Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley sent three students and their parents to a charter school rally the week of May 9. From left are two of the students and a parent: Joe Bowman, Amy Sanborn (Braden Boulette’s stepmother), and Boulette. Alicia Barnes photo

Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, a charter school located in Hinckley with an agricultural focus, sent three students to Washington, D.C., the week of May 9.

They were there to rally against new regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, threatening to cut funding to the Federal Charter Schools Program, according to a news release from the school.

The MeANS students represented Maine along with student representatives from 41 other states. Nearly 65% of all charter schools are single-site community-based schools, and the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations on federal Charter Schools Program funds threaten schools like MeANS.

Joe Bowman of Augusta, Braden Boullette of Skowhegan, Damien Brewer of Troy and their parents flew down on an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in the rally with 700 other attendees and to connect with U.S. Rep. Jared Golden and U.S. Sen. Angus King.

Boullette spoke in front of the White House about his experiences in a traditional public school versus MeANS, where he has benefited from its relational model.


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