AUGUSTA — The newly formed Maine State Charter School Commission will hold public forums across the state in early March to learn about educational needs that could be addressed by charter schools, according to the Maine Department of Education.

Forums will be held March 1 in Portland from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Deering High School, cafeteria, 370 Stevens Ave.; March 8 in Bangor from 6:30 to 8 p.m., United Technologies Center, 200 Hogan Road; and March 15 in Augusta from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Cross State Office Building, Room 500, 111 Sewall St.

The commission is considered an “authorizer” under Maine’s new public charter school law, which means it can authorize up to 10 publicly funded charter schools statewide in the first 10 years.

Local school boards can authorize additional public charter schools that don’t count toward the commission’s 10-school limit.

Under the law, an authorizer can seek proposals for a charter school that meets a particular educational need, and any nonprofit, nonreligious organization may respond.

People who are unable to attend a public forum are invited to offer their input via email at [email protected].

For more information about the Maine State Charter School Commission and Maine’s public charter school law, visit the commission’s web page.

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