AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A legislative committee has voted to advance a measure that would allow Maine to become the 41st state to allow public charter schools.

The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee voted 9-4 Friday.

Public charter schools are voluntary public schools that can neither teach religious practices nor discriminate against students or teachers. They must adhere to state and federal academic requirements.

Gov. Paul LePage campaigned in favor of charter schools.

The bill will be taken up by the full Legislature in the coming weeks.

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