AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says five applications to form charter schools have been submitted to a state review commission since May 1 when proposals were requested for the upcoming school year.

With the June 29 deadline approaching for proposals, nine letters of intent have been filed to form charter schools, which are public schools students can attend as an alternative to traditional public schools.

LePage, a strong proponent of those schools, says the Charter School Commission has already begun to review the applications that have been submitted. The commission has scheduled hearings for Friday and Monday on three of the applications.

The governor signed a bill into law last year making Maine the 41st state to allow public charter schools.

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