Thursday, May 23, 2013
By DOUG HARLOW Morning Sentinel
CORNVILLE - The application for a charter school in Cornville, rejected this week by the state commission that authorizes the schools, will get a second chance.
Jana Lapoint of Falmouth, a member of the Maine Charter School Commission and chair of the subcommittee assigned to Cornville's application, said she will ask the commission to revisit the matter July 17.
"If the commission agrees that they will open it up again, then we have the opportunity to review it and then make a decision as to whether we would let them go forward with a contract or not," Lapoint said.
"It would not only open up the evaluative process, it could allow it to go forward right then and there," Lapoint said.
Cornville Regional Charter School officials have scheduled a public meeting for 6 p.m. Monday at the former elementary school on West Ridge Road to discuss the upcoming meeting with the charter commission.
Lapoint was one of three commissioners who voted "no" Monday on the charter application. For the application to pass, five of the seven members of the commission would have had to approve it.
Lynda Doyle of Durham and William Shuttleworth of Lincolnville, the commission's vice chairman, also voted against the application.
Commission members in support of Cornville's application were Chairman James Banks Sr. of Portland, Richard Barnes of Kennebunkport and Shelly Reed of Wayne. Commissioner Donald Mordecai of Scarborough was not at the meeting.
Lapoint said she used Robert's Rules of Order to bring the matter back to the commission.
"Subsequent to the meeting, it became apparent through a letter that was sent to me by the chair of their board that there might be some inaccuracies in the information that had been discussed," Lapoint said.
Clarification of the application is to include presentations on budget projections, reserve money and plans for regular testing of students' academic progress. Lapoint said she also wants to know if there will be a personal learning plan for each child at the proposed Cornville school and if there are such plans at other schools in the area.
If other schools don't have personal learning plans, as the Cornville board says, that would make Cornville unique and innovative, Lapoint said.
"They're saying that in their area, they are different. That was a misunderstanding that we had about what they would be doing; that they would then be a model school for other schools to follow."
The commission also wants to be sure the Cornville board will have a paid executive director, whose salary would be in the school's annual budget.
Justin Belanger, the Cornville school's board chairman, said 50 children in kindergarten through grade six are ready to sign up for the charter school if the commission approves it.
Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at: