October 31, 2013

Commission gives first two Maine charter schools passing grades

The charter school commission says the Cornville Regional Charter School and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Fairfield both lived up to their mission statements during their first year.

AUGUSTA – Maine’s first two charter schools have received passing grades from the state.

2013 Morning Sentinel File Photo/Michael G. Seamans A student stands in the shadow of Moody Chapel as a rainbow shines over Hinkley before the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinkley inaugural commencement event in August.

Reports from the Maine Charter School Commission said the Cornville Regional Charter School and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Fairfield both lived up to their mission statements during the first year they were in operation. The commission did add that there was room for improvement from both schools.

The schools opened in the fall of 2012, one year after a state law was approved allowing up to 10 charter schools through 2022.

Three additional charter schools opened in September.

“It’s always great to see good news about students and their schools, but the success of charter schools should not come at the expense of our public schools,” said House Majority Leader Seth Berry of Bowdoinham. “We’ve got to make sure we are serving all Maine students – not siphoning resources from our local community schools and the local taxpayers who support them.”

Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of local school districts, offering alternative choices for students. They are run by private groups that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for less regulation.

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