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 126th Legislature

2nd Session - 2014

Legislative Update

LD 1617 - A Bill to Re-write Maine's Charter Law for Virtual Charter Schools

                 On March 19, the Education Committee, voted along party lines with Democrats voting "ought to pass" and Republicans voting "ought not to pass".  During the work session, the bill was heavily amended again by its sponsor, deleting much of what was already in Maine law and focusing on changing the funding of virtual charter schools.  Many testified against the original bill, and only the MEA (Maine Education Association.) testified in favor. 

                 The bill now goes to the House and Senate, and if it passes both chambers the Governor is expected to veto it  

Click Here for LD 1617 text - (un-amended version)

LD 1736 - A Bill to Stop Virtual Charter Schools

                 The Governor vetoed LD 1736 and on March 13 the Senate, by one vote, failed in its attempt to override the veto.  A 2/3 vote in both chambers is necessary to override a veto and pass the bill.

                LD 1736 passed 11:2 in the Education Committee on Feb. 12, and had its first reading in the Senate on Feb. 20.  On Feb. 25 the House voted with 94 in favor of the bill, to 51 against, with 6 absent.

               The bill was originally titled “Resolve, To Create a State-run Virtual Academy Providing Maine Students with Access to Online Learning through Their Existing School Districts”.  The bill was heavily amended and its title changed to “An Act to Create the Maine Digital Exchange”.                 

                As amended, it still called for a moratorium on virtual charter schools (until January 1, 2015) and it still directed the Department of Education to create a state-managed online program -“a web-based service acting as both a clearinghouse and marketplace of digital learning resources”.

                 MACS testified against LD 1736. The Charter School Commission had voted on March 3 to approve a charter for Maine Connections Academy, one of two virtual charter school applicants with Maine non-profit boards.  These boards, comprised of dedicated people from Maine, had been denied twice beforeTheir passion for  providing a virtual school option for Maine children kept them going, and they deserved the opportunity to meet the rigorous requirements of Maine’s Charter School Commission without interference from the legislature.       

Read the Editorials

Ø       Bangor Daily News - “Trust the Process - CHARTER SCHOOLS NEED A CHANCE TO WORK”

Ø       Kennebec Journal - “OUR OPINION: Virtual charter schools should not be approved; For-profit companies should not get Maine’s scarce public education money.”

Ø       Read MACS’ Opinion of the KJ Editorial - Skewed & Slanted

Ø       Read MACS’ Testimony before the Education Committee        

 Another Virtual Charter School Bill Still Looms - LD 1617

                A Public Hearing on LD 1617 was held on Monday, Feb. 24 by the Education Committee: “An Act to Amend the Laws Governing the Approval Process for and the Operation of Virtual Public Charter Schools in the State”. 

 

Call or email your representatives in Augusta.

Voice your objections!

Click Here to Contact Your Legislators

 

1st Session Legislation

Click on a bill's LD # to read the text or to read MACS' Testimony

Funding

Bill # Note Education Committee Vote MACS'
Testimony
LD 1057   OTP - Amended - 7-5  
LD 1346   ONTP - Unanimous LD 1346
LD 889   ONTP - Unanimous LD 889
LD 533   ONTP - Unanimous LD 533

Approval Process

LD 1056   ONTP - Unanimous LD 1056
LD 1128*   OTP - 8-4 LD 1128
LD 1349*   OTP - Unanimous LD 1349

Negative Impact

LD 1481   ONTP LD 1481
LD 906   OTP - Unanimous LD 906

Positive Impact

LD 439 LD 438 Amendment OTP LD 439
LD 729   OTP LD 729

Virtual Charter Schools

LD 1130   ? LD 1130
LD 995   OTP LD 995
LD 481   OTP LD 481

Link to Contact Members of Education Committee
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Alternative Education Committee
LD 1758 Text   (Enabling Legislation)
Meeting Dates:
Wednesday, October 31 Tuesday, November 27 Wednesday, December 5 Friday, December 14
(Click Date for Meeting Reports)

Committee Members

Bean, Christopher B <christopher.b.bean@maine.gov>
Broome, Anna Anna.Broome@legislature.maine.gov
Emanuel Pariser emanuel@gwi.net
Ippoliti, Jill Jill.Ippoliti@legislature.maine.gov
James Artesani James.Artesani@umit.maine.edu
Jonathan Ross rossj@westbrookschools.org
Pender Makin pmakin@windham.k12.me.us
Reed, Shelley shelley.reed@maine.gov
Rep. Emily Cain cainorono@hotmail.com
Rep. Muse robertmuse@gmail.com
Rep. Norton jnorton@prexar.com
Rep. Robinson jrobinson@robinsonmfgco.com
Sen. Bowman peterbowman@comcast.net
Sen. Bromley lynnbromley@gwi.net
Sen. Mills pmills@mainelegal.net
   

 

Agenda & Minutes

Wednesday, October 31
      The 13 member committee met for the first time on October 31, from 10 am to 2 pm in room 202 of the Cross Office Building, Augusta. FMI, see the MACS website. Ten of the 13 members were present, and 3 citizens, Rob Schulz of the Jobs for Maine’s Graduates program, Judith Jones from MACS, and Prof. Rick Dale of UMaine Farmington.
     Data from the survey of current alternative education programs will be available for the next meeting (Nov. 27). The committee would also like brief stories of or by students who have needed and succeeded in alternative programs.
     The committee is looking for specific ideas for legislative changes (such as the regulation restricting enrollment in GED programs to dropouts at least 18 years old), for funding for alternative programs, for ways to encourage more public education options for at-risk children.

For Official Minutes - Click Here

 
Tuesday, November 27
     The second meeting of the committee included 11 of the 13 members present, along with MACS reps Judith Jones and Roger Brainerd, Rick Dale, Rob Schulz, and a representative from the Maine Assoc. of Independent Schools. 
     Presentations were made by DOE reps on the New Learning Results, A vision of 21st century schools, and possible funding sources for Alternative Ed.  Shelley Reed presented preliminary data from the survey sent to Maine Alternative programs.  Only 18 had been returned as yet.
     Discussion followed about the tasks assigned the committee, the nature of alternative ed programs, students, staff, etc. .... to be continued

If you have questions or suggestions, please send them to committee member Emanuel Pariser, a long-time respected champion of children at-risk in Maine, (emanuel@gwi.net).

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2006-2007 Legislative Session

     In November 2006, all Maine's 35 Senators, 151 Representatives, and the Governor were up for election, leading to a new Legislation Session. Proposed legislation for public charter schools in Maine was introduced in January 2007.

Role Call Votes on LD 1640 as Amended:

House Senate

March 30 - House Voted Not to Pass LD 1640 
  Unfortunately, students at risk in Maine continue to take a back seat this year.  MACS has already begun thinking toward the next legislative session.  We have a great foundation and lots of momentum to build on.  And it's an election year. Thanks to all of you who moved the ponderous system forward in their thinking about children at risk and about public charter schools. Stay tuned to this website for continued coverage of the charter school story in Maine, and across the nation.

Some Legislators are Seriously Mis-Informed!

Some Maine Legislators are seriously misinformed about charter schools.  A Maine Senator told a constituent that 1) charter schools were not for at-risk students; 2) they could be religious schools; and 3) they would all be up north or downeast. If legislators believe any of these things, they are not doing their homework on this vitally important educational issue and LD 1640. 

If they have also made up their mind about charter schools,  they are doing children at risk in Maine, their parents, teachers, and others who are counting on them to do their homework, a disservice.

Maine Association for Charter Schools has put the information before them, and this website continues to provide up-to-date information, research, etc. on charter schools.  Maine's major newspapers are doing their homework, and have spoken out in favor of charter schools in Maine.  Maine legislators need to do the same.

Read MACS' Response to Fears & Myths

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Background:   On Thursday, January 26, 2006, at its second work session on the public charter school bill - LD 1640, the Education Committee discussed the amendments to the bill introduced by Senator Karl Turner.
The amendments require public chartered schools in Maine to focus on expanding opportunities for children at risk.
      The amended bill drew support from 5 Committee members, compared to 3 who voted in support two weeks earlier. The members who supported the charter school bill for the first time in this vote included two former Superintendents, one Republican and one Democrat.         
      Although the final vote was 7-5 ought not to pass, the Committee discussion and vote showed that the Committee is closely divided about whether to permit chartered public school options in Maine, and that there is strong grass-roots support for the bill.
 

Maine Children are Missing Out!

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To contact MACS: macs@mainecharterschools.org

   

Maine Senate

Roll-call #331: LD 1640 - Public Charter Schools


Date: 
March 27, 2006

For:  16

Against: 18

Absent: 1

 


Republican Senators who voted FOR  Public Charter Schools:

ANDREWS of York
CLUKEY of Aroostook
COURTNEY of York
DAVIS of Piscataquis
DOW of Lincoln
HASTINGS of Oxford
MILLS of Somerset
NASS of York
ROSEN of Hancock
SAVAGE of Knox
SNOWE-MELLO of Androscoggin
TURNER of Cumberland
WESTON of Waldo
WOODCOCK of Franklin

Democratic Senators who voted FOR Public Charter Schools:

BROMLEY of Cumberland
DAMON of Hancock



Republic Senator who was absent:


PLOWMAN of Penobscot (a charter school supporter)



Republican Senator who voted AGAINST Public Charter Schools:

RAYE of Washington



Democratic Senators who voted AGAINST Public Charter Schools:

BARTLETT of Cumberland
BRENNAN of Cumberland
BRYANT of Oxford
COWGER of Kennebec
DIAMOND of Cumberland
EDMONDS of Cumberland
GAGNON of Kennebec
HOBBINS of York
MARTIN of Aroostook
         MAYO of Sagadahoc
MITCHELL of
Kennebec
NUTTING of
Androscoggin
PERRY of Penobscot
ROTUNDO of
Androscoggin
SCHNEIDER of Penobscot
STRIMLING of
Cumberland
       SULLIVAN of
York

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Maine House of Representatives

House Roll-call #428: LD 1640 - Public Charter Schools

Date: March 30, 2006

Voted For: 63

Voted Against: 79

Absent:

  

House Democrats who supported Public Charter Schools

DUGAY of Cherryfield

EBERLE of South Portland

HANLEY of Gardiner
PIOTTI of Unity

RINES of Wiscasset

SCHATZ of Blue Hill

 

House Republicans who supported Public Charter Schools

ANNIS of Dover-Foxcroft

AUSTIN of Gray

BIERMAN of Sorrento

BISHOP of Boothbay

BOWEN of Rockport

BOWLES of Sanford

BROWN of South Berwick

BRYANT-DESCHENES of Turner

CEBRA of Naples

CHURCHILL of Washburn

CLOUGH of Scarborough

COLLINS of Wells

CRESSEY of Cornish

CROSTHWAITE of Ellsworth

CURLEY of Scarborough   

CURTIS of Madison DAIGLE of Arundel
DAVIS of
Augusta

DUPREY of Hampden

EDGECOMB of Caribou

FITTS of Pittsfield
FLETCHER of Winslow

GREELEY of Levant
HALL of Holden

HAMPER of Oxford

HANLEY of Paris

JACOBSEN of Waterboro

JODREY of Bethel

JOY of Crystal

KAELIN of Winterport
LANSLEY of Sabattus
LEWIN of Eliot

LINDELL of Frankfort

McKANE of Newcastle

McKENNEY of Cumberland

McLEOD of Lee

MOODY of Manchester

MOORE of Standish

MOULTON of York

NASS of Acton

NUTTING of Oakland
OTT of
York

RECTOR of Thomaston

RICHARDSON of Greenville

RICHARDSON of Skowhegan

RICHARDSON of Carmel

RICHARDSON of Warren

ROBINSON of Raymond

ROSEN of Bucksport
SEAVEY of
Kennebunkport

SHIELDS of Auburn
SYKES of
Harrison
TARDY of
Newport

THOMAS of Ripley

VAUGHAN of Durham

 

Unenrolled House Members who supported Public Charter Schools

SAVIELLO of Wilton

WOODBURY of Yarmouth


 

House Republicans who voted AGAINST Public Charter Schools

BROWNE of Vassalboro

CAMPBELL of Newfield

CARR of Lincoln

DAVIS of Falmouth
FLOOD of
Winthrop
GLYNN of
South Portland

MAREAN of Hollis

McCORMICK of West Gardiner

McFADDEN of Dennysville

MILLETT of Waterford
MUSE of Fryeburg

PINKHAM of Lexington Township

PLUMMER of Windham

SHERMAN of Hodgdon

TRAHAN of Waldoboro

  

Green Party Member who voted AGAINST Public Charter Schools

EDER of Portland

 

House Democrats who voted AGAINST Public Charter Schools


ADAMS of Portland
ASH of
Belfast

BABBIDGE of Kennebunk

BARSTOW of Gorham

BEAUDETTE of Biddeford

BLANCHARD of Old Town

BLANCHETTE of Bangor

BLISS of South Portland

BRANNIGAN of Portland

BRAUTIGAM of Falmouth

BRYANT of Windham
BURNS of Berwick
CAIN of Orono

CANAVAN of Waterville

CLARK of Millinocket

CRAVEN of Lewiston

CROSBY of Topsham

CUMMINGS of Portland

DRISCOLL of Westbrook

DUCHESNE of Hudson

DUDLEY of Portland
DUNN of
Bangor

DUPLESSIE of Westbrook

FAIRCLOTH of Bangor FARRINGTON of Gorham

FINCH of Fairfield

FISHER of Brewer

GERZOFSKY of Brunswick

GROSE of Woolwich
HARLOW of
Portland
HOGAN of
Old Orchard Beach

HUTTON of Bowdoinham

JACKSON of Allagash

JENNINGS of Leeds

KOFFMAN of Bar Harbor

LERMAN of Augusta

LUNDEEN of Mars Hill

MAKAS of Lewiston

MARLEY of Portland

MARRACHÉ of Waterville

MAZUREK of Rockland

MILLER of Somerville

MILLS of Farmington
NORTON of
Bangor

O'BRIEN of Lewiston

PARADIS of Frenchville

PATRICK of Rumford
PERCY of Phippsburg
PERRY of
Calais

PILON of Saco

PINEAU of Jay

PINGREE of North Haven

RICHARDSON of Brunswick

SAMPSON of Auburn

SIMPSON of Auburn
SMITH of Monmouth

THOMPSON of China

TUTTLE of Sanford

TWOMEY of Biddeford

VALENTINO of Saco

WALCOTT of Lewiston

WEBSTER of Freeport

WHEELER of Kittery



Absent House Members


BERUBE of
Lisbon
EMERY of Cutler
FISCHER of Presque Isle
GOLDMAN of
Cape Elizabeth
HOTHAM of Dixfield
MERRILL of
Appleton
SMITH of Van Buren
STEDMAN of Hartland
WATSON of
Bath

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