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Virtual charter school with ties to K-12 approved

The Maine Charter School Commission voted 6-to-1 today to approve the state’s second virtual charter school, which will provide content from the national K-12 corporation charter chain.

Charter Commission Chair Shelley Reed was the only member to vote against Maine Virtual Academy. She did so out of concern about the national reports on the poor academic performance of K-12 Inc. programs.

“I’m really concerned when I read about their academic results,” she said. “It’s really hard to escape the media reports on this:  in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Colorado, Florida. There are troubles here.”

Other board members said they had faith in the local Maine Virtual Academy board to assure the new virtual school meets expectations.  

Maine Virtual Academy will now move to the contract negotiation stage in anticipation of a 2015 opening.

When it opens for business next fall, it would be the second virtual school in Maine – both serving grades 7 through 12. Maine Connections Academy opened in September.

There are six charter schools currently operating in Maine. With the approval of the K-12 school today, the commission has now approved 7 of the 10 schools it can authorize under law through 2021.

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