Education options

Maine is one of only a handful of states that do not allow charter schools. Charter schools are independent public schools that, typically, have higher educational standards than public schools. Charter schools must meet the same academic standards as do public schools, but they are free to operate with fewer restrictions.

Because charter schools are held accountable for students' achievements, they generally have higher academic standards and are more disciplined than traditional public schools are. Charter schools allow parents to use their tax dollars so it does not cost the taxpayer any more than they already spend.

In June 2009, the Maine House voted on a bill to allow charter schools. David Van Wie voted against this bill and limited Maine taxpayers' educational options.

Ellie Espling believes Maine parents should have every option available to them to educate their children.

Roy Wenger, Durham

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 's picture

Have to agree

I do have to agree with charter schools as public schools are behind the times in researching styles and formats but that is due to a lack of public funding and gross incompetence in both parties. The cutting of thirty percent of the budget and Bolduc continually urging no accountability in merit pay weakened the teaching infrastructure as well. Being a future educator I may choose to work in a charter school in special education as opposed to working in the mainstream as there might be more pay raises in the future. I can only say that Paul LePage has a better plank of implementation and bringing back special education to the forefront. Hearing compliments from Democrats and Republicans about a thirty percent increase in public schooling and giving back to the teachers union makes it a weaker argument when LePage is working for the Democratic and Republican parties. Not just his own interests or those around him the reason why I do not support Jason Levesque is that he would vote stronger charters without being held accountable for any measurements of teaching.

 's picture

Think hard about charter

Think hard about charter schools before you throw your support to them. Look at the troubles other states have had with them. Try as they might, states are having trouble with oversight. Charter schools are businesses, and there is nothing to stop them from opening one year, gathering a building full of students, then closing down a year or two later like an out of business gas station.
And for all your charter supporters, remember that they are not free. A charter school gets funded by the state, yes, that's where the money comes from! That means our local schools lose millions of dollars as these for profit schools open up. As long as they are not religious, like our many fine private schools, they are funded by your tax dollars.
I like to point out that we already have a number of private, but tax dollar funded schools out there. The many academys across the state, that are not owned by their respective towns, but held privately have been operating successfully for many years, they however work as public schools in that they can not turn students away. Charter schools can pick and choose the students they like and that will further burden out public schools with higher percentages of special ed and troubled students.
Let's think it out before we jump. Is a for profit education system what we really need in tough economic times?


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