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Charter Schools

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The latest on the debate over charter schools in Maine. Leaders of the charter school movement, and the head of the teacher's union discuss the difference between virtual and physical charter schools and what new learning options should be offered to Maine students.

Five charter schools are licensed to operate in Maine, three schools which were new this past fall and two that are in their second year. All five are bricks and mortar places, where kids attend classes and activities in person. But the Maine Charter school commission recently approved a "virtual" charter school, in which students would take their classes online. The Maine Connections Academy would teach middle school and high school aged students. It is not without controversy. Although the school's board is local, it has a contract with a for-profit company based in Baltimore.

Host Jennifer Rooks speaks with:

Jana LaPoint, chair of the Maine Charter School Commission

Lois Kilby-Chesley, president of the Maine Education Association

Julie Hannan, board member of Maine Connections Academy

Jennifer walked into her college radio station as a 17-year-old freshman and never looked back. Even though she was terrified of the microphone back then — and spoke into it as little as possible — she loved the studio, the atmosphere and, most of all, the people who work in broadcasting. She was hooked. Decades later, she’s back behind the radio microphone hosting Maine Public Radio’s flagship talk program, Maine Calling. She’s not afraid of the mic anymore, but still loves the bright, eclectic people she gets to work with every day.