Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - June 15, 2012


The State Charter School Commission held a meeting on June 15, 2012, at the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. The following members were present: James Banks, Sr.; Richard (Dick) Barnes; Jana Lapoint; Donald Mordecai; Shelley Reed; and William Shuttleworth.


Excused: Lynda Doyle



Chair, James A. Banks, Sr. called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM.


  1. Discuss the request for the breakdown of the Commission’s $20,000 allotment for 2012-13. 
  2. Positions of Office Associate and Director – Jana Lapoint and I met with Purchases, Valerie Seaberg, DOE and Jennifer Pooler to discuss the process for hiring.  Asking Commission members to submit names of anyone that might be interested in one of the jobs.
  3. Propose the election of Officers – put on subsequent agenda.


MOVED by William Shuttleworth, seconded by Jana Lapoint, and unanimously voted by those present to approve the minutes from the June 5 and June 7, 2012 meetings.



Chair, James Banks, Sr.

  • You already received the report of the Char in the adjustment to the agenda.

Vice-chair, William Shuttleworth

  • None



  1. Discussion and action on the letter received by the Commission from Governor Paul LePage regarding slow place of Commission and virtual schools.

    • Draft response was read by James Banks

Discussion –

  • Need to have training on reviewing applications, especially virtual schools

  • Need to have a clear separation between the operator and the educational service provider ESP

  • Need to move forward very carefully and diligently in approving virtual schools

  • Postponement was mechanically and procedurally a mistake; should have been rejected, there were many reasons to

  • Very concerned about the separateness of the governing board and the ESP

  • Ability of Commission to monitor performance

  • Provide feedback to applicant

  • James Banks went over the Commission’s grueling timeline since its inception in January 2012

Jon Nass, Senior Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office

  • Expressed the Governor’s frustration and concern of the pace of the Commission

  • With failing schools the Governor sees this as an emergency

  • Both virtual applications have boards of respectable and well known Maine people

MOVED by Shelley Reed, seconded by Jana Lapoint, and unanimously voted by those present to approve the draft response letter from the Commission to the Governor as amended.

Jennifer Pooler will put the letter on letterhead and will add space for all Commission members to sign for Monday June 18.

Donald Mordecai excused at 1:52PM


  • Turn in Expense Account Vouchers at the end of the meeting.


  • Two concerned parents spoke in favor of virtual schools.
  • Is there something in the law that prohibits a virtual charter school from operating within a public school setting?  The Commission is the sole authorizer in Maine for virtual public charter schools, except that a local school board may authorize a public charter school within its jurisdiction that integrates online and on-site instruction.
  • Commendation on the Commission’s work to date, however, disappointed in the way it has become politicized by the Governor.


MOVED by William Shuttleworth, seconded by Shelley Reed, and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn the June 15, 2012 State Charter School Commission meeting at 2:06 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Jennifer Pooler.