Maine charter school backers pan proposed legislation

Charter school supporters are criticizing proposed legislation that would require local voters’ approval for new charter schools and cut the amount of money local school districts have to pay the schools. A group of about 40 charter school supporters were joined by Governor Paul LePage at a State House press conference Monday ahead of public hearings on charter school bills being heard by the Legislature’s Education Committee. The Portland Press Herald reported that Roger Brainerd, executive director of the Maine Association for Charter Schools, said the bills are ‘‘poor public policy’’ and amount to changing the rules on charter schools ‘‘midway through the game.’’ But Lois Kilby-Chesley, president of the Maine Education Association, said charter schools are costing local school districts large sums of money.