Charter school commission considers two more applications

6:28 PM, Jul 2, 2012   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's Charter School Commission has voted down a proposed charter school in the town of Cornville, and has postponed a decision on one in Portland.

The Cornville Regional Charter School would have been housed in the former Cornville Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the commission is looking for more information before it decides on the proposed Baxter Academy of Technology and Science, a school that would focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

The school has leased space in Portland, and promises to give students lots of opportunities for hands on learning at businesses and non-profits in greater Portland. But it faces questions over whether it has enough funding in hand to operate this fall, and whether it can get its building ready in time.

Baxter's executive director, John Jaques, says he's not worried. "We have laid a very solid foundation for this school, and I think the charter school commission has played an extremely cautious hand here," Jaques said.

The mayor of Portland is among the school's most vocal critics.
Mayor Mike Brennan says there's no need for another science and technology focused school in Maine with the Maine School of Science and Mathematics already operating in Limestone, and he feels the school will take significant financial resources away from Portland's 4 other public high schools.

The charter school commission is scheduled to vote on Baxter Academy on July 17th.

Last week, the commission approved Maine's first charter school, the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, which would operate on the Good Will-Hinkley campus.


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