Commentary

Options Lead to Potential

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Every child is unique. What may work for one, will in many cases not work for another. When it comes to education, one size certainly does not fit all. In Maine this is being realized and options are expanding.

Maine has had a long history with education possibilities. We have had and still have public schools, private schools and a combination of both, known as town academies unique to Maine. Religious schools have been a part of that landscape as well and thankfully, still are. Several decades ago, the homeschool movement began to take hold, now it boasts nearly 6,000 students. More recently Maine added Charter Schools with the new law allowing 10 schools to be added over a 10 year period. As we arrive half way toward the 10 year mark, there are 9 charter schools, two of which are virtual online schools.

National School Choice Week is January 22nd – 28th. This is the week we can draw attention to the array of options we currently have. We may also consider additional future options for parents and students.

Consider joining these events to learn more: Monday Jan 23rd – Maine Charter Schools Day hosted by the Maine Association of Charter Schools will be in the Hall of Flags at the State House from 9AM-2PM. Join Maine’s 9 new public charter schools along with their school leaders and students. Information will be available on the proposed legislation which could impact public charter schools.

Tuesday, Jan 24th and 26th, the school choice supporters on the Education Committee would like to acknowledge students who enjoy examples of school choice here in Maine. We welcome K-12 students & teachers of homeschooling, charter schools; brick & mortar and online, private and public schools to be recognized by House of Representatives at 10 am in the gallery of the House of Representatives.

We would also like to invite any College students who are enrolled in online programs as well. Looking ahead with the 128 th Legislature, a few bills have been submitted addressing Charter Schools and Educational Savings Accounts. One such bill intends to lift the cap on Charter Schools. Educational Savings Accounts are individual savings accounts for students whereby the parent is able to use local/state funds for educational purposes only; school of choice, curriculum and resources being some of the possible considerations.

If you intend to attend the House of Representative in one of the above sessions, please contact Representative Heidi Sampson at hsampson512@gmail.com so we may recognize you.

We hope you choose to celebrating this week with us.

About Heidi Sampson

Heidi Sampson is a veteran Home Educator who is also the first Home Educator to be appointed to the State Board of Education. Although her children have graduated, she still is very active as a leader of a large Home Educator support group in southern Maine. Heidi is a frequent speaker around the state on various educational topics, of late the main topic is Common Core, as she is the co-founder of No Common Core Maine.

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