Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maine legislature takes aim at virtual charter schools

Regular readers of this space are aware of the ongoing controversy over full-time virtual charter schools, both here in Maine and in the wider nation. The taxpayer-financed schools -- where students receive most or all of their education remotely, over the internet, from their home computers -- have been the subject of increased scrutiny in many states due to poor academic results, aggressive participation in state policy formation, and allegations of improprieties. (On Maine, see my Sept. 2 investigation.)

The for-profit, remotely managed virtual school model-- aggressively defended by Gov. Paul LePage -- appears to be losing the confidence of Maine lawmakers, at least those in the new Democratic majority. As my story in today's Portland Press Herald reports, five Democrats -- including the senate president and a co-chair of the education committee - have proposed bills that would impose either temporary or permanent bans on virtual charter schools. Read on.

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