Action on damaging charter school bill: Please contact legislators

Action on damaging charter school bill
Please contact Senator Langley and other Education Committee members

May 15, 2011

As you may know, this week the Legislature took up a new bill, LD 1553, that proposes a new unelected state charter school commission of Governor's appointees who could could authorize charter schools operated by for-profit companies in our local communities. Although the law allows such charter schools to be be created in communities without any provision for local approval or oversight, the law requires local taxpayers to support these charter schools at the same per-pupil rate at which we fund our public schools.

Judy Sproule and I traveled to Augusta on Thursday and presented testimony on behalf of the MDI Regional School System which voted on Monday to oppose this bill because as it weakens Maine's commitment to public education and disenfranchises local citizens and taxpayers to the benefit of private interests.

To learn more about the problems of this bill, you can read my testimony and Judy's testimony.

Unfortunately, because the full legislature was tied up wrangling with insurance legislation, for most of yesterday's hearing the fourteen-member Education Committee was represented by only two Committee members.

As the end of this legislative session is quickly approaching, there is increasing pressure on legislators to move legislation before it is well-reviewed and understood. We are concerned this may happen with this charter school bill, particularly as it is a concept upon which the Governor campaigned and continues to stake an interest.

Therefore, we believe that it is very important for our Senator Langley, the Education Committee chair, and other Education Committee members to hear from their constituents over the next few days about this bill.

Please call them directly and let him know that you think that LD 1553, the charter school bill, would be bad for Maine schools and taxpayers.

Here is the contact information. Phone calls and phone messages are most effective.

Education Committee:
http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/edu.htm

Phone messages to Senators:
1-800-423-6900,

Phone messages to Representatives:
1-800-423-2900

Senator Brian Langley
Phone: 1-800-423-6900, 667-0625
SenBrian.Langley@legislature.maine.gov