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Maine

June 11, 2009

L.D. 1438: A Bill to Create Virtual Schools

Sponsor:
Senator Dennis Damon

Summary:
This bill, among other things, allows the creation of “virtual public charter schools.” These are not schools in the traditional sense, but instead will be a public charter school that offers educational services predominantly through an online program.

As written, this proposal would cheat the people of Maine. These schools would receive the same funding per pupil as an ordinary public school. School funding formulas have all been based on the cost of teaching a child at a brick-and-mortar facility. This includes such costs as bus expenses, school nurse expenses, lunchroom expenses, janitorial costs, grounds maintenance cost, ad infinitum.

Virtual schools, on the other hand, cost far less. Parents pay for transportation, facilities expenses, upkeep of the “school grounds”, lunchroom costs, et cetera. Parents do most of the teaching for free, with only occasional real contact with an actual teacher. And only 50% of the teachers in public charter schools even have to be licensed. This bill would allow schools to get full funding for an educational arrangement that will only cost a fraction of what they would need to fund a traditional school.

Status:

4/29/2009 Referred to the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee

Note: This bill has been amended to remove the costly virtual school provisions. HSLDA does not oppose the current version of this bill.

Action Requested:
Neutral.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History