An Important Legislative Update: LD 604
By Scott Barksdale
Dear HCA Families and Friends,
LD604 is an anti-charter school bill being considered next week by the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs of the Maine Legislature. Maine’s charter school system is a model system that works well, and this bill seeks to cripple it. It is being sponsored by a legislator who has been against charter schools since they began in Maine ten years ago, and he will likely rally a significant number of his colleagues on the Committee and in the Legislature who might be inclined to agree with him.
Charter schools have come together to oppose this legislation, and we need your help. Click here to send a message to the Education Committee and help us stop this bill in its tracks. Our representatives in Augusta need to hear your voice – please let them know loud and clear that they should not try to “fix” something that not only isn’t broken, but that already works really well.
Most alarmingly, this bill seeks to separate public charter school funding from the funding of your local public school district. This would likely lead to students who attend a public charter school getting less funding for their education than students in their town who attend the local district. Currently, an equal funding amount is guaranteed. This would be unfair and inequitable.
This bill would also change some of our oversight from the non-partisan Maine Charter School Commission to the Department of Education. Politics being what they are, a Commissioner of Education would likely advocate for the extreme Democratic Party position or the extreme Republican Party position, depending on who the Governor happens to be at the time. We need steadiness and not extremes in order to educate students well.
There is no justification for changing an already effective charter school system. The legislature should not try to “fix” something that isn’t broken, especially when it is coming from legislators who have been anti-charter since the beginning.
Please click the link to voice your opposition. A draft of a letter is provided there that you can use as-is, personalize, or completely redo, and then it can automatically email your letter to the members of the Education Committee. This would take you less than 5 minutes and would make a big difference for protecting our charter school system in Maine.
Please reach out to me with any questions or things you’d like to talk through. Again, here is the link from above to make your voice heard.
Head of School, HCA