AUGUSTA — The Maine Charter School Commission voted Tuesday to move forward with two of four groups that hope to open new charter schools in Maine.

The groups applied for the last three charter school slots available in Maine, which currently has seven charter schools.

The commission voted to continue working with Acadia Academy in Lewiston-Auburn and Snow Pond Arts Academy in Sidney. They voted to not continue talks with Inspire ME Academy in York County and Peridot Montessori Education in Hancock County.

The votes move Acadia Academy and Snow Pond Arts Academy to a second phase of negotiations with the commission, which involves interviews with the full commission and a more in-depth discussion of school plans. On Nov. 17, the commission will vote on whether to go into contract negotiations with either of the schools.

Once a contract is signed, the school is granted a charter by the state. If a contract is signed, the school would open in the fall of 2016.

State law allows a maximum of 10 charter schools. Maine already has five brick-and-mortar charter schools and two virtual charter schools. A total of 1,540 students attend charter schools in Maine, which has about 184,000 total students.

This story will be updated.

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