The Maine Senate fell short by one vote Tuesday in overriding Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have created a moratorium on virtual charter schools while the state developed a plan to create a state-run virtual school.

The Democratic-led Senate voted 23-12, although the bill initially had bipartisan support. Several Republicans switched their votes Tuesday, and the Senate fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to override a veto.

In his veto message, LePage said a moratorium hurts private virtual charter schools and does nothing to help advance the development of a state-run school.

The moratorium provision in L.D. 1736 would have directly affected Maine Connections Academy, which was recently approved by the Maine Charter Commission to become the state’s first virtual charter school. Maine Connections Academy plans to open this fall.

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