The Maine Charter School Commission was created by Public Law 2011, Chapter 414, to authorize and oversee public charter schools in Maine. A ten (10) school limit was placed on the number of schools the Commission could authorize in the first 10 years.
Maine's charter school law provides guidance for the Commission in the following areas:
1) Content of applications that must be filled by charter school founders;
2) Execution of charter school contracts with the charter school's governing boards;
3) Oversight of charter schools it has authorized, including academic and operational accountability;
4) Analysis of data provided to the Commission by the charter school; and
5) Monitoring to ensure legal compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations.
The Maine Charter School Commission consists of seven (7) members appointed by the State Board of Education for three-year terms. Three members must be members of the State Board of Education, and they nominate the other four (4) members from the public at large, who must be approved by a majority vote of the State Board of Education.
In addition to fulfilling its statutory obligations, the Maine Charter School Commission provides information to the public regarding charter schools in Maine.
The Mission of the Maine Charter School Commission
To allow charter schools to be established as public schools that:
- Improve pupil learning by creating more high quality schools with high standards for pupil performance.
- Close achievement gaps between high-performing and low-performing groups of public school students;
- Increase high-quality educational opportunities within the public education system;
- Provide alternative learning environments for students who are not thriving in traditional school settings;
- Create new professional opportunities for teachers and other school personnel;
- Encourage the use of different, high-quality models of teaching and other aspects of schooling; and
- Provide students, parents, community members and local entities with expanded opportunities for involvement in the public education system.