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House Republican Leader Ken Fredette (left) and Assistant Leader Alex Willette (right).
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For Immediate Release

Date: 04/15/14

Dems to Mainers: Education Status Quo Will Have to Do

Dems vote for bill to crush virtual charter schools in their infancy

AUGUSTA - Maine House Democrats on Tuesday voted in favor of LD 995, a bill sponsored by Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond to ban virtual charter schools in Maine. House Republicans opposed the regressive measure.

"Day after day as the legislative session winds down, we're seeing Democratic politicians in Augusta consistently voting to protect the status quo in Maine's economy and education system," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Mainers want bold reforms to move our economy forward and equip their children for the future, and many Maine families believe that virtual learning is the best option for their unique needs."

"It wasn't long ago that I was in high school, and I remember there were many of my friends and classmates who could have benefited from virtual learning," added Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton, who at 25 is one of the youngest members of the Maine Legislature. "Online learning is not right for everyone, but why deny Maine families the opportunity to participate in these charter schools?"

"We cannot move our education system or our economy forward if Democratic politicians continue to kow-tow to the union bosses who run Maine's educational bureaucracy and, at times, Maine's Legislature," added Rep. Willette. "The status quo has been great for union bosses, but not so great for many of our students or their hardworking teachers."

Amy Carlisle, president of a non-profit online learning academy, testified against the bill in committee, saying "I volunteer my time to this organization because as a mom, I know what it is like, when despite best intentions, public school is not working for your child. I spent four years working with our public system to meet one of my daughter's needs. Despite everyone's best intentions and the implementation of a student success plan she continued to fail to thrive. Two years ago, we placed her in a private online school where her needs have been met and she is flourishing. It has made a world of difference to her and to our family."


David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793