The Maine Charter School Commission voted Tuesday to approve two more public charter schools, bringing the total to three. Commission members unanimously approved the Baxter Academy of Technology and Science to open in Portland in the fall of 2013. They also reversed an earlier vote by approving the Cornville Regional Charter School, slated to open this fall, according to a press release.
The commission gave the Baxter school a one-year delay in opening because of concerns about the financial strength of its plan. Members said the year delay would give organizers more time to gather necessary financial resources. Earlier this month, the commission rejected the Cornville application in a 3-3 vote but agreed to reconsider after receiving additional budget information. They approved the application yesterday 5-1.
The organizers of all three schools still must negotiate contracts with the commission before they can enroll students. The commission is scheduled to meet July 31 to vote on final contracts with the two that are expected to open this fall. By law, the schools cannot open until 60 days after a contract is signed, meaning a likely Oct. 1 start at the earliest.
The two approvals are in addition to last month's approval of the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley, which will open this fall. The commission can authorize up to 10 public charter schools over the next decade.