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County Educators React To More Charter Schools Could Be Coming To Maine

| December 12, 2013


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Four new charter schools might open in Maine next year, bringing the total to nine charter schools in the state. The schools are in the beginning application phase with the Maine Charter School Commission. As the number of charter schools continues to grow in Maine, the concept is apparently GROWING on more parents. So where might that leave public schools?  Its study hall for these Mars Hill high school students…unaware the issue of SCHOOL CHOICE is being studied and closely examined as more charter schools enter the Maine school system mix. Four applications have been put into the Maine Charter School Commission to establish four charter schools in 2014 in communities downstate.  SAD 42 and Easton School Department Superintendent Roger Shaw says its only a matter of time before charter schools come to Northern Maine. But he says there’s no concern of charter school competition ACADEMICALLY. “I’m not opposed to that option and I think we’ll do the same thing we’ve always done in terms of funding and survivability we’ll do whatever we have to do in order to succeed,” says Shaw. Its not academics that concerns Shaw…per se. Actually, on some level it might be. Mathematically speaking. He admits THERE IS concern over public schools competing against charter schools not for state funding as widely perceived….but rather for the number of STUDENTS enrolled, especially in small RURAL communities. Kay York is the Principal of Central Aroostook Junior/Senior H.S. in Mars Hill and adds “thinking about our area, I think it would have a negative impact on the public schools in Northern Maine because we’re rural we don’t have the population to support both charter schools and public schools.” If four new charter schools open next year in Maine, there would be nine operating charter schools in the state. Shaw says charters schools are a reality that public school educators need to accept. Shaw says “changes happen all the time, they’re not gonna go away in fact they’re probably gonna develop at warp speed as we move ahead.” York adds “we have teachers who are staying up on their education and initiatives and really putting forth a tremendous amount of time and effort in caring for their students.” And its those ABC’s, the always being concerned that isn’t just taught but FELT by students that will keep them ahead of the class, no matter what school…public or charter they choose to attend.

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