- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Charter School Commission has given initial approval to three new charter schools in the state.

The commission advanced applications for the Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School and two virtual charters, Maine Connections Academy and Maine Virtual Academy for further consideration on Thursday.

Groups seeking to start charters will now face in-person interviews and a public hearing before the commission votes in March on whether to approve and enter into contract negotiations.

There are five remaining charter school spots available under Maine’s charter school law. The law, which Republican Gov. Paul LePage signed in 2011, says the commission can only approve 10 charter schools through 2022.

Two charter schools opened in Maine last year and three more began classes in the fall.

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