Maine Charter Schools Drawn Into Political Battles 

FAIRFIELD, Maine (AP) — The first students are preparing to graduate from a Maine charter school as Gov. Paul LePage looks to expand the model throughout the state and the political battle over school choice continues.

Ten seniors will graduate from the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley in Fairfield Friday afternoon. It’s the first charter school graduation since Maine enacted a law allowing the schools in 2011.

Gov. Paul LePage administration is using Friday’s ceremony to praise the charter school model for its ability to offer parents another option when their child’s needs aren’t being met at traditional public schools.

But critics, including teachers unions, say that charter schools aren’t the answer to Maine’s education problems and drain funds from struggling school districts.