know that our schools don't just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance, pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We'll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.”

National Charter School Conference
Washington, DC June 12-24.
MACS will be sending a delegation!
If you are interested in attending, call 763-3576 ASAP!

Why Charter Schools Now, for Maine?
What Has Changed?
What Will Change?
Click Here to Find Out!

Bill Gates Supports Charter Schools
School Reform That Works

By Bill Gates
Wednesday, January 28, 2009; A15

Bill Gates released an annual letter this week outlining the state of his foundation and its goals for 2009. Click Here for excerpts from the section on education as reported in the Washington Post.
For his full letter, Click Here.

Democrats Now Rule
in Maine as in Washington. 
Supporting public charter schools should be high on the legislative agenda for change -
in education, in social equity, and in economics. 

President-Elect Obama said: "I doubled the number of charter schools in Illinois despite some reservations from teachers unions. I think it's important to foster competition inside the public schools."  (Presidential Debate, 10/08)

Obama Picks Arne Duncan, Chicago Public School Chief as U.S. Secretary of Education
EdWeek, Dec. 16 - "In choosing Arne Duncan as his nominee for U.S. secretary of education, President-elect Barack Obama signaled today that his administration intends to take what both men see as a pragmatic, non-ideological approach to improving the nation’s schools.
During a press conference announcing the Chicago school system’s chief executive as his choice, the president-elect praised Mr. Duncan’s willingness to support controversial policies, such as shutting down low-performing neighborhood schools and expanding charter schools."

Bill Gates Supports the President-elect’s Positions on Education, specifically:
   “focusing on teachers who really do the job well, (and) allowing charter schools to be expanded, both because there are some great ones and because they serve as a model.” (Interview with Wolf Blitzer, CNN, 12/4/08) “We need to keep investing to improve the lives of the people who have been left out.... The greatest antidote to inequity in American life is a good system of public education.... There are public schools and charter schools serving some of the most disadvantaged students in the country, and yet they are recruiting great teachers, making the curriculum more rigorous, using data to see what works, and graduating students ready for college....That’s why I believe some of the highest-leverage, long-term investments come from improving public education, especially for low-income and minority students.”
Excerpts from Gates’ speech to George Washington University, 12/4/08
FMI Click Here

Environmentalists Take Note!

In support of a sustainable future, the first
Green Charter Schools National Conference
was held November 7-9 in Madison, Wisconsin.
FMI Click Here  

 As Presidential Candidates, Both Obama & McCain Supported Charter Schools!
Support for charter schools is a true bipartisan effort, strongly supported by both Democratic and Republican Presidents and the Congress
since initiated by President Clinton in 1996.

Democrat Barack Obama supports Public Charter Schools!
FMI Click Here

Republican John McCain supports Public Charter Schools!
FMI Click Here

Why Discuss School Choice Now?
WE MUST! - Click Here to Find out Why!

Upcoming Events

May 5

Public Rally at Noon - Cross Office Building, Augusta

Public Hearing - LD 1438 "An Act to Permit Charter Schools in Maine"
Education Committee, 1 pm, Room 202
FMI Call 763-3576

MACS Meeting

The next MACS Meeting will be announced shortly. Participation by toll-free Conference Call is welcome!
FMI Call 763-3576
FMI Click Here

Recent Events

February 6

MACS hosted a luncheon in Augusta with  Todd Ziebarth of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC.  Todd will discussed the model bill recently developed by the  Alliance which incorporates the experience and best practices that have evolved nationally.  MACS members discussed how Maine's bill LR 1349 is tailored to Maine’s special circumstances.

November 7-9

The first Green Charter Schools National Conference was held on Nov. 8 in Madison, Wisconsin, sponsored by: Green Charter Logo Nelson Instiute Logo
Conference Information

November 14

Alternative Education Association Conference

The Fall Conference of the Maine Alternative Education Association was held on Friday, November 14, 8am to 3pm, at the China Lake Conference Center.  FMI, contact Pender Makin,

November 14 & 15

Youth Peer Leadership Conference

     The Maine Youth Action Network’s annual youth conference was held November 14 & 15 in Bar Harbor.  FMI, see or call 874-0060.

Click Here for More Information on Upcoming Events

* The Legislature's Alternative Education Committee - Final Report

Get Maine Students out of their BOXES! 
Click Here for MAC's Handout at the Juice Conference

Charter Schools could Fuel the Creative Economy
 with Creative Workers! 


MACS is actively seeking financial contributions to fund our activities in support of public school options for Maine children.  Please consider helping with our current campaign, and Click Here for more information.

Click Here: for Recent Stories on the Success of Public School Options in Other States!

Is Maine's Graduation Rate Inflated?
     What is it, really.
Click on "Maine's Need" on the left sidebar for two reports.

Please Note:  Maine is one of only 10 states without public charter schools
Maine children are certainly missing out!

Another legislative season will soon be underway, and MACS is currently working to educate citizens and policy makers about the importance of:
1)  charter schools as a vehicle for public school choice.
2)  charter schools as a vehicle for public school improvement.
3)  related concepts such as funding the child's education, not the system.

Maine Newspapers Support Public Charter Schools:
The Portland Press Herald Editorial - 2/11/06
The Bangor Daily News Editorial - 3/14/06
 2007 Newsletters
February 20,  Bowdoin College, 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
Dr. Judith Jones, MACS Director will discuss public charter schools with  students whose semester project is to design a hypothetical charter high school. 
MPA  - just sent an email to Principals and Assistant Principals, asking them to oppose LD 1640.  The reasons were the same old same old.  We'll post them eventually, but the answers are already here!
MEA  - attacked Charter Schools with Broadside - Read it! For our point-by-point answer, click Here!
A Curious Thing Happened in the Maine Senate on Tuesday - Read On...
1/26/06  Education Committee Expands Support for Public Charter School Initiative - Full Story
   A Curious Thing Happened in the Maine Senate Today!It was expected that the Senate would vote today (March 14) on the bill to allow public chartered schools for children at risk in Maine, LD 1640.  The bill had come out of the Education Committee with a 7-5 vote “ought not to pass.”  With such a closely divided report, both proponents and opponents expected a close vote and were present and prepared for a lively discussion in the Senate.  Two newspapers and Channel 6 were there to cover the debate.

     It is uncertain whether the bill will be taken up for a vote at the next Senate session, this Thursday (it wasn't), or next week (Tuesday March 21 is the next option).  We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

     Once voted on in the Senate, the debate will move to the House.  Thanks for everybody’s hard work so far - it’s paying off!
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007


To contact MACS: