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Charter Schools Pioneer Addresses Maine Panel
05/07/2013 3:00 PM ET  

A national pioneer in the charter schools movement said Maine is seeing the same kind of growth pains in establishing the schools as Minnesota did two decades ago.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Ember Reichgott Junge, a former senator in Minnesota, spoke to the Maine Charter School Commission on Tuesday as Maine marks National Charter Schools Week. Junge was a union-backed Democrat during her tenure in the Minnesota Senate and sponsored the first legislation on charter schools, which passed in 1991.

Junge said concerns raised by opponents in Maine are similar to those in Minnesota. In Maine, opponents have voiced concern that charter schools would divert funds from local school districts.

Maine has two operating charter schools; three more may open in the fall. Junge said there are more than 5,600 public charter schools nationwide.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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