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Panel Approves Maine's 2nd Virtual Charter School

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Charter School Commission has given the OK to the state's 2nd virtual charter school. Members of the commission voted 6 to 1 today to enter into final contract negotiations with Maine Virtual Academy.

The school will serve roughly 300 kids in grades 7-12 from across Maine. This was Maine Virtual Academy's third application for charter status. Two years ago, the school withdrew its application.

The commission rejected last year's bid over concerns that the the school's board wouldn't be sufficiently autonomous and independent from its out-of-state, for-profit parent company, K12, Learning Inc.

K12 Learning Inc. is the nation's largest virtual charter operator. Its schools have produced mixed results, and K12 has been investigated for wrongdoing in the state of Florida.

According to the Portland Press Herald, members of the commission pledged to monitor Maine Virtual Academy carefully, as the school negotiates a contract and aims for a start date next September.