Eliot Cutler on Charter Schools


One of the many, many gubernatorial hopefuls has jumped into the debate over charter schools. Eliot Cutler, who came to the notice of many Mainers with a well-received January speech on higher education and who is running for governor as an independent, posted the following on his campaign blog last Friday:

“Dwindling state revenues are forcing state officials to make massive
cuts — millions of dollars — in the state’s share of funding for K-12
education in Maine’s public schools. At the same time, the federal
Department of Education is getting ready to hand out hundreds of
millions of dollars to states in the Race to the Top program. 

But not to Maine. MPBN reports
that Maine will be standing in the corner, likely ineligible to receive
our share. Why? Because we are one of the few states left in America
where charter schools are not allowed.”

In an October 20 interview with blogger Derek Viger, Cutler that he supported charter schools and “regretted” that the legislature had failed to pass the charter school bill. “When I am governor,” he said, “I will pass it.” He continued on, saying that the bill “had the support of educators and parents from around the state, but another good idea was lost because the same old tired politics kept us from innovating and moving forward.”

Sounds very much like what I was saying as Maine’s legislature killed the charter school bill last spring.

Cutler even makes mention in his Friday blog post of the new U.S. Chamber of Commerce report I mentioned in a blog post last week.

So, there is at least one gubernatorial candidate talking the talk on charter schools. What about the other 20 or so candidates for governor? Stay tuned…