Senate Republicans kill Charter School bill


The most recent in a long series of bills put forward over the years to enact charter schools in Maine has failed passage in the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 22 to 13. I anticipated a week or two back that, with only one Democrat supporting the measure and a number of Republicans opposed, the bill stood no chance.

As it turns out, three Democrats supported the charter school bill, (Damon, Brannigan, and Bowman) which would have been enough to save it had the five Republicans who voted against the bill (Davis, McCormick, Raye, Sherman, and Trahan) supported it.

Just as they did three years ago, the Republicans have prevented Maine from enacting charter schools.

Let me say that again. We don’t have charter schools today because of Republicans in the legislature three years ago, and Republicans killed yet another charter school bill this afternoon.


What is there to say that has not been said already? This is a sad day for Maine’s kids, and a sad day as well, it is important to say, for the dedicated and hard working teachers and administrators across Maine who are trapped in a dysfunctional system which stifles creativity, rewards mediocrity, and tolerates failure. Our schools are not doing fine, Sen. Simpson, they are manifestly failing the one out of every four students that drops out of school before receiving a diploma, and they are ill-serving thousands more.

A slender reed of hope remains that mounting pressure form Washington will compel action on this issue at a later date, but until then the work of educating policymakers (Republicans especially, it seems) and the public as to why our schools need to be far better than they are and of rallying Maine people to cause of meaningful reform continues…