Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - October 1, 2013


The Maine Charter School Commission held a meeting on October 1, 2013, at the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, ME.


Chair, Jana Lapoint, called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.


The following Members were present: Dick Barnes, John Bird, Jana Lapoint, and Shelley Reed.

Also present: Bob Kautz, Executive Director; Deanne Lavallee, Administrative Assistant; Laurie Pendleton, Commission Nominee; Roger Brainerd, MACS.

Absent: Heidi Sampson and Ande Smith.




A.  Moved by John Bird, seconded by Shelley Reed, and unanimously voted by those present to approve the meeting minutes from September 10, 2013 as written.


A. Chair, Jana Lapoint:

  1. October 8 Educationa and Cultural Affairs Committee interviews with nominees Laurie Pendleton and Mike Wilhelm at 1:00 p.m.  Jana Lapoint will introduce and Nominee will make an opening statement.
  2.  Laurie and Bob are attending the NACSA Pre-conference on October 21.a
  3. Shelley and Jana will attend the Pre-conference and the National Conference on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week.  National Association is paying for travel; saves the Commission.
  4. On October 23, Bob, Dick, Justin Belanger and Kelli Pryor will host a clinic at the MSMA's fall conference.
  5. I want to thank Deanne publicly for everything that she has done for us.  Particularly, the 3 percent report.


B. Vice Chair, Shelley Reed - passes along comments from DOE director of finance and operations, Suzan Beaudoin.

Suzan would like to present financial information to the Commission and Charter Schools as a group on reporting to DOE. Suzan related that the Charter School have been very good working experience for her on the finance piece with these schools.


C. Executive Director:

  1. Commissioner's Report, unfortunately, final draft did not attach to email yesterday.


Basically, the funding section is very brief; the Charter Commission collects 3 percent of the per pupil amount and the law states that it needs to be for the purposes of oversight of the charter schools. The Charter Commission’s annual budget for the FY 2013 was $102,903; we have spent $91,000.  Budget used for setting up and staffing the Charter Commission office to support the activities of the Charter Commission and its oversight of the various charter schools. 


You have all seen the rest of the report, which had no substantive changes; if reviewed by Jana and Shelley for completeness and accuracy, I would like for you to approve so we can get it submitted.  It will have as attachments: Cornville Report, MeANS Report, MCSC Booklet for Legislators, example of the performance framework and Baxter Monitoring-Reporting Schedule.


Moved by Dick Barnes, following a review by Jana (Lapoint) and Shelley (Reed) for completeness and accuracy, to approve the Commissioner’s Report; seconded by John Bird and unanimously voted by those present. 


  1. November 5 Workshop - Training on the In-Person Interview and Public Hearing.
  2. Communications from the public Charter Schools - Questions:

If resident district offers a 4-year old program, they pay the charter school even when the district cannot accept all the district students into the district program.


Who pays for special education services through CDS – clarification from Special Education and Suzan Beaudoin.


Special Education funding - working to clarify if the charter schools identify a student as special ed. when they get there, will they receive that portion of the per pupil allotment or not.  A very important question for the charter schools.


In the Portland paper this morning, MeANS and Cornville received the federal grant - $190,000 for MeANS and $242,000 for Cornville for the first year. 


  1. Clinics for the MSMA Fall Conference - including Maine's Public Charter Schools: The Facts and Questions Answered.  Thank you to MSMA for having us participate and we are invited to attend the other clinics as well as the brunch and lunch.







A.  Monitoring visits to three new public charter schools:

Firm dates; Bob will contact the three schools

  • Baxter:  Thursday, November 7, 9-3   Jana, Chair; John, Ande
  • Harpswell:  Friday, November 8, 9-3   Heidi, Chair; Shelley, John
  • Fiddlehead:  Tuesday, November 19, 9-3   Shelley, Chair; Jana, Laurie

B.  Dick Barnes reviewed the content of the MeAns report and discussed it with the Commission.

      Moved by John Bird to approve the MeANS report as written; seconded by Shelley Reed and unanimously voted by those present.


  • Justin Belanger joined the meeting and reported on receipt of a Federal Grant $242,000 1st year, $200,000 2nd and 3rd year for Cornville Regional Charter School.
  • Cornville has purchased a portable classroom to be able to expand to 120 students next year.
  • Laptops were procured through the MLTI Program:  7th Graders were free, as well as 5 for teachers and administrators. The 6th Graders were $280 each.  MLTI is upgrading the network for free and has provided training for our 5th and 6-7th Grade Teachers.  What an amazing program MLTI is for our kids and all 7th grade students in Maine.


 Moved by John Bird, seconded by Shelley Reed and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn at 2:45 p.m.