Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - November 5, 2013


The Maine Charter School Commission held a meeting on November 5, 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: John Bird, Jana Lapoint,Ande Smith, Mike Wilhelm, Heidi Sampson, and Shelley Reed.

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

Excused: Laurie Pendleton




A.  October 1, 2013 Business Meeeting Minutes

Moved by John Bird, seconded by Shelley Reed, and unanimously voted by those present to approve the meeting minutes from October 1, 2013, to include an update of information on Cornville's Federal Grant for the 2nd and 3rd years


Information provided by Justin Belanger November 25: Cornville’s Federal Grant is $242,329 in     year one. Years two and three of the grant are conditional on government funding of the grant and Cornville providing all reporting correctly in years one and two.

              Year Two – $231.084

              Year Three - $224,807



A. Chair, Jana Lapoint:

  • First official meeting of new member Michael Wilhelm - welcomed by Jana Lapoint.
  • Members notes from NASCA Conference October 22-24
    • Jana Lapoint and Shelly Reed
      • Jana Lapoint: Reviewed the conference. Pride in what we are doing as a Commision; affirmation of existence and growth of charter schools in the US; confidence in NACSA.


B. Vice Chair, Shelley Reed


  • Shelley Reed: Explained that the first part of the conference was for authorizers and included many other states’ organization and staff procedures and how it compares to Maine; communications with parents/public about the charters; monitoring issues and common core implementation.  The second part included many workshops – i.e. assessments, authorizer’s accountability, charter renewal.
  • Renewal Process – Executive Summary from school: How they think they have done and where are they going; Public Hearing; Application; Site Visit.


C. Executive Director:


  • Members review of the NASCA Pre-Conference San Diego, Oct 21.
  • Our clinic at the Maine School Management Fall Conference was very well attended. Dick Barnes, Justin Belanger, Michelle LaForge, Kelli Pryor all did an outstanding job presenting and then answering questions from the audience. Funding is a concern by many attendees – expressed interest in working together to change the method. 
  • Maine Principal’s Association is the 21st and 22nd of this month; MCSC is on their cancellation list. 
  • Update on special education funding to public charter schools: 
    • It has been determined by the Department (Commissioner’s Update October 23, 2013, Clarity on charter school special education student funding) that public charter schools will receive funding the year the special education student is enrolled even though the resident district will not receive these funds until the following year.  Charter schools can only bill for students enrolled; so would not recoup for that student the following year as the resident district will.
  • Update on external reviewers for applications
    • Bob Kautz:  $750 - $1000 for virtual applications received from two people in Florida, who have done work for NACSA, have sent in bios.


  • Proposed Rule: Chapter 3 Renewal - submitted for the Annual Regulatory Agenda on October 17, 2013.

         Moved by Ande Smith; seconded by John Bird and voted unanimously by all those present to initiate rulemaking for Chapter 3 Renewal.

  • MeANS and Cornville audit request - to extend due date by 30 days: October 31, 2013, to November 30, 2013, for Cornville and MeANS initial report to the Commissioner as specified in Title 20-A, Chapter 112, § 6051 (4); unanimously voted by those present.



  • Reminder:
    • Baxter 90-day Review: Jana, John, Ande, Peg Armstrong
    • November 7, 9-3


    • Harpswell 90-day Review: Heide, John, Shelley, Peg Armstrong
    • November 8, 9-3


    • Fiddlehead 90-day Review: Shelley, Jana, Laurie, Peg Armstrong
    • November 19, 9-3



  • Carol Weston, Americans for Prosperity, informed the Commission about 2 videos on school choice that they had produced and provided information to be able to view it.  They would like comments and feedback.  The intent is to inform and empower Maine families.
  • Judith Jones, MACS, explained that Representative MacDonald intends to fund virtual schools at 20 percent.


 Moved by Shelley Reed, seconded by John Bird and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn at 2:29 p.m.