February 28, 2020
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Senate kills virtual school moratorium bill by upholding LePage veto

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Sen. Brian Langley

AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to put a moratorium on the creation of virtual charter schools in Maine while the state creates its own died in the Senate Tuesday when a veto by Gov. Paul LePage was sustained.

The Senate voted 23-12 in favor of sustaining the veto, which falls short of the 24 votes needed to override a gubernatorial veto. LD 1736, sponsored by Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth, who is a member of the Legislature’s Education Committee, sought to have the Department of Education develop a virtual charter academy and for Maine students to have access to a virtual academy in New Hampshire in the meantime.

The bill would have stopped the creation of Maine Connections Academy, a virtual charter school which is set to open later this year, after its approval earlier this month by the Maine Charter School Commission. The moratorium would have lasted potentially until July 2015.

Democrats lamented the failure to override the veto because they said its intention was to provide access to virtual learning opportunities for all Maine students.

The Senate initially approved the bill with a 24-11 vote. Tuesday’s vote means the bill is now dead.


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